I recently restored an antique eagle for an antiques dealer. It is a Pilot House style eagle. Unlike most of the carvings I deal with that hang on the wall–what we call a relief carving–this eagle is carved “in the round” or in full 3 dimensions. This eagle is more folk art than a realistic type of carving.
My wife fell in love with this eagle once it was restored so, obviously, that means I have to carve a replica for her. Because carving in the round presents many difficulties not experienced with relief carving, I decided to post an ongoing tutorial during the carving process. It will probably be many posts over the course of a month or two. Be sure to subscribe to this page to be notified of updates.
Here are some photos of the first phase of the project. Though I don’t like gluing up blanks, for a carving like this it is necessary. If you could find a piece of wood large enough and thick enough, it would probably crack as it aged and dried out. This carving blank required several steps to complete the glue up. I used a full sized pattern I created from the original eagle to guide me through the blank building process.
After all the pieces are glued together I used the full sized pattern to mark the blank for cutting on the band saw. Here is the blank cut out.
And here is the blank after about a half hour’s worth of carving.
I’ll post some more photos soon.