Grey Falcon


Well-known member
I could put this in the Sculpture forum but I think better here. An early head study, from 1999. Grey Falcons are relatively rare inhabitants of the central deserts of Australia, including the Gibson desert. Since Gibson is also one of the best known guitar brands, that's the name of this piece. The beak is too stout for the species but I was otherwise pleased with it.

Palladium Leaf
English Plane (same Genus as American Sycamore) with typical quartersawn flecking
Shellac (French Polish)
Around 13" high

Gibson Full Promo.JPG



gibson profile 2.JPG
Last edited:
This is fantastic !

Thanks, pcj.

I actually did head studies as preliminaries for full carvings that alas never got done after I fell ill. Whether 2D or 3D, the most difficult part of a raptor portrayal is the head. All the studies I did were considerably larger than life-size. It's easier to work out problems at a larger scale. Setting the eyes level and symmetrical from all angles in 3D is a major challenge. One of the tricks carvers use is to look at the eyes in a mirror with the head upside down.

Eventually I figured well, why not turn these studies into actual pieces complete with texturing and paint? So I did, though after awhile it seemed too much like mounted taxidermy for comfort, and I moved on to gilding and semi-realism with minimal detail. I was only able to complete one piece like that, which is over in Sculpture somewhere. Best thing I ever did, and the only one that moved beyond purely decorative art into fine art territory.
That's very interesting . I know what you mean about getting the eyes symmetrical
in the round but I never thought of checking upside down in the mirror.
I'll try that !
I'm also interested in trying gilding. How did you do it?
I just had a look over in Sculpture.
Is it 'Belmont' The Imaginary Hummingbird that has the
gilding [on the gorget] - It is a lovely sculpture !
Huh... no, it isn't Belmont, but thanx for the compliment about her.

I could swear I'd already posted this, but I guess not.

Misha, 2005
12KT white and 23.75KT rosenoble gold leaf
Amber varnish
Macassar ebony
Cellulose nitrate lacquer
Around 13 1/2" high

This piece is spooky in the flesh. Very intense. It gave some people the creeps. Her eyes seem to follow you around. Just what I wanted--it was inspired in part by Egyptian funerary statuettes.

She is in essence a goshawk. Hence the title--Misha + gos = mishagoss, which is Yiddish for craziness. For which goshawks have a justified reputation. Everything I had to say about the true hawks, Genus Accipiter, I said in this piece.






If you want to know about gilding, Patricia, probably better in a private conversation. It'll take awhile. Let me know.

Thanks, Triduana!
F'ing STUNNING! Of course. Everything you touch is gold. These are no exception. Thanks for sharing them again. So proud to know you as my friend. ;) Your talent is out of this universe. ♥️ ♥️ ♥️ ♥️ 🎇
Thanks everyone.

Arty, I thought for sure I had posted pics of Misha in Sculpture, but couldn't find a thread about her. I also coulda sworn I posted pics of Laura the gilded otter there but can't find any either so I'll post some later in a new thread here.

Patricia, there must be good videos about gilding on YouTube, be easier than me trying to describe the process in words.

The type of gilding I did is called oil gilding and is a fairly simple procedure, but it does require some specialized equipment--gilder's cushion, gilder's tip and gilder's knife.

I used Monarch or Dauvet brand leaf and LeFranc & Bourgeois 3 hour gold size. NY Central, alas now gone, had these but now you have to get them elsewhere. Sepp Leaf Company in Manhattan or perhaps Talas, a book arts supplier in Brooklyn. Both sell online. Monarch is easier to find and that's what I would recommend for starters. There are many different shades available. I preferred Dauvet for 22KT red gold, but that can only be had from Sepp, and Monarch red gold is fine too.

Any questions about it after you've watched one of the vids I'll be happy to answer as best I can--they may not have anything about gilding grounds, for example.
who, is an amazing masterpiece,
Artyczar is right all your works are exceptional, incredible talent that brings every work to life, fantastic the otter, Laura and every piece.
Musket, I am always searching words for my old posts to see if I've posted stuff before, but I usually find them. Post again, even if you do find them. There are more new people here now. ;)
This is absolutely beautiful ! Thanks very much for posting it.

I'll check out YouTube for gilding videos !

Now I'm going to have a look at 'Laura. The Gilded Otter'

Your work is just incredible !

Simply marvelous !
Your works look like a quantum leap above anything else I've seen.
I also remember seeing at least one view of misha somewhere, and thought at first glance that it was a metal sculpture.
A great loss to all that you are unable to create these anymore.
Thanks everyone. I did try to be at least modestly original in my later work, and get away from strict realism.