The idea of the Ravens started from watching the buggers who live around our little bit of paradise. They are frequently hunting in the park behind and around the neighbourhood,,, Sometimes they are just out cruising around looking for trouble or something shiny or mainly food I think ,,, They are generally quiet and other times very vocal. Once I heard a huge fuss happening,,, there must have been 20 Ravens just a squawking, in the neighbours yard across the road from us and they where getting louder as more came to the calls. I wondered over to see what all the fuss was about and discovered that a Falcon had one down on the ground,,, It was lager then the Falcon and still alive. the others where in the tree next to the struggle,,, They where very upset with the situation and I like to think where encouraging the victim to hang on and keep struggling ,,, they may also have been hurling insults and pleas at the falcon, who was now in some predicament. The Raven in his talons was putting up a valiant struggle and was larger then he was. Second there was no way to predict what all the other Ravens where gonna do,,, killing the one he had was gonna take some time and now there was a human standing there with his mouth wide open, and very large eyes,,, Nobody was giving any ground,,, The ravens where now yelling at me as well as the Falcon,,, a couple of them went to the ground to try and intimidate the Falcon and come to the aid of their fellow in need,,, I watched for a few minutes then just wondered off home,,, I knew that the Raven in the clutches of the Falcon was injured. How badly I couldn't tell. The idea of rescue crossed my mind but decided not to interfere with nature as the Falcon had to eat and the ravens would not tolerate the victim if he did manage to escape now that he was injured they may even put him out of his misery them selves as they will do in some cases if a comrade is showing signs of weakness sick or wounded,,, I don't know if they intend to it's just the results I have watched before. so by wondering off I didn't need to see the outcome,,, as I retreated the noise continued for some time longer,,,
I digress ,,, Ravens are a peculiar bird very intelligent and resourceful ,,, defiantly thinkers and stinkers,,, beautiful yes they are. I have caved a few now and for the most part been happy with the results,,, and they are popular with a couple of galleries. The process is evolving and the design is as well.
I carve them life size out of Red Cedar. They are approximately 32" x 16" x 14". and I have figured out that it is a lot easier for me to use Old Growth as that black finish is a bugger to get right,,, any dip, hollow, bump or defect in the process just pops out once the paint goes on. I also figured out that the clear wood free of knots was preferable,,, even though filling those natural defects will be covered with the paint,,, it is difficult to totally hide them ,,, So I have a new strategy ,,, I will try using shellac over the Gesso then the paint. this way I will be able to raise the grain with the gesso and fix any defects then the paint which is a high bonding paint will still show that the carving is made of wood as we will be able to see the grain highlighted by the ever so delicate raised grain.
The legs are of 1/2" steel and I think they work well,,, The shaping of them I have down now and enjoy the process of heating up the steel and hammering them into the simple form they are. I leave the hammer marks in cause I like the look.
The Granite bases are recycled from counter tops or left over chunks from a stone merchant here in town,,, They have been kind enough to cut them to size for a couple of beers and I am shocked at the cost of a couple of beer,,, not anywhere near what I used to pay when I was drinking,,, I drill the holes and polish the cut edges and that takes a few hours of boring but careful work,,, then the cork I use for the bottom is left over from a job I did a long time ago ,,, Handy stuff to hang onto that cork,,, Hope you enjoy the Ravens as much as I enjoy making them for you,,, Here is a short Vid of some of the process,,,