re-using, recycling, and redeeming old wood

#54 Wood Carving: Father Christmas, Santa, holiday carvings

Father Christmas completed as promised.

A “gaggle” of carvings


As you can tell there are a passel of carvings completed here. To follow up on the story line you will need to go back to posts #21 and #25. In post #21 we introduced the process from blocks of wood to blanks to roughing out the shape.  The blocks of wood were remains of other carvings varying in size from 1.5 x 1.5 x 4 to 3 x 3 x 8.  Larger ones are in the works.

Short and wide

Tall and slender

Petit, inset face.

In post #25 we worked on details.  Hair, mustache, eyebrows and robe fur were added with various size gouges.  The eyes were set in place after a spot for them had been created.  The eyes are elongated deep chip cuts.  Also, one of the carvings has a coat of oil stain, a first attempt for me.  I did not use oil on the other carvings.

Each size with its own challenges


So, here we have the last step. I have painted the carvings with a wash of acrylic paints. I used Folk Art Bright Red, Pure White and Metal Gold. The red was diluted with water at a ratio of about 15 drops water to one drop paint. The white had much less water, just enough so that the paint would run into the cracks and not gob up or clump up.  The metal gold was painted on straight from the bottle. The final step was to dip each carving into boiled linseed oil which has a dab of burnt sienna oil pigment in it.

1.5 x 1.5 x 6.5 inches


I decided, after I had finished them of course, that a touch of green somewhere would have looked nice. Perhaps standing them on a green doily would make it work or surrounding them in a bunch of greens at Christmas time would give the color accent I am thinking of.

Two largest carvings at 3 x 3 x 8 inches

The pictures were taken outside in the sunshine – in December no less.  I used a Canon Digital Elph – PowerShot, SD 1200 IS.  I put up a card table and covered it with a white sheet.  The natural light really makes the shadows work well.  After loading the pictures on my computer I copied them into a new folder and then re-sized them for quick export into the blog or to friends on line.


They are cute.  Five of them have been given away already as Christmas presents.   If you have an interest in them, let me know.

The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge,
but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.  Proverbs 15:2


6 responses

  1. Dave Bonnema

    They look Chinese! :-D

    January 17, 2011 at 10:22 am

  2. Ni hao, Dave. Glad you noticed. They are good looking aren’t they.

    January 17, 2011 at 12:47 pm

  3. Dave Bonnema

    Yes they are! I’m glad you finally found something you’re good at! :-D (just kidding) I might be interested in one of them.

    When did you say woodcarving class starts?

    What is Ni hao?

    January 17, 2011 at 2:14 pm

  4. Thanks, glad you like them.

    Let me know for sure and I will bring a few to school.

    Class starts the last Thursday in January – only Thursday this year.

    Ni hao is hello in Chinese.

    Zai jian (good bye)

    January 17, 2011 at 6:41 pm

  5. My grandpa makes a lot of these. Not necessarily Santas, but the same idea.

    January 22, 2011 at 11:17 am

    • Yeah, there are a lot of folks who do. I fact this is not my original design. My design is the cotton wood bark Father Christmas in another blog – oh the ones in the Gift Shop. Have made a lot of those. The are fun. What kind of figures has your grandfather made? Biblical, Western, European?

      January 22, 2011 at 6:18 pm

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