In blog post Carousel Wally a No-Go I ended with the thought that I'd pick back up carving Wally when the warm weather returned, and this time it would be a smaller and more manageable project. I had a wooden box in my basement that I thought would be a perfect toy box or a entryway seat with storage.
With my carving mentor, Steve Arment, on board I did some sketches then a full-scale pattern that Steve cut out on his band saw. There were two layers to be carved separately – the backdrop part with Wally and a layer of waves in front of Wally.
Working from my garage, I started with the waves. I enjoyed the warm weather and parade of deer, dogs, cats and chickens that wandered by.
With the waves pretty much done my wrists were pretty much done too. Steve suggested using a router to remove most of the background of the backdrop.
With both layers close to being done, I glued them together. I decided to use a glass eye so built the eye socket with wood epoxy. I also used wood epoxy for the teeth, stars, and a few places I accidentally hacked off.
After the detail work and patching was done, I primed the whole piece. It was at this point that I wasn't happy with how it combined with the box (unfortunately I had already started cutting up the box to transform it). And once I started painting, I couldn't help thinking of a headboard. I measured a twin bed and, as luck would have it, the piece fit perfect! I'm slightly worried that it might be too scary for little kids to sleep under – I may have designed the face different had I known. But kids love scary dinosaurs, right?
I placed the headboard on a day bed for reference. I still need to attach it to posts and make or buy a simple mattress frame.