After a great deal of carving, rasping, and use of a surform, this is the result so far! The white wood of the beech is coming through, and the surface detail of the grain revealed. The knots and inner blemishes and flaws are also becoming part of the surface pattern. I'm trying to keep these on show, and not simply carve them out. I like the blemishes. It prevents the carving from being a smoothed surface of uniformity. Arthur did warn me that beech would crack, and this is indeed the case. Still, these too are part of the attraction of the wood's surface.