re-using, recycling, and redeeming old wood

Posts tagged “hand carved

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

163. Cottonwood bark. Farmer Ed.

Have you looked through the 162 posts of this site recently? I have. Things start out rather rough; I was learning the blogging ropes, new photography, editing, etc. Some early photos weren’t very good. Some early links have disappeared.

This I noticed, the first four posts back in 2011 were cottonwood bark. Many more followed. Here is a listing of bark posts to date: 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 14, 28, 33, 62, 66, 70, 73, 83, 102, 103(83), 107, 111, 118, 120. There are several I really like: a second-place award winner with an exterior staircase,p; two big, tooth grinning faces; a sailboat and sea captain pair; and a church with a “repaired” front door.

Then we have the farmer below. I really like him. His smile is appealing. He fits this piece of bark well. This was a first try at neck details which I find satisfying. And the coloring, a wash style, also fits well. Anything else you notice?


“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Prov 11:2

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

159 Fun with Vegetables. Some like ‘em Hot.

Sometimes there are just too many “good” scraps in the scrap box. You can’t burn them all, especially when it is summer and the heat index is 107. So what to do? Vegetables, of course. And in the heat, why not chilies and tomatoes.

These guys are made from basswood scraps, cut ends and odds shapes one would normally discard. The odd shapes give the added challenge of finding shapes that fit. You know, ala Michelangelo and his “David.” Yes, we are stretching it a bit, no, a lot.

While there is a great distance between the artistry of and material used by Michelangelo and these five guys, the use of reclaimed or cast off pieces is the same. And, tip of the hat to “VeggieTales, the cute smiles one can add makes them pleasing to the eye also.


“Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.” Prov 10:4

158 Woodwork from other places, Russian.

Okay, another one. There are many great wood carvers in Russia. Here are two small examples of the kind of relief carving they can produce. I am not at the level of detail you find in these pieces. But they do suggest to me or challenge me to go further in my work. What about you?


“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Prov 4:23

157. Wood Carving: Wooden spools

There are so many avenues in wood by which to express oneself. Here we have thread spools. Limited work surface calls for creative carving. One is forced to ask questions and make decisions on a small scale.

Below is information related to the spool work pictured:

“I can be reached at Touch-Of-Color KNOWtes, Box 505, South Bend IN 46624-0505 until my son and I create my website this summer. Until then, please contact me at .”

Hope you find an avenue for the creativity created in you. Shalom.

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.” Prov 3:27