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The Hunchback Santa #256

A Tina Toney Design

Getting Started

Copy the pattern onto onionskin/tracing paper and transfer to the cutout using graphite paper beneath. Carbon paper will smudge and make a general mess if used. You will notice dotted lines within the pattern and these will be the main stop cut lines as you begin your carving. The final details, such as the thumbs, mittens, hair and a beard details are carved later (when itís much easier incidentally).Draw the nose, cheeks, mustache, beard, etc. on the piece as indicated on pattern page.


I prefer to use a V- tool to make the majority of all stop cuts as I carve. If you havenít tried this approach, please use this method if at all possible. There is good reason for this practice. As you become more familiar with using the V- tool stop cut, the overall quality of your work will immediately improve. Using the V- tool stop cut gives you greater control over the depth of the stop cut. Remove the wood adjacent to the stop cut only to the depth of the V-ditch. Use the V-tool to deepen the stop cut ditch again and carve away adjacent wood progressing in this manner until the desired depth is attained. There are places where you will need to use a bench knife to score a stop cut and experience will dictate when itís necessary.

Let's begin by using the V- tool to stop cut around the arms using the dotted lines from the pattern as your guide across the bottom of the cuffs and hands. The mittens will be sized and carved later. Continue using the v tool to stop cut around the toy bag, shoe, around the hair, beard, fur trim on the bottom of the coat and around the fur trim of the hat. Do not stop cut around the sleeves fur trim at this time.

Using a 3/8" sweep (a not quite straight across chisel) remove enough wood above the hatís fur trim to allow it to protrude further than the hat. Round the hat, bag and all corners of hat fur trim. Remove wood across the left shoulder to allow the bag to protrude and then round over the left side of the back up to the bag. Study the drawings for a better understanding. Proceed to carve just enough wood between the bag and back of right arm to allow those to protrude. Now remove wood below and behind both arms and forward of the left arm between it and the beard. Round off the coat bottom fur trim and shape the shoe.

Use the V- tool across the eye area, note on pattern. Be sure to have a slight arch here to keep your Santa from taking on a mean appearance. Stop cut using a larger U gouge straight into the wood at the bottom of the nose and deeper at the outside edges. Remember you may rock the chisel back and forth to deepen this stop cut but never twist the tool as it may break off the corners of the chisel. Using the same U gouge below the nose a smidgen, remove just enough wood up to the bottom of the nose to begin the mustache shape. Use the V- tool to stop cut across the top of the mustache up to the nose corners. Start this cut from the lower portion of the cheek working towards the nose and do both sides. Go around the cheek and up to the hat fur starting from the lower portion of the cheek and do both sides. Lightly draw in the nose centerline. Place two pencil dots for the inside corners of the eyes. Using the v tool, stop cut from the outside corners of the nose up to the inside corners of the eyes.

For the nose to protrude, you must now remove a good portion of the cheeks from the stop cuts at the mustache up to the eye ditch. Remember at this point, the cheeks need to be a rounded shape instead of totally flattened. Progress from one side then the other working in this manner overall until the desired depth is attained. Check your progress often by viewing from the profile. Round the cheeks just below the outside corners of the eyes. Slightly round the forehead. Draw the tops of the eyebrows. Laying the v tool on its side so that the only wood youíll remove is that above the eyebrow, start at the outside corners of the eyebrows and proceed to the top of the eyebrow arch. Begin at the top inside corner of the eyebrows and carve up to the arch so that the wood above the eyebrow is being removed. Using the u gouge, remove a shallow ditch between the brows. Okay, smooth out forehead above brows.

Remove the sharp corners of the mustache and v stop cut around the mustache bottom and make a v ditch to slightly separate it beneath the nose. Start shaping the mustache and beard. Using the skew, remove wood at the temples to allow the hair to protrude. Your piece has been roughed out and is now ready to proceed to the finish carving. Look the Santa over, checking for corners that need to be rounded off a little more. Now is the time to remember that we are carving this piece for fun and that we neednít get hung up on striving for exactness. This is folk style carving and we can do anything we want. If you want a more squared look to your Santa, then so be it.

