Thursday, December 17, 2015

St. Nick

This Santa was carved from a rough out for my wife. She has a collection of Santa's. He is 10 inches tall and carved from basswood. I wish everyone Merry Christmas. May the holidays be good for you and your family.


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Santa Ornament

This Santa was carved from a 2 inch square, 6 inches long, it was cut on a diagonal. I used a coffee lid to mark the rounded back and carved it. I then carved the face on the front and left an area of natural wood and the edge to be painted. It gives a nice frame for the carving. I like to carve or wood burn something on the back of my ornaments.


Monday, November 9, 2015

Christmas Ornament

This ornament was carved from Cottonwood bark. It is about 6 inches long. The back is slightly carved inward. I dry painted the top edges of the hair and beard with silver acrylic paint. It was then brushed with a satin lacquer for a natural finish.   

Friday, October 30, 2015


This carving is from one of two roughouts I bought at a fund raiser. I named him Frank after a local carver who said it looked like him, since he walks stooped over. He was fun to carve and I really like the way the face turned out. He is 8 inches tall.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

American Goldfinch

I carved two Goldfinch's. One is a ornament that is five inches long and the other is a small Finch that is three inches long. I carved and painted them at the same time.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Chip Carving

This carving is meant to be used to hold a bottle of wine at the dinner table or a place to store little knickknacks. The sides have only two designs. I carved one of the same designs in the wrong spot so I ended up with two instead of four different designs.  It is 6 inches across and 1 3/4 inches tall. It was in a kit so all I had to do is draw in the design and carve.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Friendly Carving

Last weekend I was carving at a Rendezvous in West Glacier. I enjoy the time up there talking and carving with people of all skill levels. If you are a beginner it is a good place to go and pick up some skills. Most of the classes are 3 hours and a few are 6 hours. The Montana carvers do this every year in August. This is what I carved during the three days and I painted them when I got home. I came home with good memories and new friends. There was a group of young ladies from Mongolia who were working at the campground and one lady was interested in the carving. I gave her an owl ornament that I was teaching. The next day she said she was interested in carving something. So that afternoon she brought a friend and they carved a tree out of cotton wood bark. They did a great job on their first carving.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Go Zag's

This bulldog is carved from 3/8 inch thick basswood as refrigerator magnets. The bulldog is the mascot for Gonzaga. We follow their basketball team every year. I carved the bulldog for gifts for my wife and a couple of friends. I took the picture of the three bulldogs on the refrigerator. It showed my reflection in the picture, so I took it again on the side of the refrigerator. When I enhanced the picture it gave me these neat background colors.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Olde World Santa

I carved this Santa in Cottonwood bark. It is 10 inches tall and 3 inches wide. This is the first time I tried painting something in bark. I like to carve something in the back
of the piece.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Bird House Ornament

This is an idea from a Montana friend. The house is carved from cottonwood bark and the bird is from basswood. It is 2 1/4 inch square and 3/4 inch thick at the widest point. I was going to carve in the features of the house but I liked the look of the bark so I burned in boards. I like the contrast of the Goldfinch against the bark. It's a fun one to carve with some of those scrapes of wood lying around.


Thursday, June 25, 2015


I attended a Rendezvous in Kennewick,WA. It was a great time visiting with the people and carving. I always like carving characters so I had to try the small guy. He is a three inch tall cut out.  I carved the bird on both sides of the pine cone. She had a simple way of laying out the lines.  The flute was a kit where we had to round the flute and carve the block, which my choice was a fish. My wife made a bag to protect the flute. I am having fun learning to play music on it.

Monday, June 15, 2015


This was in a class where the bottom was turned on a lathe and the top was cut on a band saw. It is a 2 inch block, three inches tall. The bottom is slanted up and carved with a v gouge. The face is cut at a corner so it can have a large nose it you want. I added a tie just to put some color in it.  

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


 I had fun at the Spokane Rendezvous this year, and gave a class and participated in two others. John took some pictures of a friend at a Christmas party last year. Jim was surprised to see we were to carve him as a caricature. The talk was back and forth with good fun all day, The carving is white pine and 10 inches tall including the base.

