This is a recent commission I just finished. It is a copy of an old eagle I found a picture of online many years ago. The photo was of very poor quality and it was small, so creating the pattern required some guess work. I have no idea how big the original was, but the customer wanted his 40″ wide, which made it only 10″ high. When finished it seemed rather small, but the customer had a specific space he wanted to hang it. Here is the carving completed in raw wood.
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Here it is after being dyed. The customer requested an aged finish. When wearing down the finish you need a dark base so you don’t end up with new looking wood under an older finish.
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And here is the finished product, lightly aged.
Well, almost anatomically correct. This was just a practice piece and isn’t perfect. But is is close. I used basswood and finished it to look like it was dug up out of the ground. I finished it in amber shellac and still have to kill some of the shine. I mounted it on a piece of maple into which I turned a bunch of disks to mimic vertebrae in a spine. Then I carved it into an “S” shape so it has a curve like a real spine.
I’ve wanted to carve one of these for a long time. I was lucky enough to be able to borrow a real human skull as a model, which helped a lot. Now I am trying to find a suitable block of burl to carve a keeper.
Here is a recent commision for a large Boston Carving Company style eagle. The customer wanted the banner longer than on the original eagle, and in order to do that I had to give it a different shape. The eagle is 64″ wide at the banner and 60″ wide at the wings. Here is a photo of it in bare wood, before any finishing.
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John Ruthven is a well known wildlife artist who has been compared to John Audubon. So when he inquired about having an eagle made, I encouraged him to draw up the design himself. It gave me the opportunity to work on something a little different.
John Ruthven and his late wife, Judy, bought and restored the boyhood home of Ulysses S Grant. They then donated the home to the state of Ohio where it is now a museum. The eagle will be mounted above the front door as a tribute to Judy Ruthven who died recently.
Here is the artist’s drawing that I used to created a pattern.
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