Highland Woodworking Wood News Online, No. 168, August 2019 Welcome to Highland Woodworking - Fine Tools & Education Learn more about Highland Woodworking View our current woodworking classes and seminars Woodworking articles and solutions Subscribe to Wood News
Here's My Woodcarving!
By Donald Straka
Hamden, CT

Coiled Snake - Black walnut about 8" round. Brushed lacquer

I had the pleasure of being featured in the January 2014 issue of Wood News Online. Five years later (with a 2 year hiatus when the basement in a new apartment proved to be too cold and damp), I still carve 1-2 hours a day taking subjects from nature and using mostly hardwoods such as maple and walnut. I don't aim to be totally realistic and usually finish with lacquer or wax leaving the grain or figure of the wood still showing.

As the years go by, I find myself using power tools more often. The snake was done with a power carver and rotary tools. Gouges are used when needed.

Red-tail Hawk - Butternut. 17" high; 27" with cherry log base.
Danish oil, brushed lacquer and diluted white acrylic.

Peregrine Falcon - Black walnut, 14" long. Brushed lacquer top;
Watco natural wax bottom.

Tao Yin_Yang - Sycamore and Honduran rosewood. 6" x 1"
Not shown but now mounted on a 6' birch plaque
with a hanger on back.

Based on an Ammonite fossil in walnut.
About 9" x 3.5" on a granite base.

Canada Goose (reflection) - My latest completed project.
Philippine "mahogany". No significant grain so I colored it with a
variety of Watco danish oils, Watco dark wax and white acrylic.
About 13" x 3", mounted on a pine board painted light grey.


Donald can be reached directly via email at dstka@comcast.net.

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