Art of the Carver Show & Sale

My friends and loyal readers, please accept my invitation to an art show this weekend in Abbotsford. The Central Fraser Valley Woodcarvers club is hosting our annual Art of the Carver show and sale at the Matsqui Community Hall on Saturday, October 22, from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Admission is by donation of $3.

There will be carving demonstrations by our club members all day. I will be demonstrating how to carve with a mallet and full size gouges on two different carvings. I will demonstrate a beginner’s relief carving of an acanthus leaf, and I will also work on an advanced carving which incorporates a more complex version of the acanthus leaf. Other members will demonstrate different styles of carving. It’s a very relaxed and casual atmosphere in a very nice space.

Please come – there will be some excellent carvings on display, and who knows but you may be able to pick up a unique Christmas gift or a piece of fine art for your own home.


It’s A Torch!

The Torch I am sculpting for the Trinity Western House in Fort Langley finally looks a little like a torch. 

I am so pleased with the natural colours of the cedar and how they are a mirror image on each side. 

Next I will finish sand all the pieces down to about 280 grit. Then I will put the finish on and mount it to the metal frame. 

Torch Sculpture Progress

Laying out the pieces on a beautiful piece of western red cedar.

I managed to squeeze an hour in the shop this afternoon to work on the Torch sculpture. I transferred the various parts of the drawing onto the wood and used the band saw to rough cut the shapes.

Laying out the pieces on a beautiful piece of western red cedar.

Once a few of the pieces were cut out, I started sanding them to show the grain. I love the look and smell of freshly milled and shaped cedar!


A Large Torch Carving

My next carving project is one that came on short notice, with a short┬ádeadline. It’s one that’s extra cool for me because it blends my two worlds of University Registrar and wood sculptor. I’ve been asked to carve a large version of the Torch portion of TWU’s logo.

I’ve got the measurements and the very kind folks in the Facilities and Maintenance department ordered me a full size drawing. I’m now in the process of getting the measurements for a metal frame which will have to be welded in the next day or so.

I plan to carve it in cedar, with a light semitransparent stain. It will be mounted to the metal frame and then the whole thing will be mounted to the second story facade of a building in Fort Langley.

Here’s the full size version, stuck onto my window so I can see through the paper and draw the metal frame and take measurements off of it.

Trout Carving in High Relief

Inspired by a painting done of me and for me by my good friend and artist, Len Schmidt, a while back I carved a trout out of pine, in high relief. The idea was to test out several artistic concepts. I wanted it to be a minimalist type of carving – no scales, just a hint at the eyes and gills – but I also wanted it to give the impression of a fish that is half-in and half-out of the water, and one that clearly has some movement going on. It hang on my wall straight up and down for about a year, and I wasn’t happy with it.

Then, recently I thought about grouping some of the art I have on my office walls, and I decided to put this carving next the painting that inspired it. I also decided to hang it at an angle to create more visual interest. The twist of the tail and the curve of the tail fin show so much more like this. I like it a lot better!

I’m still not particularly happy with the carving overall, but I’ll chalk it up to experimentation and learning. As a result, it’s not for sale. Someday I’ll redo it and resolve the issues I have with it and then I’ll consider selling it. Until then, I hope you can enjoy it for what it is.


Cherry Bread Plate

The demand for my hand-carved cherry bread plates is growing. 

Bread Plate 2016

A word about the finish and care of these plates is in order. They are not intended to be cutting boards – they are intended to be serving trays. They are finished with a food safe oil & wax (natural linseed oil which comes from flax, and beeswax). If you cut with a knife on this plate, it will scratch. If you put the plate in the dishwasher, you will destroy it. Instead, just wipe it off with a cloth or paper towel and put it back on your display rack (you do have a display rack for this, right?!?). I recommend that maybe once a year you grab a soft cotton cloth and give the plate a quick buff to restore the luster. My mom has one of these that I carved in oak at least 10 years ago. The last time I was home, I simply rubbed a cotton rag over it to buff it up and the glow returned to the plate. 

If you would like one of these, please contact me at