Nativity Carving Joseph

Each year, I carve a figure from the Christian nativity scene for a family member. Last year it was Mary, the mother of Jesus. This year it was Joseph.

Joseph IP
Joseph in progress, from the rear

I had a lovely piece of mahogany given to me by a client and friend, which was straight grained, relatively soft and of a warm reddish-brown colour. I cut out the basic shape on my band saw and went to work with the carving gouges. Joseph is intended to be a figurative sculpture, hence there is little detail. The idea is that you can see yourself in him and imagine what it would have been like to be at the birth of Jesus in that manger in Bethlehem. Joseph’s body language is a mixture of awe and pride, welcoming you to the scene and showing off the baby.

Joseph is approximately 6 inches tall, and is finished with a blend of linseed oil and beeswax.

Joseph
Joseph, complete, from the front
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