Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

My family and I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. I started carving a bark ornament  much like the ones in the Dec. 2 post. The bark kept  breaking off of the back, so I carved it flat. I could of kept it as an ornament or a pin, but instead I glued a magnet on the back and it's on the refrigerator. I also carved a reindeer out of basswood as a refrigerator magnet. The wood has a bad spot on the back, but it looks OK. Just the nose and feet are painted. These are quick and fun Projects.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Santa is Worrysome

This Santa was carved from a Pete LeClair pattern. He looks a little worried this Christmas season, but I think it will turn out OK.  Whether you've been naughty or nice there's still time to correct it with Santa. Merry Christmas to all and it is the season for giving, even if it is just a friendly hello. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Fusion Santa

The season of joy and good will is among us. This Santa combines both caricature and chip carving. In an article in Woodcarving magazine, Gary Peiffer uses a lathe turned blank. I don't have a lathe so it's carved to round for the chip carving. It's 1 1/2 inch square by 8 inches tall. The Santa is painted with acrylic's and a couple coats of Deft.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Star Ornaments

These are a couple of variations of the Christmas Star. The Star ornaments are carved in cottonwood bark. The one is 4 inches long and the other 3 inches long. I used a v-cut on the 3 inch long one and it shows more of the bark layers. They are finished with three coats of Tru-Oil, which is for gun stocks. It really brings out the bark color. They make a nice addition to the Christmas tree.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pine Cone Ornament

This pine cone ornament is carved out of basswood.  Pine cones come in male and female varieties. The male cone is usually no more than two inches long and lives only a few months in the spring or the autumn. After it releases it's pollen, the male cone falls off the tree. The pollen travels by wind to the larger female cone. After pollination, the female cone takes one to three years to mature. The seeds release in several different ways depending on the type of tree.
I added snow and a small cardinal to the bark house ornament that was on the Nov. 14 post. I think it added a little to the look of the house. The cardinal was bought from a craft store.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I carved this hobo from a pattern in Woodcarving Illustrated. It has so many angles on the clothing, it made it a challenge to carve. The start of the hobo's began at the end of the civil war. With the network of trains it was easy to travel around the country. They traveled for harvest times, for farm work and sometimes just for a meal. They liked their independence and story telling around the campfires. During the war a lot of them joined the army so their numbers were greatly reduced.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bark House Ornament

At our club a few of us joined in carving these small bark ornaments last Saturday. The back isn't opened up so I decided to carve in windows and boards on the front and back. It makes an interesting ornament out of a small piece of bark. I burned in the boards and around the windows. I'm thinking I should add a little snow to the roof since it is winter. It's 4 1/2 inches tall and 3/4 inch thick.

Back view
Front view
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Friday, November 5, 2010

Santa Ornament in Bark

I'm still carving ornaments for Christmas gifts. I have 5 more to go. Meanwhile I carved this santa ornament in cottonwood bark. The grain of the bark is with the face, so the nose wouldn't break off. This is a good project for bark because of the simple design. The swirled hat added to the design and was fun to carve. It's a no see um because the eyes are covered by the hat. The finish is a coating of semi-gloss Deft for a natural look. It was a design by Dave Francis who lives in Canada.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bark ornament

One of my carving friends carved ornaments out of cottonwood bark one year to give away. It's a good way to use small pieces of bark. This one is five inches long. The back is hollowed out. I used a razortip burner to make the board lines, nail holes, and some texture on the rocks and around the windows. The dark area on the right side is the outside of the bark. It has a flat bottom so it can stand on it's own. As you carve into the bark you get these beautiful colors from the different layers. I use Deft to protect the wood and it brings out the rich colors. The bark is from dead trees so there is no danger to the tree.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pumpkin in wood

This was an interesting carving to do because of the steps I went through. I cut the outside perimeter with a band saw, then cut both ends off. Then cutting through the side I cut out the center. I glued the cut on the side together and then carved out the inside. I glued the bottom piece back on and carved the outside. The top stem is carved and then glued to the top end that I cut off. I also cut a piece from the part cut out of the inside and glued it to the bottom of the lid. Then I finished carving the pumpkin and it was painted. This is basically a band saw box. I added a battery candle inside and now I'm ready for Halloween.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Eagle Plaque

 My eagle plaque carving is only 5 inches long and 3/8 inch thick. I have it hanging in the motor home. That is abalone glued in the center. It is cut from the abalone shell of a sail. The shells come in many different colors depending on what the snails eat. The lucky person is who gets to eat the snail and then make a piece of jewelery out of the shell.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Artistry in Wood 2010

The Artistry in Wood is the Spokane Carvers annual show and sale. This is just a few pictures from the show, including our booth for the North Idaho Woodcarvers. This year it was on Oct. 2 and 3.

Friday, October 1, 2010

October carving display

Kelvin and I are displaying some of our carvings at the St. Maries library. There is a wide selection of different carvings, so we hope there will be a lot of interest. The pictures don't do it justice because it was shot straight on and there's so many carvings at different levels and angles.There was a young girl of preschool age when I was adding to the display that pointed to the Santa Claus.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Blackburnian Warbler

The Blackburnian Warbler migrates to the north spruce woods of Canada and northeastern United States in the spring. They nest high in the spruce trees and feed on insects they find in the trees. They winter in the south mostly in the Andean Highlands from Venezuela to Peru. The Warbler is 4 1/2 to 5 inches long. The Warblers come in so many rich and brilliant colors. I carved this bird a little larger then half size at the West Glacier Rendezvous and used the guide of Rick Butz's book on Woodland Warblers for the colors. The feet are made with wire and the eyes are glass.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


