Tag Archives: Citizens of Gigglesville

A Good Push

8 Oct

Pumped by the satisfaction of Ginormous Gnome being completed, it was odd I couldn’t push myself to start on the next Whale despite plans to do so and having all that energy to carve. Plus I had just given away yet another Whale, two pieces within a week, it’s reason enough to get back to producing Whales.

Citizens #188 right through to #193!

Instead there was a sudden burst for the Citizens of Gigglesville. Within a few days, six new Citizens came about! Which was kind of nice because this means I should be able to reach 200 in its population count sooner that I thought I would.

However, in the midst of this, I found myself planning yet another Ginormous Gnome as I have started the process for it. Should be interesting how this one will turn out after the trials and error from the last one.

Glued and clamped to have a big block

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The Ambitious Piece Completed

7 Oct
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He’s one good-looking gnome I must say!

I am so very pleased with my latest piece of carving. My best effort yet. This was an ambitious piece because of its height at almost 20cm to begin with and the unevenness of the glued pieces to tackle. The protruding excess was, well… excess.

But once it started taking shape, the height wasn’t the issue and eventually it got shorter. The completed Gnome now stands at 16cm (about 6.5 inches).

Soon after I painted it up, I would just sit at my little work station to admire it from all angles at every opportunity possible. I didn’t even bother to start on the next intended piece. No hurry as I bask in the satisfaction on a job well done for the time being.

Yes, I love my new Gnome!

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An Ambitious Piece, Part 3

4 Oct

I am at the tail-end to complete Ginormous Gnome. I’m satisfied with how the shape of the cap bob at the back turned out. I think it’s not necessary for it to be even more prominent because then I’d have to glue an add-on piece to it, like what I did for the nose and then tediously carve it down.

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Nose checked, gap in beard checked!

The nose which posed some challenges initially was resolved. Once I got over these issues, the rest was not that difficult – the body was effortless but the beard was time consuming to shape. However after shaping the beard, I was faced with a new predicament!

 

The front of the beard was looking so flat! Haish…

After all that effort to give the nose some prominence, the flat beard made all that hard work look wasted. So I decided to glue a piece and several add-ons to the beard part so that it does not appear so flat and square. Quite challenging to carve, shape and puff up that part but it was fun.

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The extra piece to puff up the beard

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The beard part resolved and putty all over to smoothen the surface

It’s good I am keeping track of what I am doing now because if I ever wanted to carve another Ginormous Gnome, I have this to refer to and would be better prepared. Sometimes what I envision in my mind does not quite come out right, so along the way, I have to adjust.

That being said, Ginormous is progressing at a good pace as I’m at it diligently almost every night. Soon I will be starting a new piece and it will most likely be another whale because recently, I gave one away.

At this point, I’m considering to paint Ginormous in the red and blue uniform like my other Gnomes rather than the Lavender of Gandalf. It should look good.

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Last step of putting gesso completed before the final paint job!

An Ambitious Piece, Part 2

30 Sep

Ginormous Gnome is coming along fine. The cap was challenging because I had to file it down in order to make the hole disappear; then I had to shape it – at the back especially, so that the little bob (at the back) looks natural. I think it’s coming along.

 

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Notice the gap on the beard? Needs to be patched up too

The next challenge was the nose as it’s rather flat. After much thought, I decided to glue a piece to give it a more prominent bulge. But the add-on that I split did not split well and I ended up with such an uneven piece, it made Ginormous looked like it had a pig nose. Ugh.

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Ginormous looking piggylicious with an oink of a nose!

So more effort was needed to shape the nose to make sure the add-on doesn’t look like an add-on. Glad to say, it worked out well and with some putty to smoothen out the surface, you can’t really tell that Ginormous had a nose job. I’m confident by the time paint is applied, all evidence of an add-on will not be visible.

Stay tuned, I’m almost done with this fella!

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An Ambitious Piece

23 Sep

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Two weeks ago, I started on a very ambitious and challenging piece of carving. Ambitious because of its size, measuring at almost 20cm tall before I even started. And challenging because the chunky piece is a combination of three Meranti pieces glued together and uneven in height at the top.

