The idea for this sculpture was inspired when I read an article in Bird Watcher's Digest issue of 2006 about a pair of Red Tailed Hawks raising their young ones.
A very emotional essay made me sculpt the mother hawk with her two baby hawks. Enjoy.
Step 1: The Block
The large block of mahogany weighted at 147 pounds. The dimensions are 3 feet tall by 12 inches wide by 18 inches deep.
Step 2: The Tools
The primary tools to start the carving process are as follows :
* A rubber mallet (16 oz.)
* A power drill
* Working gloves
*Wood chisels (got mine from Home Depot)
* Wood rasps
Step 3: The Sculptor
The sculptor, Ray Maldonado has been a sculptor over 30 years in the arts and crafts industry.
Step 4: The Bark
The bark is removed from the block of mahogany.
Step 5: How Easy ! Hah !
The artist utilized the most simple tools to show the general public how easy is to carve a work of art.
Step 6: The Basement Wood Storage Area.
The release of the hawk has commence.
Step 7: The Blueprint.
Note how the pattern of a top view of the mother hawk is drawn with a marker to start the subtractive process of carving.
Step 8: Fashion Trade.
Working in comfortable clothes and taking countless coffee breaks is the success of a determine artisan.
Step 9: The Tools.
The removal of wood is done in sessions. Notice the drill holes. You can removed the surplus wood through many means :
* Wood chisels
* Drill bits
We are aiming for simplicity here. Simple tools will do. You don't need expensive tools with a famous trade name. Though, it would be nice to brag to friends on your fancy tool selections. Ja !
Step 10: 100 Year Old Mahogany
At this point you might start believing in seeing at what might be a bird or a jet in flight. A good coffee break is in the works! 47 pounds have been removed at this stage
Step 11: From Basement to Backyard Terrace
As you can see alot of wood as been removed. The appearance of what might be a bird in flight, wings; possibly a nest on top of a mountain precipice.
Step 12: A River Runs Thru the Backyard.
The front view of the mother hawk. You can start appreciating the volume of air underneath the wings.
Step 13: The Red Tailed Hawk
The Red Tailed Hawk is a bird of prey that is classified in the bird family of buteos. Some characteristics of this group : broad wings, rough legged, red tailed, red shouldered, etc.
Step 14: The Caribbean
In this part of the world, red tailed hawks are permanent residents in Puerto Rico and throughout the Caribbean region.
Step 15: The Oaks Behind the Art Work.
Red tailed hawks varied in sizes from 19 - 25 inches long.
Step 16: The Lady
The female lay between 2 - 3 pale white eggs.
Step 17: The Mountain.
To accommodate space for the chisels and movement of hands wood removal was necessary underneath the wings and base to " lift " the nest from the mountain.
Step 18: The Drill Bit.
Drill hole positions has been established for the placement of the baby hawks.
Step 19: Everyone's Wing Man !
The left wing has been rounded to begin the carving of feathers.
Step 20: The Connector.
A connector was needed to join the wings, nest, and the mountain shown from the rear view. A connector is known in the industry as what connects an idea, subject matter together for structural stability.
Step 21: The Base of It All.
A view from underneath the base.
Step 22: The Scale.
To create a scale between the artwork and the table - the table measures 4 feet long by 2 feet wide.
Step 23: The Babies.
The baby hawks are modeled in clay for size and placement.
Step 24: 3" by 3" = 9" !
The area allocated for the baby hawks is 3" square.
Step 25: The Substract Process.
One interesting fact about the subtractive carving process is that once you cut you can't glue back ! ! !
Step 26: Einstein's Theory : Think !
You have to be cautious and think your wood cuts.
Step 27: A Bump on the Head.
You are beginning to see a blocked baby hawk's head.
Step 28: Rodin
My studio assistant, brother and eternal friend - Rodin. When Rodin was a puppy he loved to be underneath the fallen wood chips. He was named after the famed French sculptor by the same name.
Step 29: The River of Design.
At this point in the carving, extreme care is considered in the removal of wood so that all the elements of design : mother hawk, baby hawks, the nest, the mountain are in unision with one another. It's like the viewing on how a gentle river creek flows over polished stones . . . one compliments the other.
Step 30: Your Web Browser.
An artist needs very reliable wildlife references like photographs, actual viewings, and modeled specimens.
Step 31: Natural Flow of Things.
Here we see the natural flow when the wings convert to feathers, feathers into a nest, and finally the nest transforms into the baby hawks.
