Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Angel Ornament

Now that Christmas has come and gone, I can post photos of this year's ornament. Every year I carve an ornament for some family members, and since some of them follow my blog I didn't want to spoil the surprise. The angels are carved from butternut. I sealed some with lacquer and the remaining I applied danish oil. I'm not sure I like how dark the oil made the wood, this was the first time I used it. The relatives all liked them, so I guess that's what matters. I carved a total of ten this year, and it was a nice change from the santa or elf ornaments.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Santa Feeding the Birds

Each year I carve a Santa for my mother and the wife's father. This year's are from a Ross Oar pattern. The are designed to sit on a shelf. Should look good on the fireplace mantle. They are carved from basswood, and are 7" tall. The cardinal was carved separate and connected with a steel pin and epoxy.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Well, I guess it was just a matter of time before I carved him. Here he is, Olaf from the movie Frozen. He is a Christmas present for  my wife. His body is carved from basswood, the arms and hair are walnut. Painted with acrylics and sealed with a poly matte varnish, he measures 9" tall including the base. This one was a lot of fun to carve.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Totem Pole Carving

I recently helped carve another totem pole for the Boy Scouts at Camp Naish Boy Scout Reservation in Bonner Springs, Kansas. The first day was in September, the weather was nice and we carved outside. We started on the nine feet long red oak log by debarking and laying out the design. Then Paul roughed in with a chainsaw, and we started in with mallet and chisels.

Day two was in November, we were able to move the log into the maintenance building and work inside. I worked on the chief's face, I think it turned out pretty good. Still needs some detail work before paint. I also took some photos of a few of the totem poles around camp.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

I think I've seen the movie 'Frozen' too many times. But, I did like Olaf. I'll have to carve him soon. In the meantime, I've been busy carving these little guys. I don't use a pattern, just start with a 1 5/8" x 1 5/8" block 4" long and lay out the nose on a corner. Round the rest of the block, tapering the top to a smaller diameter. Use a v-tool to outline the scarf, hat and coat. Carve the areas down to the stop cuts. Add texture to the hat and scarf. I use a wood burner to darken the mouth after painted.

Portrait Drawing

I started a portrait drawing class with a new instructor. The first one, a self portrait, was drawn while looking in a mirror. The second is from a photo of  my great-niece.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Clay Sculpting Class Update

This is my first attempt at clay sculpting. I took a class back in July, and finally got around to completing him. It is an oil based clay, so it will not harden. It measures 2 3/4" wide and 5 3/4" tall. I plan on using it as a "go by" for a larger woodcarving.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Well this one has been a long time on my carving bench, but I finally finished him today. If you've been following along you know I started on him June 3. Summer is not a good time for me to carve since I am usually doing yard work or in the vegetable garden. I still try to carve everyday, but I don't seem to get a lot done. You'll notice I refined his facial features from the last post. I sprayed several coats of Deft lacquer, rubbing the carving with a paper sack between coats. Then sprayed a light coat of Krylon Matte to knock down the shine. I then applied a mixture of 3/4 Watco Natural and 1/4 Watco Dark wax to the carving and allowed that to dry and then buffed with a brush. This is a different finish than I have been using, but I like the way he turned out. I think his expression screams out defiant, hence his name.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Primitive Bird Relief

A commissioned piece I just completed. I usually don't do relief carvings, but this was requested by my drawing instructor. She is also a great painter, so I suggested a barter. A carving for one of her paintings. I delivered this to her yesterday, and she loved it. I will post the painting when I receive it. The bird was a design she found in an old church being demolished. The corner trim on the door frames are usually rosettes, this one had birds. She tried to purchase one, but all the wood was sold. She was allowed to make a mold, and from that a plaster casting. I worked from the casting and her drawing with a few minor changes. The wood is butternut approximately 9 3/4" x 9 3/4" and 7/8" thick. Sealed with several light coats Deft lacquer and a coat of Howard's Feed 'N' Wax.