Cherry 8 x 5.5", finished with oil and wax.
I was eager to try carving wood once again, though one of the slowest parts of my process seems to be deciding what to make. I just went with a generic human face as the default. The wood was scrap from a furniture maker friend, it had a few splits in it which made it seem like the perfect practice material. I've seen other carvings with splits, so I thought I'd just embrace the look. As the carving progressed the splits progressed, requiring multiple glue/clamping sessions, I eventually glued and screwed the wood to a backing board. At some point I found myself wanting some reference, and since I was the most convenient guinea pig I volunteered myself, and the carving started to take on more of my likeness. To my surprise, as I was shaping out the eye on the right, some dark pigmentation was revealed in the wood- perfectly lining up to suggest an iris and pupil! As I am still very early in the learning phase, I saw this as an opportunity to explore various levels of detail and finish, blending from raw rough cuts to a polished surface which reveals the grain in an almost holograph-like manner.
I'm having a lot of fun with this! I appreciate the "old world" nature of all that is involved with carving wood, I think it is a great foil to all the heavily digitized and virtual nature of life today. As someone who has worked predominantly in two-dimensions, learning to see and think in three has been very stimulating.