Female Torso

  • Advertise with us
Project by DocT posted 04-21-2009 07:06 AM 4184 views 8 times favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was inspired by a torso carving in a book by Dick Onias. I took certain liberties, but the pose is very similar. I like the subtle twist at the waist and the effect that lifting the left arm has on the chest.

I made it out of a chunk of Bradford Pear that broke out of our tree. I hate Bradford Pears, but now I look at them differently…where is the chainsaw?!!

I ebonized the carving with vinegar/steel wool and finished with sprayed lacquer.


28 comments so far

View glidergider's profile


8 posts in 3760 days

#1 posted 04-21-2009 07:10 AM

Very nice. Amazing work.

-- Huntville, Alabama

View Bureaucrat's profile


18341 posts in 4072 days

#2 posted 04-21-2009 07:15 AM

A very pleasing form. I had heard of using vinegar and steel wool for staining but had no idea it could look that nice. I am going to have to try that out.

-- Gary D.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18600 posts in 4096 days

#3 posted 04-21-2009 08:27 AM

Nice carving. Looks like the ebonizing worked very well on pear. what’s wrong with Bradford Pears?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View firecaster's profile


574 posts in 3838 days

#4 posted 04-21-2009 01:00 PM

That looks great. Amazing detail. It looks ike you can see back muscles.

-- Father of two sons. Both Eagle Scouts.

View Spoontaneous's profile


1337 posts in 3750 days

#5 posted 04-21-2009 01:29 PM

This is very dynamic looking, a combination of the form and color. I totally agree with you in regards to the Bradford Pears, they get about the right size and then the first strong wind rips them in half because of the V-crotches. Like you said… Better on display than in the garden. Did you use a half round from the trunk? Great piece!

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2988 posts in 3857 days

#6 posted 04-21-2009 01:36 PM

So Beautiful. You’re right, the pose enhances your interest in the way you perceive it. I was wondering. There’s nothing to indicate scale. What is the size of it?

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 4187 days

#7 posted 04-21-2009 01:46 PM


-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View snowdog's profile


1166 posts in 4402 days

#8 posted 04-21-2009 01:53 PM

Very nice, you can almost tell the scale by the wrinkles in the fabric used for background.

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2787 posts in 4012 days

#9 posted 04-21-2009 02:57 PM

Great Job, Beautiful!!!

-- Dennis Zongker

View rodb's profile


170 posts in 3822 days

#10 posted 04-21-2009 03:01 PM

Very nice work here.
Great finish, I must try that.
Thanks for sharing this.

-- R

View Jimthecarver's profile


1124 posts in 4205 days

#11 posted 04-21-2009 03:20 PM

Good job, was the pear wood hard to carve?
thanks for the post

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View Randy Sharp's profile

Randy Sharp

363 posts in 4092 days

#12 posted 04-21-2009 03:36 PM

Bradford Pears are quite common in our area. They are easily blown and broken in storms. I’ve often wondered about how well the wood would work in a project.

This is a quality work of art.

-- Randy, Tupelo, MS ~ A man who honors his wife will have children who honor their father.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4545 days

#13 posted 04-21-2009 03:48 PM

Wow! On the next one you do, any chance you could post a series of the work in progress? I’d love to see the sorts of techniques you’re using to get there!

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View mmh's profile


3677 posts in 4142 days

#14 posted 04-21-2009 03:50 PM

Nicely done. It’s hard to go wrong with a carving of a nude and you’ve done the wood justice. The Bradford Pear is pretty when it’s in bloom and has a symmetrical shape that municiple landscapers love. Now there’s a nice use for a former pear tree!

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View DocT's profile


109 posts in 3858 days

#15 posted 04-21-2009 04:50 PM

Thanks for all the kind comments!

Daniel- It would be fun to make everyone guess at the scale….but I won’t (it is about six inches tall).

Jimthecarver- The pear was pretty easy to carve initially. I didn’t run my moisture meter on it, but it was mid-green (had seasoned in the firewood stack for about 9 mos.). Pardon the pun, but I fleshed out the carving with a rotary burr. Once I had the basic shape, I left it alone for a couple of days. When I started carving again it was like concrete! That has been my experience with Pear. When the surface “oxidizes” it is almost too hard to carve, but right under the surface it gets easy again. That’s probably why Pear is notorious for cracking and splitting.


showing 1 through 15 of 28 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics