Tag Archives: basswood

Biggest Challenge Ahead

17 Apr

Last week, I took a big plunge and attempted my biggest piece ever! All these while, the biggest I have done are four-inch tall carvings, Halloween Owl, Dinky and the first giant Gnome, from ready sizes of the basswood.

Now this chunk is two pieces of Meranti glued together to become a towering 7.5 inch block. An ugly block to begin with but it’s not stopping me, even with the outline drawn and redrawn for a better proportion.

Within three days, I managed to complete the piece and the biggest Gnome ever in Gnomie-wood was ‘born’. It’s seven inches tall after sanding down and towers over the rest. It’s just simply adorable. Love it.



Gnomes Alert, Part 2

15 Mar

There are now seven Gnomes, all in different heights and sizes, unlike the Citizens of Gigglesville where everyone is about the same size and height. To call the hamlet, “Gnomie-wood” is getting more and more appealing at this point.

The Gnomes currently ‘live’ in a tupperware (whereas the Citizens of Gigglesville live in trays). And with all their hats painted red, one evening I mistook them for being watermelons from the corner of my eyes. Just because we had watermelons a day before. Even M2 thought they were watermelons! Hahaha…


Don’t they look like mouth-watering watermelons from this perspective?

Box of Happiness, Part 3

8 Mar

After the completion of the Giant Gnome, I began experimenting with the new Meranti wood. And I find its density to be in between the balsa and basswood that I have been working with all this time. It is rather nice and different.

The balsa, despite being too soft and porous, and sometimes comes off easily in chunks if I apply a little bit more strength, has its plus points I must say. After all there wouldn’t be 128 Citizens of Gigglesville, a handful of Superheroes, Gnomes and Monuments to show.

As for the basswood, it is rather hard and needs more effort to carve and shape. So far, I have only three finished pieces with this wood type: Halloween Owl, Dinky the Dinosaur and Giant Gnome.

Now the Meranti wood is something else. Soft yet not too soft, and hard but not so, it is rather easy to work with. Within one hot Sunday afternoon at home, I carved up two familiar characters but with slight variations. A Citizen perched on a tree and a Gnome with a super tall cap. The only thing with this wood is the depth. The width is fine but lacking depth, so the two finished pieces have rather flat heads. That’s why it’s an experiment.

Next project in the pipeline is glueing two Meranti pieces together to give it depth and let’s see how this will turn out! Another Gnome in the making before I plan what new species or character to come out with. With the workbench in place, I don’t mind a drop in my social life as I stay at home nightly to work on my carvings.

Another Towering Giant

5 Mar

It took me awhile to figure out what should I carve out of the four inch basswood block and finally I decided it should be a Gnome, a Giant Gnome. I felt that to do a Citizen, on this big scale, it would be a ‘waste’ as most of the wood would be shaved off to shape a Citizen.

Citizens generally are shorter, averaging about 26mm, compared to a Gnome that is about 50mm except for Gnome 2 who is 43mm. The Gnome’s height especially the cap is determined by how much balsa wood is left without wasting any of the wood upon carving.

If I had a 50mm piece left, it is better to carve a Gnome than to carve two 25mm Citizens because it’s just too short and hard to hold. So in essence, Gnomes came about because I did not want to waste my precious balsa wood.

This chunky short adorable fella definitely stands out from the other three Gnomes.

And Gnomes will also grow in numbers like the Citizens of Gigglesville. Maybe they should have their own hamlet. Gnomesville? Hmm…