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I wanted to do another Gandalf-like Gnome because it’s been awhile since I last did a giant piece. I have been too focused on the Whales lately so much so, the Gnomes and Citizens of Gigglesville have been neglected. But I am unperturbed by the stalled population growth because I am sure when the mood hits, I can whip up some Citizens or Gnomes effortlessly.

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The biggest challenge now is to shape the cap of Ginormous Gnome and ensure that the gaping hole does not become a permanent feature on it. We’ll see how it will be as I progress.

Fresh Supply

21 May

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I am in wood heaven! Two weeks ago, I received two boxes of freshly cut Meranti wood to continue with my carving. And carving I have been doing.

I realize now that carving Whales do not hurt my left wrist compared to Gnomes. It is the size – Gnomes are smaller than Whales, and how I grip the wood tightly (when carving a Gnome) causing a strain to the wrist. Add in the many angles of a Gnome, that’s why the tender area of the wrist would flare up if pressure and the repetitive action is applied constantly.

I have stopped carving Gnomes and Citizens of Gigglesville for the time being and just focusing on Whales which are much easier to handle. Anyway, the Gnomes and Citizens are decorative, cute and fun but the Whales are more than that, they are useful – being a smart phone holder.

The best part, I can still play golf without pain and the Whale population has been growing steadily. Yay.

More New Colors, Part 2

26 Apr

It’s hard to stay away from carving Whales. After the balsa bout, I itched to get back to Meranti, so here’s Whale 28. This fella’s a bit odd in size because the wood block that’s available is wider than most of the other pieces that I have done. Oh well.

It is kinda cute in its own way and once I paint it with the new pearl Pink Taffeta color, it will just be so gorgeous!

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More New Colors

25 Apr

I thought carving up Citizen #182 was significant so I bought new colors to commemorate it. This time, I decided to introduce shiny colors for variety.

So besides painting up Citizen #182 in pearl Taffeta Pink, #183 was also given the new color, the glitter blue. Not content with this, I then refreshed a few earlier Citizens, adding clear glitter on top of their existing colors.

Maybe this year, glitter is the way to go as this latest batch look very pretty and shiny. I like ‘em.

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Picture not giving the gloss and glitter enough prominence

Citizen #182

9 Apr
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Citizen #182 from all angles

After a four and a half months break, 26 Whales, two Monuments and nine Gnomes later, I finally carved a Citizen of Gigglesville. What a long break. I had almost forgotten how to carve a Citizen on balsa, taking a longer time than I normally would with #182, the first one for 2019.

But it looks good, I must say. It was awkward to hold, being so small and the balsa being so soft; I have forgotten what it’s like to control my strength. Despite all these shortcomings, I am pleased because there’s no strain at all on the left gripping hand and I can play golf without any nagging pain.

Maybe I should continue with more Citizens on balsa instead of the others on Meranti to preserve the hand. Reaching 200 population count is not impossible if I keep at this.

Killer Whales

12 Feb

Actually, carving on Meranti wood is not good for me. While it may be satisfying to channel my energy into it and then feel the joy whenever a lovely piece is completed, the choice of the wood is the culprit that adds to my Wrist Tendonitis woes.

I was carving a lot of Meranti whales in December and they are much bigger pieces than the Gnomes and Citizens, which unfortunately have not increase in their population count. And being bigger pieces, it magnified the Wrist Tendonitis on the left hand because I have been gripping the wood block too tightly, looking back at the situation now. Sigh.

Although I have a vise clamp albeit a mini one, it cannot clamp the block for me to work on. And I have not been using my workbench enough to ease the situation. It is not the repetitive motion that’s causing the flare up because the repetition is on the right hand, the carving hand, and not the left hand – the non-working but gripping hand.

If I am not carving daily, the situation can be contained because with ample rest, nothing gets aggravated and it’s fine. The therapy sessions, which concluded, helped but I must not overdo things that can cause a recurrence. That something obviously being carving, of course. And I guess I overdid it in December. Oops.

Then in January as we were busy preparing for M2 to leave, carving took a backseat. But after M2 left, I was back to carving whales full swing AND playing golf before Chinese New Year, double whammy you could say. I felt a teeny weeny set back. Uh oh.

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The whales, cute as they may be, are really killer whales. And I’d better take care especially if I want to play more golf this year. Perhaps I should go back to balsa instead of Meranti or get a bigger vise clamp if setting up the workbench is too much? Something to seriously consider.