walnut wood spirit

I was bored. I hadn’t done a wood spirit style carving in a long time, so I went to the wood pile and pulled a very wet piece of walnut with a possible mouth already built in. The wetness in the wood allows one to carve a lot more easily, especially through the sapwood (lighter, outside layer). I started with a small chainsaw to rough it out, leaving the top for an aged copper “cap” that I had on hand..


Then, I proceed with various hand tools and use a 2 pound hammer for the heavy removal of material. I also use a lighter wooden hammer with the smaller chisels and to give my arm a rest!

As the carving evolves, I get more ideas as to what it wants to look like. He appears to be singing or whistling, with bloated cheeks and eyes upturned—a happy fellow, probably reflecting my mood as I’m working on him!

I decide to add a little jewelry: an earring and a copper lip piercing to go with his copper hat.

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About the author

Craig is technically an outsider artist, having no schooling or apprentice training in the arts. His background is in building and remodeling, but always with an artistic approach. This history lends itself to creating art which is also functional. Many of the tables, kitchens and beds he has made are clever and beautiful combinations of the natural edge and graining with specific functionality. He specializes in creating for those who have a specific corner or room in the house which needs attention. Also, he has been making handmade coffins, urns and memorials since the 80's. People often get their coffins ahead of time and store them. Familiar with the laws of Michigan, Craig is able to design and execute anything people want, however, creative or simple.