re-using, recycling, and redeeming old wood

Posts tagged “hand made

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


217. Other art as ideas for carving. Christmas flowers.

Another post to draw attention to creative inspiration for carving or any other hobby. Here the steps for creating home-made Christmas gifts or greeting cards. Card stock used, along with colored pencils.

Steps: 1. Deciding weight of stock to use, purchase, cut stock. 2. Practice design ideas. 3. Draw initial design on stock in pencil. 4. Go over design in ink, adjusting rather than following pencil lines slavishly. 5. Erase pencil lines. 6. First layer of color is a light one to establish color patterns and placement. 7. Begin darkening all colors, leaving highlights. 8. Final coloring step is difficult to see here, but a dark color such as purple or blue is used to create shadows. 9. Piece is now ready for a note or name. 10. Give as a gift. 😊


“It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.” Prov 20:3

205 Places to go, blogs to read

Found this site which recommends list of blogs for wood people. The list has some good suggestions which might catch your attention. Full carving, turning, chip carving, spoons, decorative arts, and tools were represented.

Do you have an other links you could share?


This carving, my own, is not in any of the blogs cited in the site, but it’s a sight. I like “Ed”.

“The greedy bring ruin to their households, but the one who hates bribes will live.” Prov 15:27

199. Wood work from other places, China. Boxes.

In the ages before plastic, glass, and cheap metals, where did one store food stuffs, how did you measure grains? Wood. Here a box crafted for mundane, everyday purposes. And yet, pre-industrial times gave one a chance to add a personal touch.

I like the craftsmanship and the decorations here. One can only image the process, the labor over long hours as the craftsman search for wood, cut slabs and lengths, seasoned the wood, planned the design, cut out and assembled pieces, and finally painted and decorated the piece.


7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the hearts of fools are not upright.

“The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the hearts of fools are not upright.” Prov 15:7

192 Carving in the Round. Not just Vegetables

Some of you will recognize the faces. Some of you will know these are eggplants. Many of you might know they are made out of basswood. Most of you will not know that these carvings were once considered scrap wood, salvaged out of a junk box.

In a way they make a strong statement to me about life, about the lives of many people. They are seen as scrap, the world sets them aside, considers them unimportant, value,es. And yet, in each is something beautiful. Can you imagine what our world would be like if we all found the beauty, the value, the spark in each person we meet. Imagine that as you work on your next project.

(In case you missed it, this is a tip of the hat to Veggie Tales and their creativity.)


“Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.” Prov 13:10

189 To market, to market to sell…Carvings to sell.

Carvings shown here will be offered for sale by a friend of ours back in the States while we reside here in Beijing.

The first picture shows an array of bark pieces, houses, churches, and a light house/sailboat. It shows the kind of variety I try to have at a sale. For me, this is a combination of what I like and what kinds of pieces have sold in the past, always a marketing challenge.

The second shows event more variety. Here a larger lighthouse, a book carved out of white pine, a sparrow and a related verse from the Bible, and a basswood relief of a recognizable viking.

What would you consider a good variety for a sale? How many carvings would you bring? How do you go about pricing your pieces?


“The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.” Prov 14:8

187. Spotty posts for a while. Overseas internet a challenge.

Notice anything in the picture. Right, no carvings. This is in a royal garden of the Qing Dynasty in Beijing, China. I will be posting from here for most of the next two years. We will be looking for interesting carvings and even a few carvers while we teach and live here.

That said, posts may be spotty, as you may have noticed. Internet and Internet speed is not always as reliable as in other parts of the world. We will try our best. Meanwhile, do keep carving, drawing, painting, potting, knitting, or whatever creative avenue you use. Do it with joy and integrity. Perhaps even ask yourself where our creativity comes from.


“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” Prov 13:20