re-using, recycling, and redeeming old wood

Posts tagged “hand crafted

151 Carving texture. Max’s friend(thanks Dr. Seuss).

There are many things to remember, to think about, to include in a wood carving. One carving skill to work at is texture. The carver’s goal is to create a texture that enhances the piece presented. Texture should help catch the viewer’s eye, move the eye through the carving, and/or cover otherwise bland or blah surfaces with an eye-pleasing pattern or effect.

“Max,” named after a Dr. Seuss character in a story about Yertle the Turtle and a turtle named “Max”. In the story Seuss uses “a type of meter called anapestic tetrameter.” What that meter is exactly is not key for us here, however what is important is Seuss’ use of a kind of “texture” to capture reader’s attention. His “texture” is linguistic. Our Max here is wood and his texture is the small surface marking which give him character.

You easily see the large gouge marks on his shell. Then the smaller micro-gouge marks on his legs. But also note the knife marks on his head having yet another texture. All together they are eye-pleasing.


“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” Prov 19:11



150 Woodwork from other places 16, China. Get to the root of it.

At first glance there is not much here, but certainly a lot of years. This stool is reported to be more than one hundred years old. 18l x 8w x 12h. Simple, rough, undecorated. Yet not without its charm. Certainly a solid seat. Rather low for most western tastes. But typical for many Asian cultures.

I still have to think about all the hand labor involved, locating, digging out, cutting off, shaping. Not your typical box store, big manufacture object. And it sits pretty well, too. Maybe some day this bucket list project will get created in my shop.


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

143 Woodwork from other places 14, China. Sit on it!

Not much to say here other than I love the aged grain of this stool. Its owner guessed it was at least 100 years old. I have used it as a foot stool. Do you like the feel of wood? The surface on this one is worn smooth, even satiny in places. Pictures 2,4, and 6 show just a little of why the piece attracts. Hope you have beautiful pieces of creation created into beautiful objects around you too.


“When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.” Prov 20:15.

141. Carving idea. Famous Faces Carved In Phone Books.

Always looking for different ways to s one is interesting too. There is much to learn about carving in es, special tools, corrections and goof recovery among them. Have you tried it?


“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. Prov 19:11

Alex Queral

Famous Faces Carved Out of Phone Books.

137. Woodwork from other places 11, China. Let it snow, let it snow.

Remember the extra picture in Post 131? Did you guess correctly? It is a Chinese snow sled. I love the joints and the obvious wear and tear. However, I am not sure about its stability. Seems to be made only for a smaller child. And I am also wondering where the rope is. Would grandpa have to carry it?

Hope you have some good memories of play in the snow. Shalom.

83 Wood carving: Big Mouth 1 and 2

I have been showing the work of others for the past while. Thought it might be time to show something I have carved.  These two pieces were begun at the end of last summer.  They are now finished and hanging in our house.  The work in progress is shown here.  Will show the painted pieces soon, after I take a few more pictures. The carvings are roughly 18 long x 4 wide x 2 inches thick.

Both carvings are done in cottonwood bark.  Last summer I revisited a lightening struck tree while on a family vacation.  For years small sections or pieces have been falling off the tree.  This past summer the tree’s entire bark skin came off.  The morning we were to return home, while I still had an empty vehicle, I loaded up as much bark as would fit in my small SUV.  I found some storage for the bark and was even able to squeeze a few pieces into the load returning home from vacation.  Good thing we ate our way through some of supplies from the incoming trip. That left room for some bark.

I found inspiration for the pieces in a carving magazine.  One picture gave the idea.  The challenge was to get the correct cuts to recreate feeling of the photo.  My dentist liked the pieces.  Perhaps I will have to replace the bad spot in Big Mouth 1 with a gold filling.

Enjoy.  Feed back is most welcome.  Inquiries about purchasing pieces also.

“If a ruler listens to lies, all his officials become wicked.”  Proverbs 29:12

#62 Wood carving: More bark houses, cotton wood bark.

Bark house with deep fissure

One of the joys of carving bark is dealing with what each piece of bark brings to the table.  The challenge,  always, is finding ways to incorporate the natural features into the finished piece.  In this piece of bark we have a very deep fissure bracketed by two nice, solid pieces of bark.

Bottom of fissure

Another angle on the fissure

Fissure nearly through the bottom

The fissure itself creates a wonderful negative space for the eye.  The dark slash through the piece takes your eye up in to the house at the top. Shadows and light spots add lots of visual interest to the base of the carving.

The two solid masses of wood on either side of the fissure have been dealt with in view of the strong visual texture of the fissure.  As you can see in the picture immediately above, lots of bark has been left on the base.  This light bark stands in contrast to the dark fissure.  But, in order to tie the base to the house above, some rocks have been cut into the bark of the base to expose the redbrown of the under wood.  The shapes and the color add another layer of visual interest.

Side view of the house

Moving up from the base we come to the house itself.  The base has drawn our eye to the color and texture of the house.  Small rocks in the chimney echo the larger rocks of the base.  The rounded shapes of the chimney rock and base rocks are countered by the strong vertical and horizontal lines of the roof shingles, squared stones of the walls the steps and landings, and door and windows.  More shadows and highlights are created by the bench underneath the window.

All in all a piece I really like.  Trust you do too.

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.  Proverbs 16:22