May 2013 Wood News Online 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 Denis Hermecz
Silverhill, Al

Click on any picture to see a larger version.

The frame and headboard shown with the mirror are painted poplar. The frame is 54" X 103.

The mirror frame in the picture I sent you was for a client who wanted me to do a custom carving to fit the mirror she had already installed. She wanted the base or back part of the frame to cover the edges of the mirror and match the magenta walls. She wanted me to do one of my freestyle vine motifs for the frame. I sort of made it up as I went along. I managed to find some very wide poplar planks--up to fifteen inches wide and a good solid inch thick. So I thought it would be good to utilize a lot of this width in the carving and have a slightly oval shape suggested by the sides. Since the glass was about fifty four inches wide I wasn't worried about the carving encroaching on the reflecting space. I drew the vines directly on the assebled rectangular frame. I cut out the shapes with a Bosch sabre saw and I carved most of the shapes with a Bosch 12000 rpm side grinder--an extremely versatile tool. There is some carving done with hand held chisels out of my mixed bag of old chisels, but I try to design a big piece like this one so that hand carving is minimized. I sand a lot of the pieces like this one with Festool random orbit sanders and some with a Fein multitool sander. Matching the mirror is a headboard/footboard that I carved using my take on the elements in a wallpaper pattern that the client wanted to use. Of course the elements in a drawing such as a border for a page that has vines and flowers, or the repeated motifs in a wallpaper are just drawings. They don't have to be structural. They don't hold anything together. A carved frame has to be contiguous in order to work. So if I work in vines, for example I have to fill the space and loop the vines in a manner that is strong enough to work and be attractive too.

Here are a couple of my screen doors that worked out pretty well. The first piece is carved on both sides. The side shown here is the structural side. The other side is the "cap side." the cap is the cover for the screen and staples, etc. It is a mirror image of this side, but is only about 3/8" thick. I carved this pond scene with cattails, arum leaves, bass, lily pads and other pond critters for a couple in Montrose AL who have a cabin on a pond. The wood is cypress.

Pelican screen door, cypress. Door is shown before the bronze screen wire was applied. The door pull was a carved shrimp.

Screen door in cypress with heron and mullet and carved rope molding.

You can email Denis at or check out his website at .

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!

Return to Wood News front page

Bookmark and
See Previous Newsletters Subscribe to our Newsletter

Copyright © 2013 Highland Woodworking, Inc.

Highland Woodworking | 1045 N. Highland Avenue, NE | Atlanta | GA | 30306 | 404.872.4466