Saturday, December 29, 2012

Village Tree's

Every year my wife sets up this village for the holidays.It was in desperate need of some trees. I carved these trees in cotton wood bark. I penciled out U's all the way down a cone shape and used a knife and a gouge to cut the branches. I painted the tree with a green wash and added some snow. It is a great addition to this village.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Santa Is Coming To Town

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year. I let my wife chose a rough-out of a Santa and she liked this one. It will compete with all the doll type Santa's. It is 16 inches tall. This is the time of year there is a lot of good cheer and a giving nature. I hope it can carry on throughout the next year.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Wood Necklace

This is my first attempt at carving a necklace. It has been a learning experience with the clasps and chains. The two hearts are carved out of lilac that I trimmed back last spring. They are cut at an angle to give that grain look. They are a light tan and white in color. The eye is a twisted wire glued in a drilled hole. The hook is carved in cherry that a friend cut down this last spring. It's heart wood is a reddish brown. Both woods are a hardwood.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Santa Revisited

I had carved this same Santa in December 2010. The block of wood is a quarter inch larger but I carved the Santa thinner. This one is 9 inches tall. The chip carved part has smaller chips. I added a line border to the chips because it looked unfinished. I like this version a lot better. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Spiral Ornament

This is the time we decorate the Christmas tree and put up the outside lights. The spiral ornaments for the tree are 3 1/2 inches long. One is sanded and the other one I left the carve marks on the outside. I think it will reflect the light better then the sanded one. I did a craft sale Saturday. It is a good way to introduce carving to my community. The future of carving is through exposure and teaching this as a fun and rewarding hobby. I also gave a few pencils away to young kids who showed interest in carving. The young kids really liked the horses and galloped them across the table before the moms could stop them. There was good interest in my carvings.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Stetson Cowboys

I had carved this pattern of a cowboy about 4 years ago. These are 5 inches tall, with one having the cowboy legs separated. He also has the ears showing. That made his face thinner which gives a different look to the face. I think carving in the eyes really adds to the face.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Indian with Braids

The holiday season has come upon us. Thanksgiving is just a few days away.  Thanksgiving Day is traditionally a day for families and friends to get together for a special meal. The meal often includes a turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, pumpkin pie, and vegetables. Thanksgiving Day is a time for many people to give thanks for what they have. I too have many things to be thankful for.
The native american is carved out of cottonwood bark. It's about 11 inches tall. In carving the braids, Don Mertz gave an explanation on how to carve the braids. Draw a zig zag line down the braid. Extend the upward lines to the edge of the braid. Use a v-tool and knife to separate and shape the segments. I hope this helps.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Crayon Santa Ornament

We had our first snow of the season last night. It's a little earlier then the last few years. With Christmas season coming up carvers gear up to the season. The snow is a reminder in the joy of a white Christmas. When I seen the Crayon Santa in the Carving magazine I just had to carve one, ah three. It is carved from a 1 inch square by 6 inches long. I did round off the hair and beard because it gives a softer look.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Country Bears

The next month I will be carving some things to be for sale at a craft sale the first week in December. I want to have a better display of affordable items than  last year. We live in a smaller town where we know a lot of the people here. It is nice to be able to visit with people we don't see to often. Last year I was able to barter for a jar of huckleberry jam which tasted very good. I enjoyed myself and it was worth my time.
The country bears are carved from 2 inch square by 4 inches tall basswood. The profile is cut so you can carve a variety of clothes and arms. The front was cut around the head only.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Pumpkin With a Roof

This is a Halloween carving in cottonwood bark. It is 5 inches tall. The back has been relieved to fit a tea candle inside. A flap of mat board was added to reflect the light towards the front. I tinted the pumpkin with orange oil paint. I didn't want it too orange, but I think it could be a bit more to contrast it from the rest of the carving.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Indian in Cottonwood Bark

I've been working hard at carving the face in bark. I was thrilled to win a best of division at the Spokane carving show.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Buffalo Shaman

In ancient times shaman was a counselor and healer. The bison provided food, clothes, and shelter for the American Plains Indians. This was a great spiritual significance. A nomadic lifestyle allowed the people to stay close to the herds. Before the hunts the tribal Shaman (religious leader) asked for strength for the hunters and success in the hunt. This is from a Rex Branson roughout. It is 9 1/2 inches tall. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Santa Ornament

