In Techniques

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Rounding the Tree

Part 1: IntroductionPart 2: Push and Peel Knife ManeuversPart 3: Parting and Pulling Techniques • Part 5: Sculpting the BranchesPart 6: Attach to The Base

In our previous installment, we dived into the part and pull technique to shape the main facets of the trunk (F & E, below). While the part and peel technique can also be employed here, I find them more effective after establishing a sufficient stop-step, which is best accomplished using the part and pull.

Now, let’s transition to the next phase: rounding the tree. This step involves a blend of the push and peel techniques. Hold the tree blank in your hand and begin shaving down the right-angle corners of the spearhead. Continue this process until each corner is sufficiently rounded, giving the tree a more natural look and feel.

If you still have to work on the secondary facets of the trunk (G, H), you can incorporate a combination of the Part and Pull, as well as the Part and Peel techniques, as demonstrated in the accompanying images. Once these facets are refined, proceed to round over the trunk in a similar fashion.

Take note of my thumb placement, with one thumb resting on top of the other. This technique offers enhanced control over the peel cut in certain configurations. 

Now, let’s focus on crafting the root base of the trunk. Utilize the tip of your knife to create natural “V” shape notches at the base, simulating the roots branching out from the trunk.

In our next installment, we’ll delve into the intricate art of crafting tree branches. Stay tuned for more whittling wisdom!

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