Carving across the grain
is now going better. I have remembered that the art is in making sure the design is all shallowly shelving cuts, not trying to force the chisel directly down. Also:
- make sure the chisel is very, very sharp.
- sort of pull it away as it moves sideways, so you get a slicing motion sideways as well as forewards
- keep an eye on the grain, and if the wood starts to tear even the least little bit, turn it round and slice at it the other way.
- don't use any force, work with the sharpness of the blade only.
Design was originally intended as a snowflake, but it appears there is no snowflake in this particular tree. It morphed in the direction of a star, and now seems to have turned into a sort of stylised angel. All seem like reasonable designs for a tree decoration, so that's all good.
I'm planning to use some of my Grandad's gold leaf to decorate it. The leaf has been sitting in a cupboard since approximately 1963 (or maybe earlier, I don't know!), but I think it probably keeps.