How to Whittle Gnomes From Fallen Branches : a Tutorial
And now for something completely different , my first wood carving tutorial ever. I am sure some of you might be wondering why I would even attempt such a thing after my run in with a rotary cutter blogged about previously but I guess I like to live dangerously. This is actually something I made quite a while ago and was reminded about when I came across my daughter's whittling tools a few months ago while looking through some boxes. The gnomes or tomten are really easy to make and they are something your children could paint or draw the faces on. I wouldn't recommend giving them the wood and sharp knives and then going out for a few hours. An older child may be able to do this with CLOSE ADULT SUPERVISION and close proximity to a doctor or nurse who can do sutures. All kidding aside here is what you could make.
Materials: A branch about 1.5 to 2 cm in diameter cut into 2 to 3 cm long logs ( please use a fallen branch and don't remove it from a living tree), some carving knives or a sharp knife like a jack knife will work, paints, a pencil .
1. If your branch is not cut you need to saw it into small logs or have some one else do this part.
2. With your wood carving knife whittle one end until it comes to a point. This takes time so put on some good whittling music or whittle with company. It can be very relaxing seeing those little bits of wood shavings coming off your knife. Always whittle away from your self and never close to another person or pet.
3. Now score a line where you want your beard outline ( gnomes have beards !!!) and then whittle the surface above the score line to remove the bark from that area.
4. Now paint the hat of the gnome in a bright cheerful color that would make any gnome proud. I used watercolor paint but you could use whatever you have. You could even use a colored pencil or marker if that was all you had.
5. Draw a little face with pencil . Keep it simple . I make all my gnomes happy little guys. Add little rosy cheeks with paint or a red colored pencil.
That is how its done. I bet you will want to make your own little rainbow of gnomes to spread joy. Did you know that gnomes are idolized in iceland so much so that they build special gnome crossings in the roads in certain areas. So sweet!! I had just a little bit of fun after dinner this evening photographing this gang of seven before the sun set of this the first day of Autumn. Enjoy the pictures.