Step 1: Finding the Right Piece of Wood
The idea for this project came from a real popular 3D model of Groot that many people have 3D printed and turned into a planter. For mine, I wanted to make it from actual wood (that's what Groot actually is right...?)
I grabbed a log that would fit the size from the lumber stack and sketched out the general shape of the head.
Step 2: Rough Out the Shape
Using a hatchet I cut out the rough shape. I tried to speed up the process with a chainsaw but didn't have a great way to hold the log safely and my chain was pretty dull. After about an hour of work (and a sore arm), the general shape of Groot started to emerge.
Step 3: Power Carve the Bowl in the Head
The top of the head needed to be carved into the shape of a bowl. I used a cheap power carving attachment from Harbor Freight to cut out a lot of material with the angle grinder. If you do use the same attachment be sure and turn the guard on your angle grinder so that it will be between your fingers and the blade in case of kickback!
Step 4: Carve Out the Features
I used a combination of a Dremel with various bits, chisels, and sandpaper to carve the face. I took my time only taking off a little bit of wood at a time. Unlike sculpting with clay, you can't add material back...without lots of gluing.
Step 5: Burn in the Details
Now for the fun part! I used a process called Shou Sugi Ban which is burning wood to create a protective coating. Instead of turning the entire piece black I used it more like black paint to create details and definitions in the carving. I could sand back the burned sections with a wire brush, Dremel tool, and sandpaper to get the desired look.
Step 6: Add Details to the Eyes
To make the eyes pop I carved out a little white section to mimic light being reflected in the eye. I also sprayed them with several coats of shellac to create a glossy surface.
Step 7: Add the Organic Stuff
The last part was the addition to moss on top of the head and a plant on the inside. You could use a previously potted plant inside the head or add soil and plant a new one!
Step 8: That's It!
I loved how Baby Groot turned out! This was my first attempt at any type of carving and I can see a whole lot more of it in the future!
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