Carving a Swan From Epoxy and Buckeye Burl

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Introduction: Carving a Swan From Epoxy and Buckeye Burl

About: My name is Blake, I make things for a living. I love experimenting with new materials to create sculptures, furniture and everything in between.

I carved a swan out of a massive piece of Buckeye Burl and 13 gallons of epoxy. I first cut the buckeye to the appropriate size. I then spent 2 weeks doing 6 separate pours of epoxy to get the volume I needed for the carving. Once the epoxy was cured, I used a chainsaw as well as other power tools to carve the swan out of the block. I then spent an absurd amount of time hand sanding everything before applying finish. I am really happy with how this sculpture turned out and eager to hear what you guys think!

Supplies

1. Epoxy- Get 10% off by using code "Blake" on Checkout! https://masepoxies.com

2. 20V Chainsaw (highly recommend) - https://amzn.to/3hQpvD2

3. Wood Finish- https://amzn.to/3xmPTcc

4. resin dye- https://amzn.to/3yqOJOd

6. die grinder- https://amzn.to/3xqiOMB

7. Orbital Sander- https://amzn.to/3CbVOEB

8. Arbortech Turbo Plane- https://amzn.to/3vYWzyj

9. Arbortech Contour Sander- https://amzn.to/3mwaoRO

10. Arbortech Powercarving package- https://amzn.to/316VpVU

11.Kutzall die grinder bit- https://amzn.to/2ZJMWHZ

12. Face shield- https://amzn.to/3CbW9XT


My Camera- https://amzn.to/2Lq0MED

Camera Mic- https://amzn.to/2LtpZ13

Step 1: Check Out the Full Video

Check out the in depth carving from start to finish.

Step 2: Buckeye Burl

I found an amazing piece of buckeye burl locally. The supplier cut the burl down to my specific needs. I then took it home and cut it down to a more appropriate size. I cleaned off all the bark by using a chisel, and then sandblasted the entire burl getting all the dirt/debris out from all the crevices.

Step 3: 13 Gallon Epoxy Pour

I first coated the entire burl with Mas penetrating epoxy. This will help prevent bubbles from coming out of the burl. I then made a melamine mold and placed the burl inside. I did 6 separate pours totaling 13 Gallons of MAS 'deep pour X' Epoxy. (get 10% off and free shipping by using code 'Blake' at checkout). You must do separate pours because if you pour over 2" you will get fracturing within the resin. I waited a full week before un-molding the epoxy.

Step 4: Trace Design and Cut

I then traced the Swan's outline on the epoxy and burl. I used a chainsaw to do most of the bulk cutting. I spent a couple days just forming the outline of the swan.

Step 5: More Detailing

Once the bulk was cut away, I primarily used an angle grinder with different attachments to further refine the shape. To get into tighter areas I switched over to a die grinder.

Step 6: Chop Off the Beak!

From the start, I knew I wanted to add a piece of buckeye for the beak. I very slowly and precisely cut out the epoxy beak, then used an off-cut of burl to create a new beak. I used epoxy to attach it back seamlessly.

Step 7: Sanding Sanding Sanding & Finish

I hand sanded every square inch of the swan from 60 grit up to 2000. This took a VERY long time. I then used an oil based finish to seal everything and give it that nice shine.

Step 8: The Finished Swan

Step 9: Checkout the Full Video!

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    26 Comments

    0
    LeslieGeee
    LeslieGeee

    6 weeks ago

    Absolutely, stunningly, breathtakingly, BEAUTIFUL. The Burl you picked was perfect. Thank you so much for creating your swan and sharing your process. Magnificent!

    0
    Paladin49
    Paladin49

    6 weeks ago on Introduction

    Absolutely incredibly beautiful. A true masterpiece of art.

    0
    Kz865354
    Kz865354

    7 weeks ago

    Burls (I hate spell check)

    0
    MikB
    MikB

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    Glad you clarified. That's a whole different project ... :)

    0
    robertjc
    robertjc

    6 weeks ago

    I was mesmerised watching this. What an achievement it is. You are a true artist.

    0
    BarbaraMills
    BarbaraMills

    7 weeks ago on Introduction

    What a beautiful work of art. You should be really proud of this swan you have created.

    0
    terrefirmax2
    terrefirmax2

    7 weeks ago on Step 9

    It does look beautiful. I bet it's the type of piece that you don't want to sell- or give away.

    0
    clint.hoxie.92
    clint.hoxie.92

    7 weeks ago

    I don’t usually comment on any kind of media, but this swan is a gorgeous piece. I am not usually a fan of epoxy, but you’ve used the medium beautifully. Well done!

    0
    MarkH342
    MarkH342

    7 weeks ago

    This and your bear sculpture are just marvelous. Thanks for posting them.

    0
    cazirha
    cazirha

    7 weeks ago

    Gorgeous piece of craftsmanship!

    0
    Swinly
    Swinly

    7 weeks ago

    What is a very long time for the sanding on this? I love the swan

    0
    jaynewest
    jaynewest

    7 weeks ago

    This is an amazing work of art! Congratulations and thank you for sharing your process.

    0
    StarrL3
    StarrL3

    7 weeks ago on Step 1

    The music was nice, but I really think I would’ve rather have they’ve voiceover telling us what you were doing while you were doing it. Maybe a combo of music and voiceover. Your work is absolutely stunning. Extremely talented. Thank you for sharing.

    0
    fkamaro
    fkamaro

    7 weeks ago

    First, the video format is excellent! I'm supposed to be working but got caught up in this!
    It took great imagination and commitment to do this!

    0
    Kz865354
    Kz865354

    7 weeks ago

    WOW !!!!!! I work with epoxy and girls . This a labor of love 💘
    MrZ

    0
    Scruffy_Nerfherder
    Scruffy_Nerfherder

    7 weeks ago on Step 9

    That is absolutely phenomenal! And there will literally be no one else in the world who will have such a beautifully unique piece. You should do more works. You could carve a very specialized niche in the art world for such a skill. (And yes, pun intended.)

    0
    Hemulimania
    Hemulimania

    7 weeks ago

    This is really beautiful!! Great work!!

    0
    knife141
    knife141

    7 weeks ago

    Wow! This is absolutely awesome!!!

    0
    AMbros Custom
    AMbros Custom

    7 weeks ago

    absolutely gorgeous piece of craftsmanship, a tremendous amount of sanding, and I really like the concept of using the wooden piece for a beak.