Fruity Carving…

A carved pear
A carved pear

Carving fruit is an old tradition. I don’t mean cutting up watermelon or an apple to munch on. I mean carving wood to look like fruit. People have been doing it for centuries, even millennia! Fruity carving is another thing altogether that I am not getting into…

I was contacted last week by the director of an upcoming theatre production who asked if I could carve a prop for a play called The Woodcarver. She needed a pear to be used in the play. I have carved fruit in high relief and low relief, but never in-the-round, so this would be a learning project for me too.

Mahogany Fruit Bowl
Mahogany Fruit Bowl

I grabbed a board that was three and a half inches square and quite long, and lopped a piece off with my saw. I cut it a bit longer than necessary so as to leave enough to hold in the vise as per the picture below. Then I ran off to the Central Fraser Valley Woodcarvers club meeting on Wednesday night and started by roughing it out with my largest gouges.

Photo 2016-01-06, 7 15 44 PM
Roughing out the Pear (upside-down)

I made quite the mess in the couple of hours that the club met but had some fun discussing whether or not I was making those dangly-bits of bulls you see swinging from the bumpers of over-sized pick-up trucks in Abbotsford (but not in classy Langley). Several members wondered why I wasn’t making this on a lathe. A lathe can only make things perfectly round and there aren’t any perfectly round pears out there in the wild. I wanted a little more artistic license than that.

After a few back-and-forths by email with the client, I was able to confirm the appropriate size and smoothness of the carving.

Photo 2016-01-09, 11 29 14 AM
Still too large pear

After sanding the pear and shaping the stem, I gave it a light coating of oil to bring out the natural colour and grain of the wood. This went so well I will definitely carve more.

A carved pear
A carved & oiled pear

If you want some wood carved fruit, feel free to contact me about options for something unique to you. In the meantime, I hear my wife asking if her fruit is finished yet. Back to the carving bench I go!

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