This Red Fox was sponsored by @Saburrtooth, who makes many of my carving bits and accessories that I use to achieve the detail I’m after in my sculptures. Over the years, I've developed my skills and style, and it's these tools that I reach for to get the job done. It is important to choose the right bit and tool combination to get the results you're after. I find that if you have a selection of profiles to choose from and you understand the bits capabilities, you're less likely to struggle to get a particular look. Although not always necessary, it's extremely helpful to have a number of tools already set up with your favorite or commonly used bit, so that you can quickly and efficiently move from one to another.
I tried a new profile that really surprised me… It's the "1/4 Shank Concave (Course Grit)”
made by Saburrtooth which I paired up with the Makita GD 0603 die grinder. There are a couple of things that I look for when using a tool, and comfort and ergonomics play a pretty large role as you have to manipulate these tools constantly in order to allow the “Bit” to work for you. The Concave profile was fantastic in carving the fur of this fox. It has what they called a "safety end", which has no teeth on the very top of the bit, allowing you to get nice sharp edges and gives you a little better control. I liked it so much, that I bought another Makita GD 0603 so that I can have it ready to use at a moments notice. It has definitely earned a spot on my "tool carriage”! Many other bits and carving wheels played their role as I worked out the character of this carved red fox. So... I want to send a big Thank You to @Saburrtooth for sponsoring this sculpture! The installation is not scheduled for a while, so I’m happy to enjoy it displayed prominently in my studio until then.
The sculpture was created as a gift for retired Marine General Ray Fox, who served our country for 37 years. Fox, originally an aviator, served on multiple assignments during Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom, as well as on deployments with the 11th, 13th and 15th Marine Expeditionary Units. He has served as a flight instructor with Marine Helicopter Training Squadron 301; led the Enlisted Counseling/Substandard Performance Section Enlisted Assignment Branch at Headquarters Marine Corps; worked in the Joint Requirements Division J-8 Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff; served as executive officer and commanding officer of Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron Yuma; and was the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing liaison officer to the Combined Air Operations Center, Qatar.
The sculpture was commissioned by fellow serviceman Admiral Chris Paul among other family members that wanted to purchase something special to commemorate his career and contributions. The General has a home near lake Coeur d' Alene, in northern Idaho where the sculpture will be installed. It’s really an honor to create sculptures that play a small role in helping to recognize a life well lived. I always find it interesting how we many of us closely identify with animals. When I initially talk with clients about a sculpture, they often already have a subject in mind. In the General's case, his last name brings great significance but the animal itself is also a very strong character. Foxes are extremely intuitive creatures, with a heighten sense of awareness and always ready to respond swiftly with little to no warning. I personally love Foxes, they are so expressive and I could carve a dozen or so and never run out of ways to capture all of their many expressions.