Project: Feet of Clay

I’ve been working on a new project for the past several weeks. A commission piece that I hope, once finished, will go over well with my customer.

One thing I try to stress with people is that when you are trying to work with another person’s vision, rather than doing your own thing, really take the time to listen to what they are saying to you. It does no good to create a masterpiece for someone if they look at it and tell you, “That’s not what I had in mind”. And how frustrating is that?

So, my customer described a vision that he had: He pictured all of these footprints, random, in sand. He wrote a poem that he felt was connected to this vision, and feels that it was a gift he was given by God. As a Christian, I understand the connection and the need to try to understand what He would want from me, and I really loved the poem my prospect came up with.

It was actually harder than it sounds, because I found some images that I would love to recreate with a similar theme in mind, but I’ll save it for another day. It is much more important to do things “his way”.

Let me show you what I did. First was creating the template, like so…


The basic template images

From there, I roughed out the feet and the “beach” area. Doesn’t look like much, does it? By the way, the wood darkening comes from bur-burn when I’m doing the stippling. By the way, to really see the detail, be sure to click on the image to see the full-size image.

Carving and stippling the feet and beach areas.

Carving and stippling the feet and beach areas.

I know I’m not a very good photographer, so please bear with me. Below is a close-up of the footprints…

Stippling and carving out the footprints

Stippling and carving out the footprints and beach area

After completing the stippling and basic carving, it was time to add the text, so I set up the next template mock up:

Text Mock-up for Feet of Clay

Text Mock-up for Feet of Clay

Next came sanding it down to wood to remove as much of the original stain as possible. I don’t like to use chemicals if I can avoid it, so hand-sanding is my method of madness. As of today, the sanding is complete and I am working on cleaning up lettering, determining the final staining and sealing.

You may notice that I eliminated the “shell” images off the corners of the framework. I decided in looking at it that it wasn’t working for me. Maybe I’ll find a corner to put a conch shell in.

Coming up: Final stages and the finished project!

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