First days on the Purchase Campus and the carving of a missing head part 1

In September I arrived to Purchase College to spend the semester as an Artist in Residence in applied design. I mentioned this in one of my previous blog posts and commended the woodworking program here. My first project was a reconstruction of a head that gone missing… yes exactly like this! A head that I never saw, but only heard of. The missing-head sculpture is part of an impressive collection of ethnographic artifacts which belongs to the grandfather of a close friend. At some point, while the family was moving form one house to another the impressive Masai worrier was decapitated. Oliver, the owner of this piece, kept the head but at one point it got lost. So when I took the sculpture body to set up a plan to carve a new head, I could only relay on some research and much interpretation of what this head looked or could look like. Oliver gave me free hand to execute an artistic freedom and interpret what I think should be the form and aesthetics of the new head. I loosely base the new head on pictures of Kanyan warriors and Israeli warriors of Ethiopian descent.



I first drew several sketches/alternatives of the head's front and side view. Then I transferred the sketches onto a piece of basswood that I found. The shape of the basswood determined the actual propositions of the head; it was rather long and narrow. I band-sawed the side profile, then I turn the head 90 degrees and sawed the front.




I thought that since I based part of the design on portraits of Israeli warriors of Ethiopian descent… and Ethiopia was so influential on the Rastafarian movement and Bob Marley in particular, I will end this entry with a Marley song – Buffalo soldier…

.. Just click and listen… 




Next time I will continue to show the evolution of the head.


American Woodworker Blog
Yoav Liberman

About Yoav Liberman

Yoav S. Liberman is a woodworker and a teacher. His pieces have been featured in several woodworking books, most recently in Robin Wood’s CORES Recycled. Yoav teaches woodworking at the Rudolf Steiner School in Manhattan, and also frequently guest teaches in craft schools across the country.  Between 2003 and 2011 Yoav  headed the woodworking program at Harvard University's Eliot House. Yoav’s articles have appeared in American Woodworker and Woodwork Magazine. He frequently contributes woodworking web content to a number of digital publications   Yoav has a degree in architecture and later held two competitive residency programs: at The Worcester Center for Crafts in Massachusetts, and the Windgate Foundation Fellowship at Purchase College, New York. He lives in Chestnut Ridge NY.