Scenic carvings are fun to do because they let me set my imagination free to see what can be done with different mediums and practical uses.
This relief carving is based on a photo of a waterfall in Iceland. The shape of the maple burl slab (19”hx14”w) gave me the idea of having the waterfall cascade from a hidden mountain lake through the centre of the burl. Small river stones are set in the pool and shore; tiger eye, crystal and dessert rose stones are set in the cliffs. Colour and texture is added using acrylics to paint the sky, water and grass and garden soil and beach sand to brush the sides of the mountain. The waterfall extends out from the carving giving a realistic effect of water splashing over the cliffs.
My daughter-in-law, Dee, loved this carving so much that I couldn’t resist giving it to her for a Christmas gift.
My friend, Leslie, is one of the most gentle and caring people I know. So doing a relief carving with peace as the theme seemed appropriate. The scene is based on a photo I took out of my office window when I was administrator for UBC Mining Engineering.
Carved in a 12"x12" spruce board, the piece is finished in acrylic paint with texture added in the foreground.
Mountains carved in a worm-wood burl with a river created in acrylic gel running swiftly at the base.
21” wide x 19” high
High Mountain Streams
A low relief carving with a shelf attached to the burl. The waterfalls and lake are done in resin - a very picky medium that has to be mixed exactly right so it doesn't bubble and dries hard.
A large relief carving in a yellow cedar burl, which is beautiful, but extremely toxic. It is essential to wear a mask when carving in it and many carvers won't even work with it. However, this burl was so lovely and conducive to the ruins of a temple that I couldn't resist. The idea was to put small knickknacks in the openings. Unfortunately, it broke at the crack line.
A large tropical relief carving that came purely from imagination. Perhaps I had been dreaming of a warm climate. It was given as a gift to a couple in Prince George, BC, who put me up for a week when my car broke down simply because a mutual friend asked them to.
This carving, depicting a naked tree of winter with the moon in the background, is the first relief carving I did. It came about when I asked son, Chris - a carver in training at that time - to carve me a candle holder. He didn't get around to it so I did it myself... and fell in love with the art form. You can't see it in this photo, but there is a place to put a candle in the shelf.
Skagway Train Trestle
Start with a burl that looks like a mountain; see a picture of a 100 year old train trestle in Skagway, Alaska, and it seems rather obvious the two should be combined with a real model train and track. The carving was sold to a man from Alaska.
An update to this carving is that in 2011 James and I took a seven-week holiday through Alaska, the Yukon and BC. One of the only two tours we booked was taking the narrow-gauge train in Skagway to cross the trestle carved.
I asked my friend Sally what she would like me to carve for her as a parting gift. She said, "Something simple, like a flower." Turns out daffodils aren't so simple. One day I will do another one just on principle.
A creative endeavour in our gnome home phase, this lighthouse is set on a mountaintop overlooking the sea and was designed to be a nightlight.
While these unique, carved frames display a couple of the very few paintings I’ve done, they were designed to display photos. The curtains on the left frame are made from sawdust and glue. The log cabin on the right is fronted with inset glass.