My daughter asked for a carving for a good cause she is working on, but she didn't want a cowboy. It just isn't girly enough. I bet there are some ladies who do like cowboys. They have a fashion show, lunch, and a silent action to raise money for the Women's Center.  They are putting gifts together in baskets. The wine and chocolate should go good with a santa ornament the coming holiday season. The santa is 6 inches tall and relieved in the back.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Trinket Boxes

I wanted to start out small with my chip carving using simple designs. These two boxes are from a craft store. Some of the boxes have open grain and soft wood making it hard to carve sharp edges. I don't know what kind of wood this is but I like the brown stripes. The first trinket box is 2 1/2 inches by 2 inches. I carved a 7 point rosette on the top. The second trinket box I also carved a 7 point rosette on the top. It is 3 1/2 inch by 2 1/4 inch and 2 1/4 inch tall. On all the sides I carved a double border of positive diamond with wedge cuts. It is drawn in with 4 mm squares. A fellow carver gave me this hint on holding your chip knife at the correct angle. He cut a 50 degree angle on a small piece of 3/8 inch wood so you can lay it against the blade of your knife.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Log House

This log house is carved in cottonwood bark. It is 6 inches tall. I wanted the roof to look like sod so I glued a piece of bark on top so the two pieces of bark are facing in different directions. I added some furniture inside the house. This carving took me back a few years when I was a kid. When I was carving this log house a lady asked how I knew were to place the logs. I told her I had played with Lincoln logs as a kid. I don't think you can even find them anymore, but it was a good learning experience growing up.

Friday, September 7, 2012


This carving of an Elf is from a Mark Gargac pattern. A 2 inch block was cut at a diagonal. The block was 12 inches long, so I cut it in half. I cut in the hair of the beard so it went in the cutout areas in the beard. I also painted the hair with light buttermilk. White sometimes gives a chalky look. When it dries I use a dry brush technique. I use a bristle brush and white paint. Dab most of the paint off on a paper towel. Then hit the high spots on the hair and the hat.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Santa Ornaments

When I go camping there is time to relax and carve. I take small projects and try different things. In these ornaments I was working on the beard of the Santa. I have more work on carving hair to do, but I'm gaining. Harold Enlow wrote a few steps in carving hair. 
1. Make long sweeping s-cuts. Make the change in direction severe.
2. Begin s-cuts adjacent to a previous cut, then after a short distance, merge into a previous cut. 
3. Begin some cuts between previous cuts. Avoid making a pattern.
4. Go over some areas to deepen the flow. Try to remove all flat spots in the hair.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Carving Rendezvous

We had rather warm days during our stay at the West Glacier Rendezvous. It was a fun time carving and a surprise visit from a mom and her four daughters playing their fiddles after our barbeque. Saturday morning we had a group project carving a bear. There were several examples with different clothes. The blank was cut at 4 inches so you could get three out of a 12 inch block. We also carved on Thursday and Friday. Most are small projects for a three hour class.

The head is carved separate from the body of my turtle. When I glued the head on with Super Glue, the head stuck on at little more angle than I wanted.   

I never did chip caving before so I did a practice class and than an egg. He had us use a 1/4 inch square for the chip design. It took a lot of time to draw out the design so I carved it quicker than I would have liked. I like the design so I will try it again.

I taught a class on a Norwegian horse. I had carved in the saddle and reigns so it would be more of a challenge to the more experienced carvers. The highlight was with two ladies that haven't carved before. They were at the campground and saw us carving and wanted to try. The older lady wanted to know when it was next year so she could learn some more. The other lady was an eight year old girl. At that age she doesn't have enough strength to carve clean cuts. I was behind her and held onto the knife with her and carved the horse. She had a finished horse and I was able to go around and help the other carvers. Her brother took a different class that afternoon and was seen buying knives with his dad later.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Carved Hobo

This is a caricature I carved in a class at the Northwest Carving Academy in Ellensburg, Washington. The class was taught be Bob Travis. I liked the way he taught the class,  he didn't carve on your piece, he was good at explaining and demonstrating the carving. It was a five day class with the fifth day painting the hobo. I included a picture of our starting point, so you can see all the work we had to do. They had many other classes and it was fun to see what the other classes were doing.