Carving Crafts by Eucalyptus Ike
Guys n' Dolls
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Fig. 1 Simple Doll
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Fig. 2 Dowel Peg
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Fig. 3 Gramps and Granny
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Fig. 5 The Dancer
Fig. 4  Ballerina and Impresario
Stick Figures:   Typically, when a tree is cut
down, most of the branches and small limbs are
either ground up or discarded.  But if you have
the opportunity to look carefully at the limbs and
branches, ignoring the leaves, you will discover
naturally formed shapes in the wood that can be
used for other purposes.  For example, the
Ballerina and Impresario both have leg sets which
required no carving whatsoever.  (Notice the cut
where the legs were joined to the torso in both
figures and the Impresario is missing his left
hand.)  Although the bark was removed, these
two leg shaped branches were formed by the tree
as it grew naturally. Notice the Ballerina’s legs in
particular: one foot is positioned slightly behind
the other and both legs appear poised and natural.
Fig. 6 The Impresario
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The entire trunk and legs of the dancer are from a single branch which required no carving whatsoever. The curvature in the legs is natural, but diagonal cuts were used at the elbow and wrist to achieve the curvature in
the arms. Figure 6 shows diagonal cuts at the Impresario's right elbow and at both shoulders where the arms are attached.  A tight fitting peg can be inserted at any of these locations to achieve limited motion in the arm
(you just glue the peg to one part only either above or below the cut.)  A simple procedure for carving the face is available at the basic carving page of this website. Of course, more can be done to finish off any of the
figures here.  Ears and hair can be added, and carving the hands is a simple matter.  Also no sanding has been done and no paint or stain has been added. Nevertheless, the basic ideas and techniques for creating the figures
should be relatively clear.  All you need is wood glue, wood scraps, a little quarter inch dowel, a quarter inch drill bit, some carefully selected limbs and branches (I use Eucalyptus, naturally), a carving knife, some
sandpaper, a hand saw, a pencil and ruler, and a little imagination.  Maybe I left a few things out, but what does it matter?  Anything else you need you will discover as you go along....  
Doll Figures:  Shown here are some doll figures
made from wood scraps and tree branch.  The
head, arms, legs, hands and feet may be joined
by glue alone, by dowel peg, or by peg (or nail)
and glue.  The doll to the immediate left was
formed from 12 pieces of wood glued together.  
Only the face, feet and hands were carved.  The
head is pegged and glued to the torso. Two dolls
carved in 2x4 pine (Fig. 3) both have shoes
pegged to the trouser legs and glued.  Notice
how the grain of the wood is incorporated into
the design.  As you can see, ‘Granny’ (14”
height) is wearing a house coat with pantaloons;
‘Gramps’ (18” height) has on a long sleeved shirt
with his hands tucked into his pants pockets.  
Figure 2 shows the ¼ dowel peg for the right
arm of a stick figure with movable arms. The
peg is glued into the arm but not into the torso.
The carved left hand is also visible where it is
pegged and glued at the wrist.  Eucalyptus
branch joined at elbow and shoulder with a peg
forms the arms and legs for the stick figures
below.  For these parts, no carving was
necessary.