Step 32: Follow the Line.
The technique of using wood rasps is evident of the line flow that will eventually become feathers.
Step 33: Keep It Together.
To create an open space between the baby hawks and at the same time create structural cohesiveness - connectors had to be thought out.
Step 34: Centerline.
When carving "objects in the round" it's necessary and important to draw and maintain a centerline to establish a balance on both sides.
Step 35: A Mother's Love.
Notice how the wing feathers flows around the baby hawks - a mother's instinct to protect her young ones.
Step 36: Smile Please !
Side profile of the baby hawks has been established. A pencil line is a very important design tool. Make all your mistakes in pencil - then cut with the correct ones.
Step 37: It's Alive, It's Alive !
It's a very gratifying experience when the artisan see his vision take life right before his eyes. You see and feel this ecstasy in the 1930s film when Dr. Frankenstein cries to Igor, "It's alive, it's alive" in reference to the "Thing" he just created. Makes my hair stand up on ends !
Step 38: Tell It to the Mountain.
The landscape of the mountain was chiseled with a half round 1/4" gouge.
Step 39: A Message.
The back view of the mountain. A connector. Has a sublime message; it's the first letter of my wife's name Mary and the first letter of my last name Maldonado.
Step 40: Ede.
Edenise, my niece, hearing a lecture on how to cut feathers on the mother hawk's wing.
Step 41: Feathers
The centerline of the feather maintain a symmetry on both sides from the mother hawk all the way down to the baby hawks.
Step 42: A Mother's Tale.
This is how the mother hawk looked before the carving process of her majestic body.
Step 43: The Power Tools.
From this stage on in the carving all the heavy knives and mallets were put aside for the forthcoming rotary tools including burrs and rifflers. The mother hawk's body can't tolerate the heavy blows from a mallet in this phase of the carving. The same applies to the baby hawks.
Step 44: Mother's Weight Loss !
Here's a bottom rear view of the mother hawk.
Step 45: The Sky Is the Limit.
Now this is what I'm talking about! We can definitely see a bird in flight showing a downstroke of the wings.
Step 46: Among the Clouds.
On this photo you see the mother hawk tilting toward the right. That's because she's feeling the strong air current from the left. The centerline, here again, establish the composition of the body and wings. Creating a movement within this type of artwork stimulate an emotional response.
Step 47: Fly Like a Hawk
From this view, the left wing is placed ahead of the right wing. The inside of the left wing has been sanded. The broad chest will be the first part to be power carve with the flex shaft.
Step 48: Mama Has a Brand New Bag!
The mother hawk completed in the interpretive style.
Step 49: Rifflers What ? You Know.
Rifflers and fine files plays a major supporting role in the formation of the stylized feathers.
Step 50: Mother's First Gown.
The design of the feathers and body in the interpretive style is typical in this form of artwork.
Step 51: What Should I Wear ?
A proud mother hawk sanded and ready for that first bath in natural finish.
Step 52: Mother Nature.
The mountain and baby hawks were given a different texture with a gouge to represent a higher consciousness of mother . . . Mother Nature.
Step 53: A Baby Smile.
A close up of the baby hawks.
Step 54: The Siblings.
Here we have a top view of the connector uniting the baby hawks together.
Step 55: Coffee for Three Please.
Finally we get to see the final sculpture complete without the natural finish.
Step 56: Family Togetherness.
Left view of the Buteo jamaicensis family.
Step 57: Baby First Bath.
Walnut stain being applied to the baby hawks.
Step 58: Security System.
A second coat of walnut stain completed. Notice how the feathers "protects" the baby hawks.
Step 59: Transformation.
This photo shows beautifully how the wings transform into a nest.
Step 60: Preservation.
Efforts are being made to educate future generations in the preservation of this majestic bird throughout the Caribbean region and the world.
Step 61: Fine Art Festivals.
Red tailed hawks play an important role in the arts and crafts movement in Puerto Rico. They are depicted in music, fine arts, folklore and literature.
Step 62: The Pledge.
I pledge a world wide plea of natural consciousness for all living things on Earth.
Step 63: Mother Hawk and Her Young Ones
Once you hear the Red Tailed Hawk's cry - it will be forever embedded in your mind
To protect them from extinction is to guard ourselves from such fate as the word extinction apply.
Thank you Instructables for being there for us makers.
Hope everyone enjoy my first instructable. Lengthy, I know, but worth it.
Ray Maldonado aka KanPo Studios.