Carving a Family Crest

Recently, Kyla from Prince George contacted me about a wood carving idea. Her husband is Scottish and is quite interested in his family lineage and he’s interested in heraldry. She wondered if I could carve a family crest for him as a surprise. She had a surprise for me: her husband already had his family crest tattooed on his back! She sent me a picture and asked if I could incorporate it into a carved crest.

If you’ve been a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know how much I enjoy working with people to come up with a finished product. This was no different. Kyla and I went back and forth by email quite a few times to talk through the development of the idea. She sent me some photos and I drew up a few concept drawings, and the idea grew into something that “just seemed right”. We agreed on a price and I went to work.

Concept Drawing of Crest

After drawing up the idea in detail, I had to select an appropriate kind of wood. Because of the size and shape of this carving, I didn’t want to take the risk of carving it out of one piece of wood. There’s too much chance of the wood warping or splitting. So I ripped the wood into smaller pieces on my table saw until they were 4″ wide by 17″ long and 1″ thick. Then IĀ  glued them together to make an approximate square.

Did you know that watching glue dry is a very long process? It’s sort of like watching a pot of water boil… Check back tomorrow to see how it’s developing.


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Grant McMillan

I am the University Registrar at Trinity Western University, and I've been in the profession since 1997. I have an MA in Organizational Leadership, and have made a career of going into organizations that are in very difficult situations and leading them to a much better place. I teach Leadership to budding managers in the Adult Degree Completion program at Trinity Western University. I speak and consult, with organizations. Contact me at

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