re-using, recycling, and redeeming old wood

Posts tagged “hand carved

224. Cottonwood bark. Rustic Cabin

I still like carving bark. This piece was finished early 2018. The richness of the coloring, the rugged feel of the uncut bark, the flow of stairs and arches, and the quaint cottage crowning the piece all add up to a pleasing presentation.

Pictures five and six, closeups, are included to give a better view of the cracked and creviced surface of bark. At times one has to glue chunks back on in order to maintain some of the work completed or the flow of a piece. At other times pieces fall off and one is forced to rethink design to the improvement of the final piece.


“Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.” Prov 22:29


221. Carvers you should know. Janusz Wedzicha.

New carver, same thought thread. These three pictures fit comments I made about some of Ryan Olsen’s work in post 216. The carver here is Janusz Wedzicha. As far as I can tell he is Polish. Some of his information is at the site added below.

Let me repeat my thinking. There is so much good carving out there. But what attracts me to Wedzicha’s and Olsen’s work is the joy of life seen in many of the faces they produce. Evil, angry, sly, pained, crying faces have such potential for the dramatic. Lines, shadows, texture, emotion can be found there. However, for me, life is filled with such things to my dismay, discouragement, or defeat. Why put it into art? What is uplifting about a face in agony or horror? I prefer faces similar to what is shown below. Nice job, Janusz.


“Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.” Prov 20:15

222. Carving in the round. Old World Father Christmas.

This is a really old piece. I like the reminders of the story of Saint Nicholas. There was a real Nicholas. He was a 4th Century Bishop of the church, a wealthy man who lived in Turkey. He became well known for his acts of kindness and gifts to the poor and needy.

His reputation was passed on to 16th Century Europe. In England “gift givers” were referred to as ‘Father Christmas,’ France ‘Père Nöel,’ Germany ‘Christkind,’ the Netherlands ‘SinterKlaas’ (notice the tie back to Saint Nicholas). And in America, Sinter Klaas became ‘Santa Claus.’ No matter what the name, this figure reminds me of the original love motivating the gift giver, a tradition worth continuing.

The piece is basswood. The colors are Old World – ivory, winter green, ruby red, white, and gold. The face is medium flesh with a rose wash. All the colors except for white, are a ratio of 1/15 paint to water. It was finished by being dipped in boiled linseed oil.

Merry Christmas, Frohe Weinachten, Joyeux Noël, Vrolijk Kerstfeest.


“Love and faithfulness keep a king safe; through love his throne is made secure.” Prov 20:28

220. Carving in the round. Sparrows, Rocks, and Matthew 10.

Birds and rocks and wisdom. That is what these pieces are about. I love the curves of the birds against the less smothered curvy lines of the rocks and the straight lines of the sing and lettering. The contrast is pleasing.

I also like the dark branch lines running through in pictures 2 and 3. Basswood can have these lines at times. It makes for interesting coloration if you can work it into the piece.


“Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.” Prov 17:1

219. Collections and ideas. Old World Father Christmas, Saint Nicolas, Santa Claus, Sinter Klaas.

Where do your carvings or hobby projects go? Some sit on shelves at home because we can’t part with them. Some sit in boxes because there isn’t any more room on the shelves. Some sit on work benches or tables for years, “nearly” finished.

And some go to family and friends. Here is part of a collection held in Michigan. It is a joy to see others find pleasure in the things one creates. Perhaps this is the year for you to let go of more of yours. Gift them, donate them, sell them, but let the world enjoy them.

Merry Christmas


“What a person desires is unfailing love…” Prov 19:22a

218. Carvers You Should Know. Caricature Carvers of America

Finding ideas, mentors, or encouragement is always a challenge for any artist and craftsman. Where do you go? One place I like to check out is the Caricature Carvers of America. I reference them in a previous post about Ryan Olsen.

Here is a connect for their information. It would be worth a few minutes your time to scan their site. Who knows, maybe you can find a neat idea or a class to take to improve your work. Or maybe even a place to hang out for encouragement in your own work.


“Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” Prov 19:20

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