Saturday, April 30, 2011


I have a niece who always comments on my carvings and has, on several occasions asked me to carve something for her. When I saw her at Easter, she again asked me to carve something for her. I asked her "what is your favorite animal?" and she answered, without hesitation, "panda!" She was born in China, so that really wasn't a surprise. I didn't make her any promises, but thee wheels started turning and I started looking for reference pictures. I'm trying to remember if I have carved any animals at all, beside eagle heads and I was a little nervous at to how a bear might come out (which is why I didn't offer to do this when she asked). Well, I surprised myself and I think I found a new interest! Here are pictures of the outcome, all painted. I still need to put on some clear finish and then add some "shiny" to the eyes and nose.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Carving a Spiral : Layout

Here's a video tutorial based on a technique I learned from Woodcarving Illustrated #33

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Simple Triquetra part 3

This is the last part for this video series. There's not a lot to show in demonstrating this one, but it's a deceivingly tricky project. Worth trying for the knife skills , grain reading and spacial perception needed to complete it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Simple Triquetra part 2

In this segment, I carve the corners to establish high and low points on the carving.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Simple Triquetra part 1

A fairly simple project this time. It's a project that does take some skills, but among Celtic designs, which get quite complex, this pattern is simple. It's a good project to keep your knife skills "honed". I'm making this one from some Spanish Cedar I had. Soft, but prone to splitting, this wood's characteristics add to the challenge.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wizard Walking Stick (completed)

Finally, here are some picture of the completed Wizard Walking Stick I did a while back. After much deliberation, I decided on a finish of Watco Danish Oil (natural) and two coats of  Spar Marine Varnish over that for protection against the elements. I buffed the thoroughly dried project on a lambswool buffing wheel. For the bottom tip, I secured a length of copper pipe fitting with some two-part epoxy. It hasn't seen any hiking action yet, but it will this summer.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Preparing Walking Sticks for Drying

Here are some tips I have developed for cleaning up some sticks I have gathered which will someday become walking sticks.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Future Walking Sticks

Lately I find myself noticing any falling branches and trees along the road. It's become quite a distraction, so I had to go on a stick hunt to get that out of my system. I keep thinking it will get too overgrown in a few weeks and finding a stash of stick will be easier now. So the other day, I packed my saw and pruning tool and headed out to some empty lots in the are. The photo shows the pile I came home with. Making these into walking sticks will likely take me quite some time, but when I get to it, at least I'll have stock. So now to clean them up, de-bark a few and set them to dry. Meanwhile, I'll try to get my wife to understand I haven't completely lost my mind.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

Walnut Lovespoon Part 1

Back on March 14, my post Site of the Week-Celtic Love Spoons, I mention a carving site with an especially graceful spoon design. I've always wanted to give this one a try. So here is my version as a short video series...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Carving a Pine Lizard - Part 5

This is the last video on this project. I have completed the first level of sanding to 80grit. No need to discuss sanding beyond this video. I'll post a photo of the finished piece when I get that done.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011

Carving a Pine Lizard - Part 3

In this episode, carving on the body continues with knife work. Today I ran into some problems which I'll show in the next part. Lack of forethought begins to pay back with dividends. Chalk it up to a learning experience. (read: oops!)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Carving a Pine Lizard - Part 2

In part 2, I try a few methods for getting rid of some bulk material. A re-purposed laminate trimmer gets used.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Carving a Pine Lizard - Part 1

I didn't give this project a lot of forethought. I just saw a piece of wood in my scrap box and had an urge to carve and decided to do this lizard. I didn't do any research other than to download a few images of lizards and decided to do this one.