Carving Crafts by Eucalyptus Ike
Carving in Cork
The cork you take out of a bottle of wine can be crafted into a wide variety of small faces and figures for fun or profit.
Cork is a soft medium that is easily cut and shaped with sharp x-acto knives. It may also be lightly sanded in order to
smooth rough surfaces. Since it is easily worked, most cork figures can be completed in little time (from a few minutes
to half an hour) and the result is a distinctive miniature that is fun to make and requires little effort or expense to
produce.  Above are the cork figures for a checkers set.  A champaign cork (in front) has been used to represent the
pattern for the kings.  Plastic eyeballs with small black beads inside (available in numerous sizes in a crafts store) are
pasted into position beside the bridge of the nose after the basic shape of the face has been cut into the cork.  Quarter
size crosscuts of tree branch  (.25 cent sized pieces of Eucalyptus branch ) are then glued to the bottom of each to
supply weight and stability to the figures.
Minor differences in the shape of the cork, the angle of the mouth or nose and the size of the eyeball glued to the figure
allow for some variation in the figures produced.  Adding a hat or other detail increases the options for creating
distinctive figures.  Facial expressions such as smiling or frowning are easily achieved by changing the angle of the
mouth from corners up to corners down.
Full body figures carved in wine cork take a little more time and care to produce.  Two examples shown here will give
you the idea.  Notice, both are seated in miniature chairs(glued to them). This posture provides the support necessary
for the figure. Two tiny arms cut from tree branch have been added to the right side figure while the other figure has
arms as if under a mantle, resting upon the lap.  Notice the expressions on their faces and their body language reveal
details of  the mood of their conversation. Notice the tiny shoes that have been added to the figures. The chairs have
been glued to a sharp pointed base made of knotty pine with a large knot in it, and from this knot arises a branch at a
ninety degree angle to the base.  These details, of course, have all been designed as part of the sculpture. Nothing has
been left to chance.  Finally, above them and mounted on the branch looms a strange apparition, with one hollowed eye
inward looking and the other looking outward but only partially blocked in.  Surely this must be the point,  the knotty
Checkers Figures
Cork Men
Add a Hat
Man and His Gods