re-using, recycling, and redeeming old wood

Posts tagged “caricature

216 Carvers to Know. Ryan Olsen, caricature carver.

Name a wood carver who influenced you? Harold Enlow, Phil Bishop, Peter Ortel, Jim Leighton, to name a few of mine. Let me add another who might be worth a look, Ryan Olsen. I have not had him as a teacher, nor do I know much about him other than he is a sitting member in the Caricature Carvers of America. ( The reason I mention him is found in the picture attached here.

Smiles, or at least not aggression or pain or bleary-eyed or evil. Olsen, for most of what I see here, carves interesting faces. Faces with smiles or some expression other than what I call a negative. And that I like. This is not to take away from the talent, execution, quality of all the other fine caricature carvers out there. I’m just putting in a vote for more carvings with hope, joy, laughter, love, and a host of other great expressions humans have. What do you think?


“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Prov 17:22


213. Egghead. Sleeping Santa.

A fun afternoon project. The design began with a hesitation to attempt another set of eyes. Easy fix, cover the eyes with the hat. Many iterations later you have this piece.

What I like about it most is the hat. The brim and tassel were first outlined with a veiner. Then the green upper part is cut with large, flat strokes. The tassel results as the upper green is completed. The brim is rough cut as a wavy line. It is then textured with a small U-gouge. He looks happy and rested, ready for cookies and milk to come.


“Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.” Prov 16:32

212. Relief Carving. Sailor in bark 1.2.

Here he is, completed. First cuts are in post 210. I remind you of one of my bark carving goals, keep enough bark visible to show that it isn’t a machine made piece and to give good contrast to the carved parts. The contrast adds interest and strengthens the piece.

Once the carving was finished it was painted with an acrylic paint wash, diluted about 15 drops of water to one drop of paint. That is, except for the white, which is put on nearly solid. The skin of the sailor is left natural bark color with a rose blush for a more weathered look.

I like this piece. It fits the wood block well. It also seems to sit well into the wood. One can almost imagine the uncarved bark as Grand Banks mist wrapping around this sailor from the “We’re Here.” Kipling might even have recognized him. (See post 210).


“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Prov 16:24

211 Egg head. A Tartan Santa.

One of the joys of carving is the opportunity to try different things. This is an egghead. Many of these have been done. I have tried 500+. So why keep trying them? Variety within a field.

This head was an experiment in creating plaid. The covering could have been a traditional Santa hat painted plaid. But that didn’t seem enough. So the tam and the plaid make it. I think pitting the front edge of the tam nearly over the eyes also works. It creates a tension that helps the overall effect.


“A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.” Prov 16:28

203. Carving in the round. Square Father Christmas.

Well, perhaps not completely round. It is a unique piece, nonetheless. A change from all the round, rolly polly figures one sees.

The layout for this carving took longer than the actual carving. I do like the formal effect that the straight lines and symmetrical shapes give to the piece. I also like the shadows created by the gouge lines in the hair and beard.

Hope you are enjoying your hobby too.


“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” Prov 15:22

202. Carving in the round. Friend/Indian/Native American/Ancient Invader/Neighbor?

It’s a carving. It isn’t a political statement. It isn’t intended to be demeaning or defaming. It is of an Indian/Native American/tribe member/one of any number of tribes. He is holding cigars. There was a connection between him and tobacco. His clothing and head piece are an attempt at catching what he may have worn four hundred years ago. His features may be a caricature, may have some resemblance of someone past or present.

It’s a carving. Well done? I like the face. The lines are clean and clear. The hands and feet fit the description of caricature, overly large, exaggerated. I also like the coloring of skin and lion cloth. Both came out satisfactorily.

It’s a carving. Some friends are holding a sale this month. Hoping this piece goes. How much would you offer for it?


“A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.” Prov 15:18

198 A carver to know – Fred Cogelow.

There are many ways to learn carving, to be inspired to carve better. One is to study the work of other carvers. And one carver worth studying is Fred Cogelow.

The images included here were taken from Pinterest. There are many more for you to view there.


“How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!” Prov 16:16