re-using, recycling, and redeeming old wood


97 carving ideas


I am always looking for carving ideas.  Now that I almost always have an iPad with me it is easier to capture some of them quickly.  This photo hangs in a hallway in my Uncle Georg’s house in western Germany.  What caught my attention was the roof lines and the texture the artist shows us.  Having done many roofs, what I note is shapes and shadows.  Also, on the building to the right, my eye is caught by the strong line near the top denoting the final layer of thatch.  The question is then, how can that be replicated in wood.  Which tool works best, what will be the most efficient way to make those cuts.  For anyone who has not carved, part of the issue is the direction ones cut, up from the bottom of the roof or down from the top.  Experimental cuts need to be made to determine what happens to grain wood, how the grain reacts.

Sorry about the quality of this photo.  However, for my purposes, this is good enough.  What is appealing to me is the roof lines of the buildings, how they sit together, the shadows, and how the artist has created texture.  While the photo is fuzzy, the relationship between the buildings is strong enough to be appealing.  Hope you have some ideas to share.  Or, if you use some ideas from these pictures I would love to see them.


Comfort, comfort my people says your God.  Isaiah 40:1

96 Gifts to friends part one

Golfer 26 2013

“The Retired Golfer”  in the collection of Mr. Ron Holwerda

One of the great joys of wood carving is the opportunity to share carvings with others.  Last June two of my good friends and colleagues retired from teaching.  Ron was my principal and Milt was the teacher in the room next door to me.  I worked with them for 21 years.  We had a great working relationship.  And we got to know each other.

Golf is one of Ron’s passions.  I am sure he can find time for a few rounds now.  So it seemed appropriate to carve a golfer.  The design is not my own, the workmanship is.  I included a bunch of thumbnail views so you would get the full effect.  I am curious to know how well they show  up for you.  It is the first time I have used the thumbnail feature.

The figure is bass wood.  The base is a cutoff from a black walnut branch.  Acrylic paint and boiled linseed oil are the main part of the finish.  I learned from Tom Wolfe to use felt tip markers to add lines to the shirt and socks.  I am pleased with how those turned out.

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.  Isaiah 55:1

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28


95 more carvings coming.

I had to relearn the WordPress process. It has been such a long time that I posted that WordPress has changed its process. The last post had only one picture because I kept adding pictures, paying no attention to the fact that I was merely replacing each previous picture with the new one. So, I have included in this post three more photos of the blue whale and a few others that were completed this summer. ImageImageImageNo, the whale is not dead. I took several pictures with my iPad with natural light streaming over my shoulder. I wanted to see what the light would do for the carving shadows. You tell me if there is a difference between the photo in post 94 and the one above.

20130905-182830.jpg A small bird carved from a piece of scrap wood. Texture created by running a small u-gouge over entire bird giving a feather effect.

20130905-183124.jpgAnother view. I like looking at pictures of completed carvings. They remind me of the decisions made while in the carving process. Notice the tail. Its location and thickness was an important part of what gives chunk of wood its bird-ness.

20130905-183544.jpgWhile there is much about this bird that I like, the beak on the next ones, three waiting to be painted, will be stronger. Shalom. Need a great verse from the Bible today? Try Genesis 3:15. The first great promise of the Word.


94 Finally another post

85 Finally another post

Blue whale – basswood, acrylic wash, boiled linseed oil. 12x4x2 inches. Wall hanging

93 Other carving: Chainsaw work of Randall Boni

In the last post I showed you carving I might even try, in fact, I have done pencils, but never pencil lead.  Remember, summer has to get here for me to try the lead.  Have you done any lead carving since the last post?

In this post there is work that I am pretty sure I will never do.  Randall Boni does a masterful job with a chainsaw.  Some carvers like their tools big, loud, and powerful.  They are in to removing lots of wood fast.  I like the smell of pine dust.  But I do not like the smell of engine exhaust so much.  I also like having ten fingers on my two hands.  I do enough damage to them with knives, gouges, and sandpaper.  Can you imagine what would happen with some bigger?

The best measure of a spiritual life is not its ecstasies but its obedience. —Oswald Chambers

92 Other carving: Dalton Ghetti on pencils

What can you do with pencils? Lots.  My students write with them, use them as hair pieces, make “fangs” out of them.  At other times they leave them like Hansel and Gretal-like trails out my classroom door and down the halls of the school.  I like to think they leave such a pencil trail so they can make their way back to my classes.  Then again, I find all the broken bits of pencil in odd places, places which make me suspect that the pencils are being processed into miniature missiles, easy to hide, quick ammo for Jr High wars.

As you already know, I like wood carving.  As you also also already know, I really like all kinds of good carving.   So now we stick pencils and carving together.  Remember the  alphabet on a pencil stub.  That was the work of Dalton Ghetti.  I like his work.  Enough to find a few more pictures of it.

The mailbox above boggles my mind.  As a wearer of glasses, my eyes smart just thinking about how Dalton does his work.  The detail in the mailbox is eye-catching.  I am not sure if the hinge on the box really works.  That would be too much.  If you know, please do contact me.

One of my problems is that every neat carving I see I want to carve it myself.  Now, I am not of the caliber of a Fred Cogelow or a Phil Bishop, but pencils and pencil stubs, enough of those I got.  Maybe.  Summer vacation is only weeks away.

If the Holy Spirit guides us at all, he will do it according to the Scriptures, and never contrary to them. —George Muller

91 Other wood carving: Free Carving Patterns from Little Shavers

Thanks to Rick and Theresa of Little Shavers for the great carving lesson.  I like Rick’s idea of do two at once so that you can have something to hold on to.  Another good idea in the lesson is using a felt tip marker to go over the pencil lines to keep your pattern while you work.

I have not used the Course Pumice Gel by Golden Paints tm Rick talks about.  Will have to investigate.  Let me know if you have tried it, how it works, what tricks you have learned as you use it.

I hope you enjoy the lesson.  I am going give it a try.

“A ruler who oppresses the poor
is like a driving rain that leaves no crops”  Proverbs 28: 3