I made this to go on my beehouse come spring, and it is based on an exhibit at a local museum. As the patron saint of beekeepers, St. Ambrose will probably not improve my beekeeping game, but at least it gave my lathe a chance to run off on me. Enjoy, and remember to be Inspired!
St. Ambrose Inspiration
Like I said in the video, the inspiration for this figurine came from a local museum. They had a similar (yet arguably way more sophisticated) version of it on display, as you can see here, too. In retrospect, there are a number of things that I could have done differently, although I think the basic shape turned out alright despite the terrible turning experience.
I should have added more details to the clothing after turning. Adding the open part of the cloak probably went a long way in improving the looks of St. Ambrose, but I should have included at least some folds in the fabric. I imagine those would not have been easy to make, at least not with the straight, cheap carving knives that I used.
I do not have a sharp one in my possession, but I imagine that a round spoon-carving knife would do the trick for those kinds of details. Other than that, using a rotary carving bit would have helped, but that was not the direction I wanted to go with this, even though I also worked with a powered lathe, so any argument for “old school” would fall flat anyway.
As far as the looks of St. Ambrose were concerned, I did do my best to keep it “old timey”, even though I have no clue whether those paints were actually being used in the region during that time. I got mine from MilkPaint.de, which seems to be a German reseller for what I believe to be the American “original”. It is fairly easy to get ready (mix it with water) and pleasant to apply. I have not used it in many projects as of today, but in my mind it is perfect for something that is supposed to look well-painted but not too perfect in the negative, modern, plastic coating sense.
Which did not prevent me from using lacquer to seal the whole thing since it will be exposed to the elements. And speaking of which, half a year later and hanging on the outside of my beehouse all this time, it is still doing fine color-wise.
Thanks for reading, and remember to be Inspired!