Sunday, July 8, 2018

Kyle Alty Urban Lumberjack

Here is the problem - a lot of trees are cut down in cities to make way for residential and commercial construction. I'm not going into the pros and cons of the new and remodel development market. However, the fact is that a number of well established trees are cut down to make way for it.

This is where someone like Kyle Alty comes in. Kyle describes himself as an "Urban Lumberjack." Unlike a traditional lumberjack that may cultivate trees to cut down, Kyle finds those trees that are either already down or coming down to make way for construction. He is saving some beautiful wood for the creation of fine furniture and works of art.

If you are looking for some beautiful wood with local heritage, I hope you will connect with an urban lumberjack like Kyle. You can visit his website at  If you know other urban lumberjacks, please let us know.

Below are some sample of the wood Kyle has recovered. They are labeled with a hash tag that starts with the name of the street the wood came from followed by the species of the wood.


Live edge serving boards from #ManettElm

Splated #MoserHavkberry


#BelmontSycamore with ray fleck Medulary Rays




Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Judo Cherry Blossom

I made a Judo cherry blossom relief for a black belt and referee/judge. It is carved out of basswood. It is sealed and glazed (shaded) with a water based stain. Let me know what you think.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Completed Corporal Works of Mercy Relief

Even though I completed the Corporal Works of Mercy Relief a couple of years ago, I realized I had not yet posted the finished piece on the blog. In addition to posting it here, there is also a page for the Corporal Works of Mercy Relief on the site with a link to a study guide document I wrote to accompany the carving.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Stylized Dove Brooch

Here are some photos I took of the process of making a stylized dove brooch. First, I make a few sketches. You can see the last two in the photo below. Then I get a piece of basswood about the right size. The piece is thicker than required, so I quickly thin it down with a gouge.

After thinning it down, I sketch the pattern directly on the wood and cut around the outline with a coping saw.

With the rough outline cut, I put it on some non-slip netting to help hold it in place while carving.

I use gouges to shape the carving.

Now the rough gouge work is complete. You can now see the form of the head and body. The wings have a slightly concave shape with a raised edge.

Since I want a smooth finish, I am working though progressively finer grits of Abranet sand paper. I end with 600 grit.

With the sanding completed, it is ready for finishing.

I add my initials to the back with a wood burner. A pin will be added on the back, just above the initials, to make it into a brooch.

Finally, here is the finished product.

Thank you for following along and please let me know what you think.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Sconces by Ricky Smith

Ricky Smith carved the walnut wall plates for a pair of sconces. Here is a picture of one along with close ups of  the top and bottom.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Gold Miner Carving by Dale Arden

Author and woodcarver Dale Arden put together this video documenting his journey creating an award winning carving. It was my pleasure to have the opportunity to provide some guidance along the way.

Here are a couple of photos of the finished piece.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

2018 North Texas Wood Carver's Guild Show Recap

It's taken a couple of weeks for me to post this, but here are some photos from the 2018 North Texas Wood Carver's Guild "Rhapsody in Wood Show". We had a great time seeing the work of wood carvers, scroll saw artists, wood turners, guard carvers, and more.

I had the opportunity to demonstrate carving techniques, sharpening methods, design ideas, and learning to draw with a wide variety of people. Thank you to everyone who came!

Here is a shot from the show floor.

This was my table with some carvings on display and my carving demonstration station.

Jody Webb smiling with his first place and merit award winning carving.

Following is a sampling of first place winners from various categories.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

2018 North Texas Wood Carver's Guild Rhapsody in Wood Show

This Saturday and Sunday (March 3rd & 4th) is the North Texas Wood Carver's Guild 2018 show and sales titled "Rhapsody in Wood." Please visit the official show page for details.

Here are a couple of photos from last year's show.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Jody Webb's Roses

Jody Webb finishing up his latest rose carving commission. This will make a one of a kind Valentine surprise for the recipient!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Small Cottonwood Wood Spirit

Here is a small wood spirit carving I made from a piece of cottonwood bark. The carving is approximately 5 inches tall.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Darth Vader at Carving Class

You never know what may happen at carving class. Here is a photo of the time Darth Vader came to inspect the progress.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Ludwig Kieninger Carving at Jesuit College Preparatory School

I wanted to share a carving by Ludwig Kieninger that is at Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas.

One of the special features of Jesuit Dallas is that they have an art museum in the school. Hundreds of pieces by well known artist are on display throughout the school. You can even take a docent guided tour. Here you can see the full Kieninger piece hanging on the wall.

One unusual thing I noticed is Ludwig signed this piece on the front with his last name spelled out. Usually you would only see the "LK" initials on the front of his carvings.

Have you been to the Jesuit Dallas Museum? If so, what did you think of it?