Bertie too part 2

It’s time for stage 2 of the project to carve my own Bertie. This comes with the news that the real Bertie has just woken up and lives for another year.

Having completed the outline shape of his shell, which revealed the beautiful lace grain of the London Plane wood, the next part of the project was to carve the ‘scales’ in the shell.

Normally this would be a freehand process allowing artistic interpretation. However,  what I am doing is copying a real tortoise, so I had to start by studying all the photographs and copying out all the small nicks and curves from ‘real Bertie’ onto ‘wooden Bertie’.


This was then carved out using a simple ‘v’ chisel. As you can see from the first picture, whilst this gives the design, it is hardly realistic. The second picture is about 20 hours work later, where I have added depth to the scales both on their edges and through the undulations over their surfaces. The final picture has the additional texture from the layering in the scales.

All in all about 30 hours work and that doesn’t include the underside.

Come back soon for part 3, for Bertie’s head and face.