In the beginning I didn't intend for this to be much more than a momentary pastime carving. But the more I carved, the more that I began to like it.
Like a lot of my carvings this one began with a piece of dry poplar limb that I picked up off the ground. Basswood is nice but there's just something super special about picking up a piece of found wood right up off the forest floor then transforming it into something to admire. Just don't get much better than that in my raw approach to carving.
Also in the beginning I never intended for it to make it to the blog or I would have taken more pictures along the way. The picture to the far left shows the limb just after I'd roughed it out on the bandsaw. The original branch had two limbs forking outward and directly across from each other and yes, outreaching arms is the first thing that went through my mind. I love finding wood like this since there are so many possibilities.
Also notice how the wood of the right arm is dark as compared to the light color of the left arm. Sometimes poplar can vary in color from white to cream to even shades of green. After carving I then went on to lightly sand it with 220 grit paper and painted it with watered down acrylics.
Living in the mountains of North Carolina I have spent almost 30 very
rewarding years working with at-risk kids in a wilderness camping program as a counselor, outdoor educator, and woodshop teacher. To learn more about what my blog is all about, just scroll down this sidebar to "About my blog..."
1. Woodcarving/Woodwork: Working wood has been a lifetime obsession for me and I enjoy sharing what I know. It is my belief that hands-on and experiential learning has a direct and profound effect on the development of a child's intellect, confidence, and character. Projects of mine (and my students) will be posted as they progress and I will occasionally include a video tutorial. All of my videos can be found here .
2. Bushcraft/Primitive Living Skills: Finding ways to live closer to the land has always fascinated me. Whether it's building a shelter, fire starting, animal tracking, or just making rustic furniture... you'll eventually see some of it here.
3. Long Distance backpacking, canoeing, & bicycling: Some of my long distance adventures include thru-hiking the 2,600 mile Pacific Crest Trail, Mexico to Canada and I solo paddled the 1,800 mile Yukon river across northwest Canada and Alaska to the Bering sea. More detailed accounts of these and many other adventures can be found here
4. Sustainable Living: I'm always looking for better ways to do more by using less. It's not so much an "environmental" thing to me as it is a quest for personal independence from material things and finding a path to more substantive living .
5. Scouting Activity: As a scoutmaster of 6 years (and currently assistant scoutmaster) I'm actively involved with the troop and "Order of the Arrow" where it is a joy to volunteer hundreds of hours each year because investing in the next generation insures a better tomorrow for everyone. In an era when most schools don't value hands-on learning, outdoor education, and the arts... scouting soars in meeting these critical experiences for boys.
6. Profiles: Behind everyone's success you can usually find a trail of some very significant mentors and teachers along the way. And sometimes you don't completely understand how someone affected your life for the better until many years later. You'll find some of those stories here.