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Progress on Laurie’s Wheel

October 25, 2013

Since the Narnia wheel is out of my hands and into Amy’s for testing, I have been busy on my next project .  Laurie asked for light weight and lots of art and I think it is coming out pretty well.  Nothing in these photos is finished but they show enough to be worth posting.  The first picture is an overview showing how the wolf sits on the frame.  You might notice the open areas in the frame which makes it quite light.  The wolf wanted to be a dark wood, like it was an old artifact that somehow found itself part of a new wheel.  I enhanced the aged look by hinting at red paint on the lips and eyebrows, where a more vibrant color might have been in earlier times.  The eye sockets are painted a blue color but you have to look to see it.  On a lot of the old carvings, just traces of paint remain.

Wolf wheel 1

The second photo gives a view of the space between the big wheels.  On all my previous wheels this has been left open.  On this wheel it contains a new mechanism to adjust both speed and orifice height.  I am very anxious to get this up and running and see how it works.  So far the results are very promising.

Wolf wheel 2

The third photo is a close up of the wolf head.  It is stylized using Northwest coast motifs.  The eyes are inlaid with abalone shell.  I had intended to inlay antler for teeth, but the space is so small I chose to create dust from sanding the antler and mixing this with epoxy.  Using a toothpick I carefully put a dollop on each tooth space which creates a translucent dome shape.  I still need to do some clean up work on this area but the results look pretty much as I’d hoped.  I am considering one VERY unconventional addition to this and am open to input from anyone looking.  Laurie likes rhinestones and I used them for the bubble rings on the large wheels.  How about a tiny rhinestone inlaid into one of the wolf’s teeth?  Kind of a reckless and wild thought but I’ll let Laurie make this call.  Amy is not keen on this idea but we are, after all, talking about a wolf!

wolf handle

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8 Comments
  1. Wow! This is gorgeous!

  2. I cannot begin to tell you how much I love the wolf. He is so awesome. Sorry Amy but Gary is right. One sparkly tooth would be wonderful. I am so ready to play with this wheel. He is going to need a strong name.

  3. Thanks, Christine, for commenting. Laurie, the wolf is a lot of fun and I’m sure you will come up with a strong name. I learn so much from each project and this is a big step for me. I never saw myself as a wood carver or sculptor before but I’m getting the hang of it. Since the wheel is a collection of your ideas and my execution, I am very comfortable going with the sparkly grin. It will kind of make those teeth have a purpose other than to slash and kill. Grinning is a much better thing on a spinning wheel. I can hardly wait to see the complete effect!

  4. I stared at the pictures on and off all night. I have decided you were a wood carver all your life but didn’t know it. I originally loved the wolf head idea but the reality is so much better than I imagined. He just makes me smile. I had a dog that could do that grin.

  5. HUGHES1681 permalink

    Oh my!! What a beautiful wheel.

  6. Terry permalink

    That wolf head almost looks Egyptian. When I first saw it I thought it was the Jackal God head :). Very nice job on this wheel.

  7. Hi Terry, You are right – there is a similarity there. I thought about that connection as well, especially when viewed from certain angles. I think it is the placement and shape of the ears. I have noticed a similarity of forms that occur in the art of many cultures that are interesting to consider. Are these motifs so universal and deep that they just pop up here and there with no connection or was there a sharing of ideas through trade and travel or migration? There is also something I notice in NW coast art and that is within a pretty rigid set of “rules” there is still a lot of room for self expression. And I feel that is a wonderful thing. In our culture I am used to having almost too much room and not enough structure. Don’t know if I could have handled more constraints and still made art. One thing that I think is a for sure on this wheel (especially when the wolf gets his rhinestone tooth implant) is that he will be unique among his kind!

  8. Gary I don’t know how to forward to you all the wonderful comments on my Facebook but the wheel has had wonderful reception. He will be well loved and admired.

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