re-using, recycling, and redeeming old wood

Posts tagged “carving ideas

168 Carving in the round. Gone fishin’

One of my best friends and I often went fishing and kayaking together. I never could get him interested in carving though. This carving is in his widow’s collection in Illinois. I think of him when I see it.

Let’s start at the base. It is a piece of oak, a piece retrieved from a scrap bin at a clock factory in Holland, MI. Ice fishing requires making a hole in the ice, usually a round one. I tinted the wood blue(but perhaps it could have been a little stronger blue since so many miss the ice connection). I drilled the hole for the fish line and realized the dust would make a good “ice” pile around the hole.

The fisherman and box are a solid piece of wood. The figure is fairly simple. The eyes help make the piece attention getting.

Oddly, the goofy little ice fishing pole was the most challenging. The one in the picture in not the first one. Several early models broke. There is a balance between the slender pole and pressure from the fish line fastened to look like it is weighted. I might not use basswood for the next pole. One final detail, the “hook” is a needle cut to length. It was used so it could be tacked into the base to hold the line. How would you do the pole differently?


“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” Prov 11:25


167. Carving Recycled Wood. IKEA bed frames 5

Posts 145, 152,156, 160. Those are posts where you can find cabins 1- 4.

This one has its own unique and interesting qualities. First the large knot in the base. Its location is not an accident. The wood was turned and viewed from every angle. Finally, given the limited number of tools available at the time of carving, it was decided that the knot needed to be in the base.

Then, how to incorporate it into the base? The result, a large rock which allowed for very limited carving to the knot itself.

Another pleasing feature is the roof. Both the wavy carving lines and the wavy growth rings make an attractive top to the cabin. And these lines offset the chimney well.

One choice I am not so sure about is the size of the smaller wall rocks. Should they have been larger. What do you think?


“The wise store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.” Prov 10:14

166. Woodwork from other places, China. Qîngzuò. Please sit down.

I know, it isn’t really wood carving. But, there is wood work done. This stool is more than 150 years old. It captures my attention for several reasons. First is the hand labor involved. Rounding the seat must have taken some time. Shaping the legs as well. Did you notice the slight curve to them. A nice detail. And then there is the work done to slot the legs into the seat, terrific.

A second reason to like this piece is the recycling done. The owner believes the seat was a wheel of some kind, hence the square hole in the top. The seat reminds me of ancient Chinese coins with their square or round holes so they could be threaded and carried on a string.

A third reason to like this stool is the character of the wood. Holes, unfinished edges, color, cracks, and growth rings make this an eye-pleasing object. What do you think?


“Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.” Prov 11:17

165 What do you see? Shear elegance.

Before you read further, look at the picture for a while. What are you looking at?

Okay, it isn’t wood, but it is an amazing carving. The material is stone. The artist has worked the stone to look like a gauzy, shear cloth draped over a face. You looked back at it, didn’t you? I just did as I type this to be sure of what I am saying. Now to get that quality in wood.


“A kindhearted woman gains honor, but ruthless men gain only wealth.” Prov 11:16

162 More Christmas tree options. Evergreens, a symbol of hope.

Always looking for creative new ideas. Here are two ways to use scrap or small stock to create holiday gifts. While winter and Christmas are months away, now is a good time to think about projects, materials to gather, scheduling of carving, painting, and deliver of pieces completed.

Posts 127 has two of my creations, one in basswood with bark on it and a second stylized trees in cedar scraps. Post 130 has a mass production version for ideas. Have you any other Christmas tree ideas?


“Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.” Prov 10:17

161 Creative ideas. What Your Old Watches May Be Used For | English Russia

Creativity is creativity, no matter what material one uses. Recycling anything is good stuff, no matter how one uses it. And fun art work is fun art, wherever one finds it. This cycle is just fun.

What Your Old Watches May Be Used For | English Russia.


“Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.” Prov 10:12

160. Carving Recycled Wood. IKEA bed frames 4.

Did you notice the black hole? Not sure what it was intended purpose was. It added another level of decision making. Cut it off? Wastes wood. Carve it out? Wastes effort. Cut into it? Lose its mechanical roundness. Leave it? Let the viewer decide how it fits in. You see what was decided. What do you think?

Compare to pieces in Posts 145, 152, 156. I like the deeper, wider piercing under the cabin. Along with the black circle, it adds another layer of interest, inviting the viewer’s eye to travel around and through the piece.

One other feature to point out is the shape of this cabin. Several features give more motion to the piece, rather than a static, boring blah-ness to it. Waves in the roof give a sense of motion. The shape of the walls also. Note how the bottom of the house cuts in, the walls seem to bulge out and finally tuck back in under the eaves. A much more interesting shape then straight lines.

What else draws your attention?


“The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.” Prov 10:8