Staff Woodworking Competition – Be Quiet By Rocky Xu

Be Quiet

Created by Rocky Xu, Arbortech R&D Engineer


Novice woodworker? No 


Description of your wood art?

Last year I did a face but not an exact 3D one. This one goes further. I feel it is not as hard as I thought originally and get a sense of achievement as it is getting more clear. The process is the most important.


Where did you get your inspiration for your wood art piece?

I wanted to make something useful and at that time I was practicing living in the present. I decided to make something that would be a reminder of that. I thought of a lot of concepts but still thought this figure is the most applicable to me. This sculpture I carved is to remind me to be living in the present time and also reduce the noise in my mind.

The inspiration for my wood “Be Quiet” sculpture


 What Arbortech tool/s did you use to create this piece?


How long did it take for you to complete this project?
 I worked on the project for 15 minutes to 2 hours each time. In total it took about 20 hours for this piece.


What was your process in the creation of this project?


 1.  Choosing the material
I didn’t want the wood to be too big because too that would mean a lot of materials would need to be remove. It is hard to find something that is of a suitable suitable size but I ended up finding a long wood block and I cut a square piece from it. The good thing is the that the wood was hard but the bad thing was that it wasn’t a cubic shape.


2. Carving
Decide on the rough position of profile of the features and start caving from shallow to deep gradually. At the same time adjust the profile of the face and head gradually.  After comparing the picture and my wood, I shifted my focus to the area of lips, hair and shoulders. The positioning of the eyes and nose was a bit hard to balance. My fellow colleague, Boro, brought in a statue of a girl’s head (which he had sculpted himself) to show me the correct ratio of the features on the face. I learned the ration was 3:1.
When I was carving the area near the eyes, as I carved deeper, the natural pattern of the wood showed up. Because it is a kind of hard wood, the pattern shows one kind of transparent red, and the pattern is formed around features on the face naturally and looked fantastic.
I drew a rough profile on the wood and started taking the wood off gradually. As I went on I found that it is impossible to follow the template picture exactly and I gradually deviated from it and started to follow my own form my wood artwork.
On the face there is some areas which are narrow and hard to carve but in these places the Arbortech Power Chisel helped a lot.


I also spent a lot of effort on the hand because the gesture of the hands is the focus of the whole artwork. To make the gesture looking real and natural, I used my own hands as a template, followed the shape and the angle and I’m pretty happy with the results.


Where does this piece reside now?

The carving now currently sits on my desk at work. I spent relatively a lot of time on the hands of this wood carving and now every time I see it, I get much satisfaction from the artwork I have created because of the effort I put in it. The beauty of woodworking is (as Kevin Inkster says), “no matter how good your skill is, it is unique and a piece of original artwork.

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