re-using, recycling, and redeeming old wood

Posts tagged “carving

103 Revisited: Post 83

2012-03-14 05.49.07

Of course, you are asking yourself what this photo is all about.  Well, if you haven’t skipped to the bottom and looked through the gallery yet, it is a mouth full of teeth.  Not my original idea, I found it in one of the myriad of carving magazines lying around my carving space.  This is a final post of a project shown earlier in 83 Big mouth 1 and 2.  This is Big mouth 2 painted.

2012-03-14 05.48.45

I didn’t want to make all the pictures large, but I thought at least these two would make a nice showing, giving the full effect of the piece.  I really like the strong white on the teeth.  It is acrylic white at full strength.  I do like the softer blue for a hint of a hat and the natural red or umber of the unpainted wood for the face.  Every piece teaches something for the next time.  On this piece I would paint the gums a stronger red. Without it, there is some confusion about where the gum is and where the lip begins.  Having said that, the piece is fun.  Anyone interested in buying it?  We can talk.


“Desire without knowledge is not good—how much more will hasty feet miss the way! ” Proverbs 18


98 Whale ho!

Stylized blue whale

Stylized blue whale

Do any of you remember a childhood book entitled, “Burt Dow, Deep Water Man”?  Author Robert McCloskey ( wrote about an east coast deep sea fisherman named Burt who ends up inside a whale in a gale.  The story begins with Burt hooking a whooper, a whale.  His tiny boat can’t hold the whale, so Burt removes his hook and patches the whales tail with colorful bandage.  The story ends with Burt placing a colorful band-aid on the tails an entire pod of whales.  You will have to read it to find out about the gale and the whale.

Acrylic wash over cedar finished with boiled linseed oil.

Acrylic wash over cedar finished with boiled linseed oil.

Of course, these photos are not part of Burt Dow’s story, but the whale here reminds me of McCloskey’s whales.  And certainly this whale, with the notch out of one side and a knot in the other side of his tail might be able to use one of Burt’s bandages, or two or three.


Cedar wood grain comes through in interesting ways.

But of course, this whale could be as friendly and helpful as any of the whales in McCloskey’s story.



I think the smile on this guy comes across really well.  Of course, whales don’t smile, but if they did, this is what they would look like.

Cedar wood whale on lake driftwood.

Cedar wood whale on lake driftwood.

So, another whale.  This one came out beautifully.  While cedar is not the easiest wood to work with, an acrylic wash has allowed the cedar wood grain to pour through adding another dimension of texture to the piece.  The whale is a stylized blue whale.  The piece about 12 x x 4 without the base.

The base is a piece of lake drift wood.  Some color has been added to give the feel of ocean floor.  The colors seem a bit intense in these photos, but when the piece is sitting on a counter or mantel the colors come through more subtly.  The mounting, at angle, gives the piece a little more movement.  I really like the last picture.  The shadow and light make for a happy face.

This whale is now part of the collection of Mr. Rick Buteyn.


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

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




94 Finally another post

85 Finally another post

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


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


87 Carving ideas: Awesome Watermelon Carvings

What is an adjective?  A word which…..  Stunning, delightful, breath-taking, delicious, how do these all fit into one story?  And carving no less.  As you have already seen, the watermelon carvings below are gorgeous.  Skill, experience, and artistic ability all contribute to wonderful carvings.  See the link for all 75 carvings below.

The birds below are my wife’s favorites.  She has a substantial collection of them in wood, glass, metal, fabric, porcelain, and even a gourd.  But this one she won’t keep, other than as a photo.

Now how do they do that?  I know that in wood carving, if you break a piece off you still have a chance to glue it back on.  What do you use when a piece of watermelon breaks off?  Ice?  Hmmmm.  Adds to the difficulty if you ask me.

75 Awesome Watermelon Carvings.

A God who could pardon without justice might one of these days condemn without reason. —C.H. Spurgeon


80 Other recycled wood: The Book Surgeon

So, what’s in a book?  One might answer: words, information, ideas, homework, images, love, adventure, wisdom, art.  All of the aforementioned are true.  A further question, what do you mean by art?  You play the game:  pictures, images, ideas about art – how to do, how to improve, how to buy or sell art, how to critique art, how to display art.  Again, all of these are good ideas.  One last question, what do books,  recycling wood, and carving have to do with each other?

Humor me:   books are made out of paper –> paper is made out of wood  –> therefore, if you make art objects, real art, not just talk about art, out of books you have achieved status of recycling wood  through carving thereby creating art.  And your pieces fit this blog perfectly.  And even if they didn’t fit all those categories, they are great pieces of carving.

Now check out what Brian Dettmer has accomplished with books!

Book "carving" by Brian Dettmer

Call this one "Waterfall?"

The Book Surgeon 15 pieces – My Modern Metropolis.

“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law(Bible).”  Psalm 119:18