Sunday, March 6, 2016

Gryphon-Headed Handrail


I carved this gryphon-headed handrail for my studio stairs. It's made out of poplar and finished with stain and tung oil.



It appears in the opening shot of the video "Tyrannosaurs: Behind the Art."

10 comments:

HNK said...

This one looks amazing. Did you design it yourself? (Sometimes I am embarassed that my comments are too small, so forgive me)

HNK said...

Oops, I am sorry again, I did a mistake in a word "embarrassed"...

Roberto said...

Is that a gryphon? ...or is it Bix? -RQ

Gayle said...

The other day, I was looking up the word: "Omnificent" (creating all things; having unlimited powers of creation). When I read today's post, I concluded that you are definitely worthy of that adjective! The diversity of your talents and interests is amazing. I (and I'm sure all your subscribers) feel so privileged that you all that you are sharing with us -- so motivating, interesting, enlightening and entertaining. Thank you.

jytte said...

i agree with gayle :o)
Jytte

David J Teter said...

Excellent James!
I gotta know it this one long piece of wood for the rail? If so then since the head is larger than the rail then you would have had to cut down th rest of the rail. Also, how long is it and is the other end carved too?

James Gurney said...

Roberto, I wasn't sure if this creature had a name. Kind of a gryphon with long floppy ears.

Thanks, Gayle and Jytte, I wish that were so about me. So much that I can't do, but I'm learning (my wife is teaching me how to use a sewing machine, and I'm a somewhat dull study). I do have a wonderful and diverse group of people reading the blog!

HNK, yes, I designed him. I've got the drawing somewhere. There's a lion on the other end. gryphon end was originally on the bottom, but when we moved houses, we wanted to take the railing with us, and it would only fit on the right side of the stairs -- but it was only carved on the left, which meant flipping it end for end.

David, Yes, it's one long continuous piece of poplar. I didn't want the shapes to be only subtracted, so I worked with a carpenter to make the blank. He started with a piece of straight grained wood, and glued side pieces on the ends to widen it, and then he milled it down in the middle section of the straight run. Then I carved it with hand tools==gouges and chisels.

Tom Hart said...

James, would you mind saying a little bit about your carving experience? Is it something you have done much of? (This looks accomplished indeed.) I would like to give it a go at some point, and I wonder if there's a quick and *relatively* easy introduction to wood carving. Like the other posters here, I'm continually encouraged and inspired by your seemingly inexhaustible curiosity and talent.

James Gurney said...

Tom, I love carving wood—don't get to do it as much as I like to. I find it to be immensely satisfying. This one was a little tricky because poplar tends to be splitty. I've found soft, clear pine to be a good introduction. But I bet there's a wood carving club near you who can give you good advice. This piece probably resulted from my admiration of some oak gargoyle carvings in old churches and cathedrals. I did several drawings first to think through the form. I was conscious of going deep in the undercuts, as I think the tendency is to just scribe lines in the surface.

bernicky said...
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