Monday, June 1, 2015


I was away from home for a couple weeks and I took a few knives and some small pieces of wood in a small container. These icicles are 5/8 inch square by 4 inches long. I tried a staining technique I saw used on small guys. I first applied a paste wax with a bristle brush. Then used a hair dryer to melt the wax into the wood. Then I dipped the icicles into the stain and wiped them down. Although it was a lot of work it gave an interesting effect. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Simple Sculpture

This is from a pattern in the Carving magazine. It is carved from a piece of butternut. The base is separate. It is 1 inch thick, 7 inches tall and 5 inches wide.The finish is Tru oil which is a gun stock oil. I used a pre-stain first before using the Tru oil in spray form. Using the pre-stain the oil finish comes out quicker.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Little Guy's and Gal's

When staying in our motor home while visiting family for a couple weeks I carved these small caricatures. They are 1 inch square by 3 inches long, I wanted to work at carving small gal's and the guy's with a cane. On one guy I used the back of my knife to carve in hair. I like to try differant techniques while carving. Don Mertz has a good blog ( on carving small caricatures. My favorite is the guy with the mustache.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Owl Ornament

I've been working on a class for this summer. It is a simple owl that can be carved in a short time and has a lot of options. It starts out square and can be a little longer. This block is a little over 1 3/4 inch square by 2 inches long.  I use a washer to draw a circle on the top and bottom and draw center lines on all sides. I carve it round leaving one corner for the beak. I leave the center lines so it will be easier to draw in the ear tufts. 

 I carve the bottom round. I use a shallow gouge for the top and clean it up with a knife. It's a little harder to carve on the end grain. On the side I use a knife carving both directions. I leave plenty of wood around the eye. Draw in your eyes and then round and deepen the sides. Carve in the beak and eyes. Carve a few gouge marks on the front. I carve a relief line for the wings.

 I'm carving several for gifts so there is a lot of ways you can carve the eyes and painting with different colors. I used gel pens for the lines in the eyes. Have fun carving.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Indian in Bark

This Native Indian was carved from a 10 inch piece of Cottonwood bark.With the grain of the bark it has light and dark lines. When taking a picture of the piece it changes with light at different camera angles.

Monday, March 23, 2015


I started out with a Chris Hammack roughout. I broke off an arm while carving and glued it back on. I was putting on the finish coat of lacquer and dropped the carving on the cement floor and broke the arm again. Discussed with myself I carved off the body and now it is a bottle stopper. I think I will stop for a moment for a glass of wine.


Friday, March 6, 2015

Heart Ornament

I carved this ornament out of a 4 by 4 inch piece of basswood. It's 1/2 inch thick. It has the same design on both sides. You could write anything on the blank space and I chose to write a Finnish Christmas greeting because of my Finnish heritage.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Santa Has a Heart

I started carving this type of Santa ornament with the beard having cut outs about 12 years ago, trying to do different things to the carving, It is hard for me to believe I have been carving these that long.  Dave Stetson posted a pattern with hearts cut out in the beard and I thought it would look great in this type of ornament. The blank is a 2 inch square that is cut at a diagonal and is 6 inches long. The back is dished out and I carve something in the back. This one has a heart. There is a lot of room on the back to write something. They make wonderful gifts.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Little Guy

These little guy's were carved from 1 inch stock, about 2 1/2 inches tall. I like to encourage people to keep carving. My earliest remembrance is in my preteens going to the sauna for my dad's  hunting knife. And then we carved hunting knives and swords to play a sort of Robin Hood. Small figures like this can be carved with just a knife although I used a v-tool and small gouge. Keep carving.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Carved Cowboy

This carving is from a Myron Compton pattern. The cowboy is 6 1/2 inches tall. I like the big head with the small body. I had sawed out the blank over a year ago and decided to finally carve it. I need to work on some of these blanks sitting around my shop.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Think Snow

Let it snow, let it snow. That's the way snowmen think. These snowmen are 3 inches tall. They are carved form a Birch branch. The wood was green so it carved good with just a knife. I left the brim of the hat a little thick because I thought it might crack. The face is the color of the wood. The mouth, around the eyes and the snow flakes are done with a Gel pen. The ink from the pens doesn't dry as quick, so it's easy to smear the ink.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Bearing Gifts

This Santa is carved from a Moore rough out. It is 12 inches tall. I wasn't able to finish it before Christmas but will able to display the Santa this coming season.