I told her that I would be happy to make her a new sign for her future horse. About half a year ago, she told me that she had bought herself a new horse.
I was excited, and also a bit scared, because some horses have incredible long names, and I would hate having to carve a name like "Vognmandsgårdens Marli" (An actual name of a pony that we once looked at).
Luckily my friend's new horse didn't have quite such a fancy name. Even though it isn't exactly short either.
Some breeds of horses have their own "symbol", and I have previously carved the symbol of Danish warm-blood horses, which is fairly straight forward: A crown and a wavy line below it.
Since her new horse is a mix of two different breeds, I opted for the logo of one of them: the logo of the PRE (Pura Raza Española) It is a horse seen in profile, and I think I'll be able to make it look OK.
I write the name I am going to carve in a Word document, and for my name previous carving projects I have used the font: Clarendon bold. But since it is not available on this computer, I have found another font that is OK for carving too: Mongolian Baiti size 160.
After printing out a document with the name, I tape it to the board I am going to carve. In this instance the board is made out of the longest step from the salvaged pilot ladder. This wood is rather soft, so it should be fine for my type of carving.
I measure the distance from the top and bottom of the letters to the edges of the board to make sure they are in the middle.
The next step is to take a hobby knife with a new blade. If it is of the break of type, I break of one piece of the blade to have a fresh edge.
Using a light cut, the letters are carved out of the paper. The trick is to use just enough pressure to leave a very fine line in the surface of the wood. Sometimes the letters are very close to each others, on this sign the lower part of the I and the X are almost touching. In that case I just move the line a bit so there will be a small space between the individual letters.
Once that is done, I remove the remains of the paper.
I start by cutting in the middle of the fat line on one of the letters. I try to hold the knife at an angle of approximately 60 degrees sideways.
Once I have obtained a small V shaped ditch, I gradually make it wider and deeper, taking care to maintain the centre of the V shaped ditch in the middle.
To get into the rhythm of carving again, I normally start on some of the easier letters. I.e. all the ones that are not round or curved. In this name the only difficult letter is the S.
I have decided to leave the horse profiles on for a little bit longer while I try to muster the courage to try carving them.
A good source of light will greatly aid the work.
The sign with taped on templates.
Carving out the letters of the templates.
Hard to see, but there are faint lines of the letters.
The approximate side angle while carving.
The first steps of carving.