I attempt to not just carve high detail but to give the sculpture a life of its own. It needs to say something, speak to you or bring out a memory.
The first piece was a commission to carve 'Nona's' hands. I chose cherry wood for this carving because of its ability to hold extreme detail and this wood has an internal glow that makes it alive.
Here I worked from photographs and never met 'Nona', she was very old and fragile.
The next piece is of a Cape Buffalo. Done in walnut burl the grain was tight and smooth enough to render good detail and the natural color fit the piece to a tee.
The next up is of a Western Green Toad. It is life size and was carved in Imbuya wood.This wood is a fine grain, dense wood with a spicy smell when worked.
As things would have it There weren't enough photos of a toad available and for the life of me I couldn't fine a live toad for a model so it was done almost entirely from memory. I recalled holding them as a child and remembered the feel, size, weight and even the smell of them. It was a trip down memory lane the whole time I carved it.
I don't use files or sand paper on my carvings, I find a sharp tool produced a better finish and helps bring out the life inside the wood.