Finish Carving

Draw the top eyelids of equal size with a slight arch shape. Remember, this all takes place below the eyebrows. Do not round off the sharp bottom edge of the eyebrow. If you have a fairly small, tight u gouge, you will use it for the eye area. If not, skip the following instruction and proceed to the next paragraph. Beginning at the inside eye corners, holding it so as to scoop slightly down beside the nose, then more shallow across the eye area. Repeat for the other eye. Compare depth of the eye area one to the other. When they are equal, draw the bottom eyelid and using a very small V- tool, ditch across this line. Remove the corners and you should have a nice area in which to paint the eyes later.

You may use the V- tool if you do not have the small u gouge as mentioned above. Both of the movements using the v tool begin at the top of the arch of the eyelid line. Starting there, v tool to the inside corner of the eye. Beginning at the top of the eyelid arch line, v tool to the outside corner of the eye. At this point, carve a flat area for the eye below and up to this lid line. Once each area is equal in size and depth, slightly soften the outside of the cheek up to and stopping at the bottom outside of the eyebrow arch. You may paint the eye details within this flat area very nicely.

Draw the major flow lines of the beard. Donít worry about following the pattern exactly, use your imagination. Now you may remove the wood behind the dotted lines using a V- tool to shape up the beards edges. The beards flow lines are set in, detail using a small u tool. It helps to lightly draw the flow of the hair beforehand.

Check the drawing to make certain that the mittens are of equal size. Using a V- tool laid on itís side so that only the wood on the mitten is removed, stop cut across the bottom of the sleeves fur trim. Repeat across the top of the trim so that the only wood removed is that on the sleeve. Stop cut around the mitten top and bottom with the V- tool. Stop cut from sleeve trim corners to the mitten. Remove wood above and below mitten on the coat. Across the top of the thumb, where the t is crossed, stop cut straight in using a bench knife. Beginning halfway on the thumb line, stop cut using V- tool up to the crossed "T". Stop cut from the halfway point down and around the mitten to the coat. A nice clean thumb line, simple and easy to achieve.

At this time, if you havenít removed all of the original sanded surfaces and saw cut lines, do so using a sweep or bench knife. Draw the fold lines of the clothing at the insides of the elbows and stop cut with a V- tool. That completed, draw the coat and hats drape line ditches and using a larger u gouge to set in. Use a u gouge to detail the fur trims. When carving is complete seal the piece with Designs From The Heart Wood Sealer if it is basswood and use Jo Sonjaís Tannin Blocking Sealer for all Pines.


Face: Medium Flesh shaded with Caucasian Flesh with Tomato Spice as cheek color.

Beard: Off White

Fur Trim: Ivory

Bag: Soldier Blue, stars stenciled with white

Coat: Sweetheart Blush shaded with Black

Mittens: Charcoal

Shoe: Black


To antique the beard, mix Black with water and Jo Sonjaís Flow Medium to a dark wash consistency. Apply to the beard then set the piece down and allow it to dry without assistance. The mixture will pool leaving a spotted effect when dry.

Seal the carving with several light mistings of Krylon Acrylic Varnish #1311. A light coat of Jo Sonjaís Matte Finish Varnish may be applied then I used Trewax Floor Paste Wax in Indian Sand applied with a clean soft toothbrush to the face and whites, immediately following with the clear Trewax pulling off the color until desired effect was achieved. You may work back and forth with the wax like this but once you allow it to dry, it must not set over 3 minutes before you buff it to a patina. If allowed to dry too long, it turns white and lodges in the cracks where it is very nearly impossible to remove. Apply a second clear coat of wax, let it set 3 minutes and buff to a final shine.

I hope you ENJOY!

For a complete catalog of Tina Toney Designs please send a legal size, SASE to: Country Carvers, PO Box 303, Cathlamet WA 98612

The Pattern...