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  #1  
Old 03-06-2009, 09:20 AM
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Default Jesus in cedar

I'm making a bust of Jesus for a client - believe it or not, a movie producer who will use it in an upcoming film entitled "Pastor Shepherd". It's a comedy, so I made him promise its use is in no way sacrilegeous and I previewed the script. I intend this to be a serious, respectful piece. The main character in the has a secret talent of chainsaw sculpture. I have been wanting to carve human faces, so I took this project to see what I could do.

These first pictures show the basic form, more to follow. He looks pretty old at this point, so I will play around with thinning out the beard, eyebrows for a younger look. He will be looking up, from the cross, as traditionally depicted. The ring around His head will become a crown of thorns. Won't that be fun to carve!

Your advice please, not a subect to treat lightly!
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  #2  
Old 03-06-2009, 11:50 AM
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Default Re: Jesus in cedar

Schaef,
Looks like red cedar huh?
It may be difficult to get the detail in the sap wood of the nose etc. with a chain saw - I know that you'll be careful. As to the crown - I would mount it on a bit of an angle - maybe tilted forward and to the side a bit to indicate that it is biting into the head and causing pain. Not being balanced will give it punch. Some carvings make it look like a fashion accessory. The thorns could make or break the piece. There is nothing in the Bible to indicate that He did not feel the pain of his treatment.
Regards,
Merv
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  #3  
Old 03-07-2009, 09:07 AM
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Default Re: Jesus in cedar

Merv, Thanks for the insight on the crown. You've "upped the ante" for me in terms of the carving challenge by using the term "accessory", which I truly appreciate. Now, how to do it? In these pictures you see the crown developing, along with the facial expression. The crown must be sufficiently thick to hold together because of the brittle nature of cedar. Right now I'm torn between using large facets in the tooling to imply thorns or getting some real thorns from a locust tree and inserting them. The problem with locust thorns is I have to go find them..but they would definitely up the visual communication of pain. I was too far along to use the "tilt" idea but I agree with it.
I have to deliver this tomorrow, that's the bad news, but the good news is the script calls for a nearly finished work, and when it's returned I can keep going on it.
Here's a great resource for all: "The Artists Complete Guide to Facial Expression" by Gary Faigin. I still have work to do capturing the expression.
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Old 03-07-2009, 02:06 PM
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Default Re: Jesus in cedar

I see Jesus emerging but is looks a little, at this point, like Willy Nelson. I've never carved Cedar except once and that piece split so I quite. Beautiful wood if you can make it work. Anxious to see it finished !
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Old 03-07-2009, 03:12 PM
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Default Re: Jesus in cedar

Hi Shaef, The Jesus is looking great & I think you have captured the expression you described also! Thanks for the info too!
Thanks, Robbin
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Old 03-07-2009, 10:00 PM
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Default Re: Jesus in cedar

He's done, for now. The producer's requirement was a WIP bust of Jesus. After the movie I will continue the work to completion. Wish I could get rid of the white beard, but that's what you get with cedar, the material available to me. Found the locust tree for the thorns to complete the crown. I can tell you if you pick it up and make a false move, you get a bit of an idea how it would feel against your skull!

I attempted a serious religious work. The scene is Jesus' last moment of life on the cross, looking up to heaven. I opened the mouth to begin His last statement (in English!) "Into your hands I commend my spirit". Hard to see the exposed lower teeth, but they're there. I looked in the mirror with my head upturned and started the word "Into" to get the expression. Pretty sure how to go about it, pretty satisfied with my first real chainsaw face. Eyes need improvement, should wrap around the face a little more. Mostly chainsaw but finished with rotary tools and gouges. Getting more interested in the possibilities for carving the expressions of the human face...we'll see!

So...off to the movies!
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Last edited by Schaef; 03-07-2009 at 10:03 PM.
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  #7  
Old 03-08-2009, 01:10 AM
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Default Re: Jesus in cedar

Schaef,
It's coming along very well.
You have accepted a real challenge to carve THE face and do it justice. Your love and respect for Him will come through you have that gift as an artist. Don't be too hard on yourself.
BTW have you considered staining the beard/nose area - I've used cherry gel stain with some success to nearly match red cedar. Could try it on a scrap piece of sap wood to see. Just a thought.
Mieto posts on this forum and has some interesting religious work on his blog as per his web site: SCULPTOR
He appears quite supportive and friendly with other artists and it might be worthwhile to pick his brain. He is quite skilled well trained and versatile - might be worth checking out his work.

Last edited by schizoidlogger; 03-08-2009 at 01:55 AM.
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Old 03-08-2009, 03:17 AM
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Default Re: Jesus in cedar

Hey Shaef, What can I say but an awesome job on the carving, Caught the expression for sure!
Thanks, Robbin
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Old 03-08-2009, 03:51 AM
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Shaef,
Great carving very life like I like the red cedar with the sap wood and heart wood makes for a nice contrast. Thanks for posting
Colin
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Old 03-08-2009, 07:17 AM
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Default Re: Jesus in cedar

Fantastic! Although I consider myself a devote christian, I would never beable to attempt what you just accomplished. Beautiful.
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