re-using, recycling, and redeeming old wood

Archive for February, 2011

#61 Other interesting places: Work of Dylan Goodson – Greenman

I like looking at good carving. One carver with whom I have worked is Dylan Goodson. Dylan’s carvings have placed in many shows. I want to share with you a one more of his carvings. If you like his work you can find him on Face Book or find him at:

Dylan Goodson, Greenman 1

Dylan Goodson, Greenman 2

Did you notice the clean lines and the careful paint job.  The figures face fits well inside the leaf border.  Dylan has created a good space for the eyes – the nest well into the eye cavity.  His color choices for the face and the leaves are also eye appealing.  Nice job, Dylan.

“Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.”

Proverbs 16:32


#60 Wood carving: Pelicans, whales and turtles, wood carving is everywhere.

Intarsia pelican

Beautiful wood work shows up everywhere.  One just needs to have an eye for it.  The pictures in this post were taken by one of my daughter’s while on a trip to Florida this winter.  I love the “rope work” frame around the pelican here.  Also, the artist has done a great job with the use of white to hold the piece together.

Right whale

Top view

Head shot of right whale 1

You have seen whales here before.  Always like to view carvings of whales.  This one is a “right” whale.  Whalers named it so because it was considered the right whale to hunt.  When struck with a harpoon, this whale would stay afloat so whalers had an easier time of processing it.

I like the overhead shot best.  The lines look clean.  I am not so thrilled with the head shot, the manufactured eye does not sit well in the head, from my perspective.  I would also like to see a rougher surface on the whale, they are not as smooth or clean looking as this carving presents.

Sea turtles

These two sea turtles make a great presentation.  Great negative space, nice movement created by the turn of their heads and the spacing of their bodies on the stand.  A pleasing presentation.  I think they may be Green Sea Turtles.  For my taste, however, I would like a little more detail on the rear flippers on each turtle.

What are you carving these days?  Have anything to share?  Would love to hear from you.

“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18

# 59 Wood Carving: M R DUCKS and things you discuss as you carve 2

Y I B,  M R DUCKS* (see translation at bottom of post)

Believe it or not, this little five-line scribble makes for a whole afternoon conversation in my Junior High carving classes.  We take it apart and explore what it could mean.  Mostly nonsense it seems.  I usually put it up when the first level carvers get to their second project.

Turned, not carved, wooden eggs


The first project is an egg.  They begin with a square block of wood.  We learn to draw on the lines without using a ruler.  That drives some students crazy.  They want to measure everything, worried they will get it wrong if the lines aren’t straight.  Don’t get me wrong, we do want straight lines, but we want to explore other ways to accomplish those lines.  They are taught how to hold a pencil with several fingers and how to let the rest of the fingers act as guide.

Template for ducks

Sample of duck begun

Detail of  hardest part

The second project is a DUCK.  The class receives a duck rough out or blank.  The difficulty level increases from egg to duck.  On the egg the class learns to deal with different types of cuts and end grain of the wood.  On the duck we learn how to deal with compound curves on a square hunk of wood and how to deal with wood grain.  The wood grain makes carving the ducks neck difficult.  Wood grain requires learning different types of cuts and watching how the wood comes off.  More on that later.

Detail of rock and tail

Cedar duck – fire rescue piece

Burn marks visible on head/back

Of course, the ditty at the front end of this post drives them crazy until they get it.  Then they have loads of fun with it.  And we get to try many other versions of it.  I borrowed this “alphabet” idea from William Steig and his books “C D B” (See the bee) and “C D C”(See the sea).  Lots of fun.  Try it.  C what U can do with M, O, I B impressed.

I found a site which gives you a taste of Steig’s creativity:

On page 8 a hen sits contentedly on a nest of eggs. The letters above her say “D N S 5 X.” which creatively translates into the words “The hen has five eggs.”

On page 13 a boy is pointing down at his pet dog with the admonishment “I M A U-M B-N. U R N N-M-L.” which translates into “I am a human being. You are an animal.”

Page 15 shows a deer standing in a bush of green foliage with the caption “D D-R S N D I-V.” which of course means “The deer is in the ivy.”

Source of the material above –

I C U later.

*Translation:  Them are ducks.  Them are not. Oh, yes they are, see the itty bitty wings. Why, I’ll be, them are ducks.

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.”  Proverbs 16:9

#58 Penguins, penguins, penguins: Coffman style.

White pine penguin -sold

A few snow days and some quiet hours have given me time to carve a small waddle of penguins. Check me out, the term is correct, when they are on land anyway. When they are in the water you call them a raft of penguins. And if they are chicks standing around in a group you have a creche (kresh) of penguins.

White pine 2

white pine 3

Basswood mini

The penguins shown here have been carved in several different types of wood. The first few photos here are a carving out of white pine.  Several things to like about this one, I think.  You don’t have smell on your computer, but the wood has a great aroma.  Also, I really like the grain and the effect it has on the piece.  And one more feature I like about this carving, the blank was cut out of a piece of white pine splintered off a log.  The block of wood was about three inches square.  The carving still has some of the rough edges on the piece.  I like the effect.

Cottonwood bark 1

Cottonwood bark 2

Cottonwood bark 3

One of my favorite materials for carving is cottonwood.  I really like the effect of the rich, dark red coloring of this penguin.  It also looks good on the uncut bark, giving the wood a “rock-like” appearance.

Butternut 2

Butternut 1

Basswood mini 2

This little guy is my daughter’s favorite.  He is done in butternut.  His plumb little body leans into you.  He has a cute charm.

Basswood, leaning into wind

Basswood, leaning into the wind

Basswood, leaning into the wind 3

The piece, like the mini, is out of basswood.  Basswood is one of the favorite materials for American wood carvers.  This piece is an attempt at creating tension and movement.  The uphill climb is real.

A basswood pair.

A basswood pair 2

Another white pine carving

The final two pictures are of small piece done in cedar.  The smell is great and the colors add a nice touch to the carving.

Red cedar 1

Red cedar 2

Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding. Proverbs 15:32