So I got a saw and cut off the stump end and then a round. And out of curiosity I started to sand it. 100-120-180-220-300-400-600-1200 and 1500 grits and about an hour or two later, I had a glass-smooth round of wood about 4" in diameter. The fact that it would polish to such a smooth finish suggested it might engrave well and so I went through a few sketchbooks and pulled out an idea I'd been thinking about since last year. I transferred the drawing to the block and started cutting.
This wood proved to be not suited to engraving after all and in my hands the end result is crude and rough. The wood cut cleanly enough for simple lines but clearing or re-cutting tore and shredded the wood and real detail was impossible so I'm glad I purposely chose a simple, childlike image to engrave.
My mask-like face turned into a puppet as I was carving and last-year's doodle became unexpectedly topical with the election circus going on in the news and the no-longer-hidden way that big business, oil and the pharmaceutical and agribusiness giants (and now the Russian government) seem to be controlling the people we elect to represent and protect the people. I added the sets of eyes the background and the "King Puppet" became "The Puppet King".
|"The Puppet King", wood engraving.|