re-using, recycling, and redeeming old wood

Archive for May, 2011

#75 Wood carving: Old Fashioned Face – Tom Wolfe style.

Old Fashioned Face – front view

I am not sure about you, if you are a wood carver, but I have to suspect you have at least two boxes in your house that are like mine.  The first box has to be filled with carving ideas, half finished carvings or carvings that are nearly there, but not quit completed.  Anyone have one of those?  Or perhaps it is three or four or more. I have several boxes, not sure how many.  Some contain carvings I will never get to or return to.  They are carvings done early on in my career.  I ran into a problem, got bored, or lost interest.  Always put aside with a promise of getting back to it some day.  Some will never be completed because the original idea was to simplistic or poorly conceived so they are not worth the time and energy to complete.  Others would require more effort and thinking than I have available to me at this point.

3/4 view

The carving above has made it out of the “nearly completed” box into the “to be painted.”  But, since I do not have the time to carve, let alone paint, in the month of July, it sits unfinished.

Old Fashioned Face 3

Old Fashioned Face right hand profile

Old Fashioned Face rear view

I like the flow of this face.  The large nose and over-sized cheeks catch attention.  I worked on the hair and beard,  trying to break them into large hair masses first and then into smaller “individual” hairs or hair groups.  I think paint will draw even more attention to the hair masses.

Final view

The piece is still not painted, so anyone wanting to buy this piece could request custom coloring.  With some flashing eyes, gold trim and rosy cheeks, this could be a stunning piece.  Contact me here or at

“The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.” Proverbs 21:20


#74 Wood carving: More 2011 Duneland Woodcarvers Show.

My part of a table – Duneland Woodcarvers Show

It has been over a month since the Duneland Woodcarvers Show.  I have lots more pictures.  Thought I would share a few here.  The first is of my display table at the show.  I shared it with my friend, Jeff Postma.  His daughter also kept us good company.

Our full table

Chess set by Joe Calderone

One carver that I have always liked is Joe Calderone.  Joe has done some great pieces.  I like the reliefs he had there.

Da Shnoze, Say it ain’t so.

Great relief by Calderone

Wood carving shows are always fun. Always new people to meet and great carving to see.  Hope you can make the next Duneland Woodcarvers Show.

I’ll have more pictures of other carvers soon.

“It is not good to be partial to the wicked and so deprive the innocent of justice.” Proverbs 18:5

#73 Wood carving: Cotton wood bark church with a “tree.”

Bark church with “tree”

I still like carving cotton wood bark.  It is always a joy to see what appears from underneath the gray skin.  It is also a great challenge to see how much of the original outer bark can be preserved and make something out of the rest of the piece.

The little church in the pine forest.

The intent for the piece had been to put in the church and then create a tree long the right side.  I completed the church first, in case I broke too much of the door or too much on the windows I wouldn’t have “wasted time on the tree.  After having finished the church I began setting in the tree.  But as you can see, the tree is as finished as it will get.  Once the top of the tree was put in place and the outside edge cleaned I stepped back and noticed how the gray bark reminded me of pine trees seen in the moonlight or semi-dark of a north Wisconsin forest.  So, the tree was “finished.”  I like the effect.

Good view of front door and side bench.

I like how the details on this carving stand out.  The block of the walls add some nice high-lights. Their size also seems to work well with the over-all piece.  The bench is eye-catching.  The shape invites one to come aside for a time and rest a while.  The stairs came out rather nicely, given the struggle to work around the crack along the right side of the platform.

Happily this piece is sold.  If you would like one like it, please do contact me here.  I have several more churches in stock, some simpler and some much more complex.  See post #66.  Thanks for looking.

“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,  but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother”  Proverbs 18:24

#72 Recycling other than wood: Pencil carving by Dalton Getty

Crazy cool alphabet

The above web addresses take you to a really neat viewing of a really “crazy,” gifted carver.  It isn’t wood, never-the-less, it is really great work.  The first time I saw Dalton’s pieces I thought he was nuts.  But, the more I look at it, the more pencil pieces I pick up at my job as a teacher, the more I wonder if I shouldn’t try it.
I wonder if each of the pencils began as a full pencil and he had to go so small because he broke them off.  That would be my experience.  I have a bunch of grade school pencils, the fat ones, remember?  That might be more my size.  And, if it works, there is a lot more lead to work with.
Let me know if you try.  I would like to see your pictures too. 

“It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.” Proverbs 20:3

# 71 Other wood: More Rick Klompmaker – side table

This table is standing in my brother’s front hall.  I am always impressed with the quality of his work.  This one is deceptively simple.  I really like the slender legs and the curved top.

Close up of legs and cross pieces

Another view

In setting from the stairs

This final pictures lets you see how great the table looks in its setting.  It fits the niche well.

“The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.”  Proverbs 20:5