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Tiny Wooden Aragorn

Here's a tiny wooden Aragorn I have made for lindahoyland.  He's not quite three inches tall.   I was terribly keen to carve him once I had the idea, because I thought Aragorn in his Ranger's outfit would work well in the style of a Lewis Chessman.  He's come out a little less cartoonish than they are, but I am pleased with him.  For one thing, he stands up!  I find that quite hard to achieve: this is why many of my carvings are designed to hang up rather than stand up.

I agonised over which wood to use.  I had almost settled on oak, for its durability, and I even cut a piece of oak for the job, but I kept looking at it and it was *just wrong*.  So I went out and wandered around looking at trees, and realised that actually, I have the perfect tree for an Aragorn figure in the front hedge: Rowan.

 It's not a long-lived tree, as trees go: it lives perhaps two hundred years - but it pops up in unexpected places from seed.  It has white blossom like the White Tree of Gondor, the fruit has been used to flavour beer, it's a tree that hybridizes easily.   It is sometimes called the Wayfarer's Tree, or the Traveller's Tree.   And of course it is well known to have strong powers to ward off evil.

It carves quite well too, although I think the room was a little too warm: he has just a very small split starting in the base.  I've waxed it, and I'm fairly sure that left to season in a bag in a cold room for a few weeks, the split won't run any further.  But I won't risk posting him until he's seasoned a bit more.

Of course, the camera has picked out every tiny imperfection...

You can just see his sword is a little curved in this last photo, but that's what you get carving from smaller pieces of wood.  I cut a side-branch, because I didn't want to go cutting down flowering trees in the springtime.


( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
23rd Feb, 2016 20:09 (UTC)
Kudos :-)
24th Feb, 2016 08:39 (UTC)
Oh don't you start :-p
23rd Feb, 2016 20:28 (UTC)
That is stunning! You are so gifted. Thank you for going to all this trouble in creating something so beautiful for me.
23rd Feb, 2016 21:27 (UTC)
I'm so pleased you like him! I was really pleased you asked for a carving.

Will PM for an address to post to as soon as I'm sure he's not at risk of splitting!
23rd Feb, 2016 20:30 (UTC)
He's gorgeous!
24th Feb, 2016 08:45 (UTC)
Thank you!
23rd Feb, 2016 20:59 (UTC)
Awesome. How long did take you to carve it?
23rd Feb, 2016 21:18 (UTC)
Probably about five hours: comparable to a painting, much faster than a story: but I can do it at the same time as watching TV or listening to music. Would be longer if I'd sketched it in advance, but I am lazy and tend to only plan in my head.
(no subject) - topum - 23rd Feb, 2016 21:38 (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bunn - 24th Feb, 2016 08:42 (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - topum - 24th Feb, 2016 11:59 (UTC) - Expand
23rd Feb, 2016 20:59 (UTC)
That's wonderful - thank you for sharing it with us.
24th Feb, 2016 08:52 (UTC)
I did try for a likeness to Movie!Aragorn, but soon concluded that carving that scruffy beard was a recipe for madness...
23rd Feb, 2016 21:31 (UTC)
A lovely piece.
24th Feb, 2016 08:52 (UTC)
23rd Feb, 2016 22:36 (UTC)
Beautifully done!
24th Feb, 2016 08:52 (UTC)
23rd Feb, 2016 23:23 (UTC)
Oh, that is so cool! I love his resemblance to the Lewis Chessmen.
24th Feb, 2016 08:54 (UTC)
Whoever made those knew his stuff. The style is easy to render with a chisel and has no foolish sticking out bits that would so easily get knocked off!
24th Feb, 2016 04:02 (UTC)
I am very impressed.
24th Feb, 2016 08:54 (UTC)
Thank you!
24th Feb, 2016 05:40 (UTC)
That is awesome!

Rowan sounds like the perfect tree to use for this. I'm also recalling Bregalad's "o rowan fair" song--it's been a while since I've revisited LotR, but I get the feeling there was something in the denouement about Aragorn being on good terms with the ents or having some decent policy in relation to Fangorn Forest, or something...
24th Feb, 2016 08:39 (UTC)
It made me think of Bregalad, too.

Here's what Aragorn says to Treebeard in the denouement (among other things): I will give to Ents all this valley to do with as they will, as long as they keep a watch upon Orthanc and see that none enter it without my leave.
(no subject) - bunn - 24th Feb, 2016 09:29 (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hhimring - 25th Feb, 2016 04:38 (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bunn - 24th Feb, 2016 08:56 (UTC) - Expand
24th Feb, 2016 07:01 (UTC)
I think he is adorable!
24th Feb, 2016 09:17 (UTC)
I'm very happy with him!
24th Feb, 2016 08:40 (UTC)
I really like it.
24th Feb, 2016 09:17 (UTC)
Thank you!
24th Feb, 2016 08:57 (UTC)
That's really lovely. I wish I could carve. Not that I've tried, but my Mum spent most of my childhood saying, "Oh, I WISH I could do wood carving. Eventually she went to a only to be surrounded by big bumptious men who talked loudly about Power Tools I Have Known. She managed to carve one little mouse, before retreating, saying that it wasn't for her. So I've always felt rather afraid to try.
24th Feb, 2016 09:09 (UTC)
Oh, that's such a pity! They aren't all like that. My experience of woodcarving classes was great : the tutor was a man who considered himself the inheritor of a ship's figurehead tradition, a real craftsman, and very encouraging, with very high standards for both planning and safety (I sadly neglect these, but at least I know what I should really be doing so I can more easily ignore it :-D) . He'd bring in what he was working on each week for us to see and his work was superb.

The class was at least half women. ISTR you made three standard demonstration pieces, starting off with the class chisels then he encouraged you to buy your own (which were much better, the class chisels were pants and existed only to make the point that One Does Not Ever Carve With Steel From B&Q). Then after that you started to plan your own pieces.

I used to carve as a kid with knives, my father being of the persuasion that the best gift for a seven-year old was weapons (I'm not sure what the theory is here. Maybe that if you are raising a murderer, best to find out early?) but chisels are much more precise, powerful and easier on the thumbs. And if you do want to murder someone I'm sure they would do the job just as well. :-D
25th Feb, 2016 12:48 (UTC)
That is so darling. He looks so serene and resolute. (I don't know if the canonical character is, but he looks it here.) The hair is lovely too.
8th Mar, 2016 21:56 (UTC)
He is fab! I love your carving. Well, I love all your creative stuff, but I feel that carving is particularly *you*, if that makes sense.
9th Mar, 2016 08:32 (UTC)
It's odd, because I don't really do that much carving. It's so messy (chips everywhere!) and hard on the hands. And you end up with all these odd little purposeless objects. But I do like working with natural green wood.
( 35 comments — Leave a comment )

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