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Here's My Woodcarving!

by Donald Straka
Hamden, CT

Click on any picture to see a larger version.

I have been carving for about 7 to 8 years on a very part-time basis, usually no more than an hour a day. Now that I am retired, I carve a little more frequently than I used to. I am very much an amateur. Most projects take a couple of months to complete and, shall we say, may be less than perfect. I carve mostly with hand tools (gouges), a small band saw for rough work, and the occasional Foredom rotary tool when required.

I prefer to carve mostly in-the-round using harder woods such as maple and walnut, with occasional forays of redwood and butternut. Most of my subjects are natural items - birds, fish, etc. - done in a somewhat stylized or abstract fashion, not trying to be 100% realistic. I prefer to let the grain or figure of the wood speak for itself.

The trout is Black Limba mounted on a butternut plank.

The "bull's head" is redwood on a basswood plank. (In the photo it is standing on a "book" of spalted maple).

"Spirits Dancing" is spalted maple on a (purchased) walnut base, finished in brushed lacquer. It was a wedding gift to my son and his wife.

Another trout about 10 inches in length, made out of ambrosia maple on a walnut base, and finished in brushed lacquer.

The nautilus shell is birch (Alaskan birch according to the seller) on a sapele base, finished in brushed lacquer. It is about 7" x 10" x 1.75". The other side of it is below.

The dolphin is 18" length and is made out of spalted ample on a walnut base.

The "tribal dragon" is redwood mounted on a basswood plaque.

The Chinese dragon is purpleheart (never again, the stuff is too darn hard), about 12" x 12" mounted on a piece of granite.

You can email Donald at dstka@comcast.net .

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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