Carved Clichés

Carvers went back to the drawing board to design these amusing carvings
By Mindy Kinsey

Let’s not beat around the bush. Clichés are common as dirt. When push comes to shove, it’s easier to use ready-made phrases than to create original descriptions for common experiences. When in Rome, you know. As good luck would have it, many of these expressions date back to Shakespeare, so their meanings are widely understood even if their origins have sometimes been lost in the mists of time. When taken literally, as these caricature carvers did, the colorful phrases can lead to gut-busting images. Although, when all is said and done, it’s easy to have too much of a good thing when it comes to clichés.

Do pigs fly at your house? Maybe you have an ace up your sleeve or a fox in the henhouse. We’d love to share your carved cliché. Send a high resolution photo, a brief description, and your contact information to: editors@woodcarvingillustrated.com or Carved Clichés, Woodcarving Illustrated, 1970 Broad St., East Petersburg, PA 17520. Need ideas? You’ll find a comprehensive list of clichés at www.clichelist.net.

 Vernon DePauw carved The Fat Lady Sings for his daughter, who is the administrator of an opera company. Vernon based his design on the character of Brunhilde from a Wagner opera, although it’s not definitively known what inspired the phrase, “It’s not over ’til the fat lady sings.” Theories include opera divas, a singer at the Grand Ol’ Opry, and even the game of billiards. See more of Vernon’s work at www.vldwoodcarver.com.
Mike Dize added a punny twist to his interpretation of a common phrase with his carving, I’ve Got My Eye on Ewe. Mike carved the sheep from basswood and balsa wood, and says he enjoyed the creative challenge. See more of his work at carolinahoosierwoodworking.com.
In his relief carving Which Came First, Vernon DePauw reimagined the classic question about eggs and chickens to include references to the road-crossing chicken as well as the tortoise and hare.

For more carving projects in a variety of genres, check out Quick & Cute Carving Projects

By Lori Dickie

Learn the basics of caricature carving with quick and easy first-time projects that use just blank basswood “eggs” and a few simple cuts. Includes clear carving and painting instructions, color photographs, step-by-step projects, and ready-to-use patterns.

Available for $15.99 plus S&H from www.FoxChapelPublishing.com.


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