A Bird with Character, Part three

In which we give the bird a place to hang out, and some feet to hang with.

By: Jerry Simchuk

For some time now, I have wanted to do a wall mount presentation with one of my carvings. The scrub jay seemed to provide the perfect opportunity—provided I could make an equally good branch for it. The habitat presented its own challenges, but it was quite rewarding when I finished it. This presentation method creates a unique viewing opportunity for this sculpture.

The branch is a section of aspen. It is different from the aspen branch I demonstrated in the Fall 2008 issue for a black-capped chickadee project. For one thing, the main branch for this project will be much thicker, so I will carve it from wood. There are some other changes as well. The process for the leaves, however, is pretty much the same. Instead of repeating those steps here, you can find the Branching Out article here

Reference is critical when you are trying to replicate something. In the best case, you can simply go outside and find what you want to recreate. If that’s not possible, photos are your next best option. Gather a variety of images to get an idea of the color ranges and variability that exist in nature. Once I have gathered my reference, I surround my work area with it so it’s readily available. 


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