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This blog features the current woodcraft, Art and Graphic work of David Stanley.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Finishing and Colouring the Carved Lettering

After the completion of the carving, mostly with the hooked knives, the work has been sanded up to 800 grit on the more accessible surfaces ready for a wipe-on polyurethane finish. When the thinned polyurethane has been wiped off I prefer to have it ready for a final wax polish and or tinting with colour, in a single session without waiting for drying.

To accomplish this a very fine dusting with some rotten stone on the 'wipe-off rag', is used to further, dry and thin, the oil finish to a dry lustre. An old tooth brush also dipped in a little rotten stone powder works the same effect into all the recesses.


The carved lettering now has the thinnest of polyurethane coatings, virtually invisible except for the enhancement of colour and grain. This surface is the sympathetic to coloured pencil and artist's oils for colouring. I have used water soluble oil paint and coloured pencil to colour parts of the carving.

Using oil paint means there is time to put on applications of paint washes and remove some, until the desired effect appears.


The lettering, carved, finished and coloured is ready to be photographed for title graphics on the whimsical wood website and for fitting to the whimsical wood automata. The Automata, being a kinetic sculpture, is intended to attract interest at shows with its animation and likewise useful as video linked to the website.

My my main carving interest is Lovespoons but I find mechanical movements to be fascinating to watch and though I have not much native mechanical ability or understanding I intend to make some simple automata with carved elements.

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