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Here's My Woodcarving!

by Greg Little
Prairieville, LA

Click on any picture to see a larger version.

I am a Louisiana resident born in New Orleans and lived there all my life... until August 29th, 2005 when Hurricane Katrina flooded and destroyed the home where my wife and I had lived for many years. We moved to another home in Prairieville, Louisiana, and there I was able to build my new studio workshop and stared replacing my lifetime accumulation of woodworking tools.

I have been working with wood since around the age of 12 and have always been fascinated with the beauty of wood and its tremendous varieties, colors, grain patterns, textures and finishing capabilities. Wood can be shaped, cut, sculpted, carved and molded into a countless number of designs only limited by a person’s imagination and creativeness.

I have always thoroughly enjoyed my woodworking and look forward to every moment I am able to spend doing it… For 20+ years I did custom woodworking and restorations on wood yachts and sailboats. Additionally, I have designed and built custom solid wood furniture.

My biggest passion that I have been creating for years is my sculpted and carved keepsake and jewelry boxes. I am fascinated with sculpting and carving solid wood furniture, keepsake and jewelry boxes.

These boxes are fun to make and since I enjoy using a lot of exotic woods the cost of building it does not get too out of hand.

My process involves creating each box from a single continuous board that wraps the grain... I do this to keep the continuous flow of the grain around the box corners for enhanced beauty. I use another section of the same board for the top and fasten it with concealed pin hinges.

From this point I lay out my design flow around the four sides and top... and then rough cut with an angle grinder. From this point I spend considerable time carving and sanding until my desired look appears.

I use several finishing options including my favorite of applying 7-10 coats of lacquer with an ultra-fine sanding after each coat and an extensive buffing after the final finish coat.

I use several options for lining the bottom including velvet, alligator, wood, leather, & numerous other choices.

Each step of every project I design and build is considered my masterpiece… because I want the finished product to reflect the quality and creativeness of my work. I study each piece to get ideas and details that will evolve in and improve my future creations.

Creativeness is an ongoing lifetime learning process… I must continually be my own biggest critic and always be very happy and passionate with what I am doing if I expect my work to continually evolve and improve.

If a person cannot be satisfied with their own work they most certainly cannot expect others to appreciate each and every step from start to finish that has gone into creating it.

Would you like to see your carvings in this column? We invite you to SEND US PHOTOS of your favorite woodcarving projects along with captions and a brief history of your woodcarving. (Email photos at 800x600 resolution.) Receive a $50 store gift card if we show your carving work in a future issue!

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