Frank Lyne's

Wood Nymph

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Wood Nymph

Cherry – 41 x 10 x 15 inches – April 3 – June 17, 2010

When the large, regular cherry log which became Wood Nymph was freshly cut, I split it in half and applied varnish to the end grain. If the open vessel ends aren't closed off, drying will be fastest at each end of the billet. Wood shrinks as it drys, so rapid drying at each end will cause deep cracks to develop there. Splitting the log in half also minimizes cracking because wood shrinks more on its tangential plane than on its radial plane. A half cylinder log shrinking tangentially is comparable to partially closing an open Japanese fan. Even with all this preparation, some shallow cracks still appeared, but only in the sapwood. Sapwood often gets wormy and has to be removed anyway.

Irregularities or grain directional changes help direct the course of a wood carving. A regular straight grained half cylinder is to carving like a blank piece of paper is to drawing. It says nothing on its own. Instead of setting the direction for me, having such a regular block of wood allowed me to explore a wide range of possible poses in Daz and pick one which looked likely to fit within the available space. It was somewhat chancy beginning with a foot and working my way up. An invisible, subsurface knot could have shown up at any number of unfortunate spots, but none did. Beginning with a foot was probably why this study wound up being nude. I never could choose how to place a garment as I worked my way up the figure.

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