This was a project we carved in a three hour class at the West Glacier rendezvous this last August. I painted it with acrylic's when we got home. The rooster is 6 inches tall and out of basswood. The wings and tail are pegged in place. The rooster has a Christmas theme with the red hat and coat. It is a simple project with a country look.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


This is fish carved out of a 4 inch long piece of cottonwood bark. It fits nicely between the area by the doors of the upper cabinets in our motor home. Too bad the material in the background ran vertical and not with the salmon swimming up the river to spawn.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Native American Indian

I took a three hour class at the West Glacier Rendezvous by Ron Adamson of this Native American Indian. I had finished the face in the class; the hair, braids, bead work and medallion were finished at home. The wood is cottonwood bark and is 4 inches wide and 16 inches long. I was going to put grooves in the feather but the the grain of the bark showed feather lines. It was finished with semi-gloss Deft. It is darker than the picture shows. If you are on Facebook you might want to look up Native American Indian - Old Photo. It has 172 photo albums and 422 photos by others featuring a lot of different tribal members.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cheese Knives

These cheese knives are one of the 3 hour classes we did at West Glacier. We could choose a knife, a spreader or a pickle fork. The knife is 2 1/4 inch long and the wood is 1 inch square by 3 inches long. I'm going to order more of the knives and spreaders to carve different faces on the handles. They will make fun gifts for giving.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Rendezvous at West Glacier

 The carving rendezvous at West Glacier is three days of carving projects, potlucks, and meeting new and old friends. We were able to drive over going to the sun road. What a beautiful trip.  Then it was down to the business of carving. I will post the carvings when I get them painted.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hang Ten

This Orca or Killer Whale was carved and painted in the Northwest Native American style. My hands aren't as steady for the small lines as I wish. This carving is just 4 inches long. The Killer Whale belongs to the Dolphin's family. The males can grow as large as 32 feet and the females can reach 32 feet. The dorsal fin can reach 6 feet high in males. The Killer Whales live in and hunt in pods (groups). They work together to circle the herd prey area before attacking. They feed on salmon, herring, seals, sea lions, sharks, and smaller whales. Each tooth can be about 3 inches long and 2.5 inches in diameter. They communicate through a wide variety of sounds such as clicks, whistles and pulsed calls.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Santa Ornament

This santa ornament I've done several times in the past. I like to carve this  when we are out camping where I don't need to take a lot of tools. It is caved of a 2 inch by 5 inch block of basswood cut diagonally. Part of the fun for us at Christmas is to decorate the tree with handcrafted ornaments. It brings back memories from the past years of the joy with our family, the different menus we had, all the different cards received and of coarse the reason for Christmas.

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Thursday, July 8, 2010


I finally finished painting the seahorse I carved at the Spokane rendezvous. It's more of a cartoon style. I pulled some of the orange paint onto the piece of driftwood the seahorse is mounted on. You might not see the sand on the driftwood in the picture. While we were at the Denver Aquarium I was able to take a picture of a seahorse. They come in different colors and range from .6 to 8 inches in size. They use their dorsal fin in the back to propel themselves through the water in an upright position. The seahorses don't have teeth or a stomach, so they eat constantly on daphnia, cyclops, larvae, and brine shrimp. They have a single mate for life and every morning they come together , dance, change their color, twirl around with linked tails and separate for the rest of the day. We were able to see this happen at the aquarium. There eyes move independently, one may be looking to the left and the other straight up. The female deposits its eggs into the males pouch and the babies are born from the male. 

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Thursday, July 1, 2010


Kolrosing is a very old method of giving fine line surface decoration to wood, simply using the tip of a belt knife to make cuts and then rubbing coal dust into it to bring out the Pattern. The Scandinavian tradition used it to decorate spoons, small bowls, boxes, cups, etc. The designs were more geometric or Celtic in origin, but anything which can be drawn with a pencil can be done. It is like in the early years where you are to follow the lines. "O Boy" that is tough when the knife wants to follow the grain of the wood. I used a Kolrosing knife and used espresso grounds to rub in the lines. Then I coated it with mineral oil and then a wax. 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Deputy Dee

A pretty face and a winning smile, but don't think this deputy won't do her job. She is tough as nails and can shoot a fly at 50 paces. I got the face a little more red than I wanted, but other than that she looks OK.     LOL

Monday, June 14, 2010

Chief Kamiakin

Back in January a scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts asked if our club would carve four different subjects for their jamboree in July. Girard and I worked from a bronze plaque of Chief Kamiakin. He was distinguished as a warrior and buffalo hunter. He accrued substantial wealth, allowing him to marry five wife's from rival tribes. This created kinship with many tribes. He brought back cattle to the Yakima valley, a first. Kamiakin planted one of the earliest gardens and irrigated his land. In1850 he offered a Catholic priest a place on his property for a mission, if the priest would teach his tribe. Two Catholic Fathers arrived, and built St.Joseph's Mission on Ahtanum Creek. In 1853 the Washington Territory was established and the treaty process begin. Kamiakin died in 1877.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Carving Rendezvous

A weekend at the Spokane Carving Rendezvous brought classes, friendship, potlucks, and some great weather. I was able to go to three classes, a seahorse and a relief brown trout, which need to be painted yet. I also had a class in Kolrosing. I taught a class on carving a santa ornament that went well. We were able to enter a contest in carving a spoon with the second part to be announced on Sunday. We were divided into two teams and had a relay to carry water with our spoon to a container and see which team got the most water. It was fun for us and the bystanders rooting on the teams.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Native American

A Native American carved out of a 2" x 5" x 8" piece of basswood. It's painted with acrylics. There's always been a great interest in these past warrior's and their history.  The back is cut out and it is meant to be a mask with the eyes cut out. It is carved half size and makes a great wall hanging.