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Wednesday 1 August 2012

Roughing out the Matthew figurehead

So, at long last the figurehead is beginning to be roughed out! Today the profile that will sit up against the central beam of the prow was started. This was what dangling over the river in a climbing harness was all in aid of- the figurehead needs to fit snugly up against the prow, or it will look a bit odd.

At first, I had a go at cutting the profile with a small chainsaw with a carving bar on it, but the results weren't really good enough. Then my friend Tom Redfern kindly lent me his big circular saw and removing most of the material became a doddle.

The plan now? The chunk cut away will be sawn in half. Each half will then be dowelled and glued (with strong waterproof glue) back onto the outsides of this central block. This will expand the block sideways, to allow legs, ears and other wider bits to be carved. Before that, I'm going to cut the curves of the profile carefully out with a bandsaw so that everything fits well. Then roughing out the talbot carving can begin!

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