LJ Interviews #44: Jordan Straker

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Blog entry by MsDebbieP posted 01-15-2014 09:23 AM 3435 reads 0 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 43: C_PLUS_Woodworker Part 44 of LJ Interviews series Part 45: JL7 »

This interview, with Jordan Straker, is from the January 2014 issue of our LumberJocks’ eMag.


Tell us how you started into woodcarving
I started carvings after an arthritis operation on my hand in 1988. That Christmas I got a Dremel and said “What on earth am I going to do with this – I don’t fix cars!” But in the manual 1001 things to do with a Dremel, was a picture of someone carving a little bird and I said “I bet I could do that” and my brother said “I dare you.” I never refuse a dare.

I carved a pretend bird that was mostly carved with a scissor sharpening bur and was outlandish but dang, if it didn’t win “Best of Show” at a local carving competition. The judge said “What is the name of that bird anyways?” “Oh” I replied, “That’s the, um, yes, Brown Flicker Flasher.” So what initially caught my interest about carving was that huge ribbon I hung out of my car window as I drove home.


And your journey, since that beginning?
The journey has been a long one because I want to create everything out of everything. I just love to make things.
The only challenge is the time it takes to hog the wood off. The rest just comes naturally which is a huge and appreciated blessing for me.

Click for details


What is your favourite tool?
My favorite tool is the Dremel 732. It’s the industrial model that Dremel sent me to demo in 1990 and it while it is now out of circulation, it is still running fine to this day and I would be lost without it. Other than that, I use a 4” chain on a circular grinder and go through about 4 Dremel 4000’s per year.

Click for details
(Yes, that is a wood carving.)


What is your favourite creation?
My native and western themes are my favorite creations because they are so versatile and I can let my imagination run wild.

Click for details


What tips do you have for beginning woodworkers?
I am a carver, not specifically a wood worker and there is so much about wood working in general that I haven’t a clue about so I cannot give any tips to struggling wood workers but as carver I can only say that putting in time is what makes a person progress.

Click for details


How did you find and why do you keep coming back?
I don’t recall how I found Lumberjocks but immediately upon joining, I was bombarded with comments from the friendliest online people I had ever encountered. These days I do a lot of gourd carving and I feel somewhat like a traitor or possibly infringing on the topic of lumber so I haven’t posted much but I often look in on my old friends and appreciate the support they have always shown me, no matter what project I displayed.

Click for details

And, Jordan – we appreciate you stopping by and for taking the time to do this interview!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

19 comments so far

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3434 days

#1 posted 01-15-2014 10:54 AM

Jordan – you are always someone who I admire a great deal. I am proud to call you my friend! Congratulations on the article and well-deserved recognition.


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Roger's profile


21011 posts in 3318 days

#2 posted 01-15-2014 01:24 PM

A gr8 interview. I enjoy your very intricate and life-like, carvings.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View B0b's profile


105 posts in 3204 days

#3 posted 01-15-2014 01:37 PM

You have a lot of amazing work. I doubt anyone would mind posting of the gourd work; it is such a direct extension of your woodwork and it grows from the ground…. In any regard, do the gourds last as long? I imagine that they would deteriorate at some point. Are they softer and easier to work with, or is it just the shape that lures you in?

-- Time to get started

View b2rtch's profile


4892 posts in 3562 days

#4 posted 01-15-2014 03:19 PM

Jordan, you do a wonderful work.

-- Bert

View shipwright's profile


8381 posts in 3312 days

#5 posted 01-15-2014 03:29 PM

You are a talented man Jordan and we are the richer for having you aboard.
So …. I dare you to post more of your work, more often. :-)

I’m looking forward to it.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View stefang's profile


16752 posts in 3848 days

#6 posted 01-15-2014 05:16 PM

I do miss seeing your artist carving work Jordan. I love your carved gourds and I haven’t heard one complaint about them not being wood. Please feel free to post your wonderful carvings whatever they are made out of.

Your story about the birds name reminds me of when I worked in the Shetland isles (Scotland). There was a nature area there with a lot of sea birds that were popular with a lot of bird watching tourists. A taxi driver told me that they were always asking the names of the birds and he didn’t know so he just thought up names to keep them happy!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3822 days

#7 posted 01-15-2014 06:18 PM

You are an outstanding artist and woodcarver Jordan... you have natural abilities and skills that only a few rare people possess.

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3380 days

#8 posted 01-15-2014 07:58 PM

Jordan, I love your work and really would like to see what you are doing these days. You have a great deal of talent and seeing your work is always an inspiration to me and I’m sure to a great many others. So please post more often. Thanks for the interview.

Another nice interview, MsDebbie. Keep them coming.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3639 days

#9 posted 01-15-2014 08:02 PM

Thank you Ms Debbie and thank you all for being interested in my antics.

B0b – I would say the properties of gourds are much that of wood. As a matter of fact, the outer skin is much like arborite which is difficult to paint and sand but there have been gourds found from the time of the Ming Dynasty so they basically just petrify rather than decay.

I still may not feel all that comfortable in posting gourds but I am back into wood these days and am loving it again.

Thank you so much for your continued support.


View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3817 days

#10 posted 01-15-2014 10:13 PM

yea i dont know where you have gone off to, but many here have loved your work whatever the material, i would think that a gourd was closer to being wood that anything else, anyway many here have missed seeing your beautiful work, and would love to see you post it here, so i raise my hand in support of your work being here, so shame on you for denying us …LOL..hope you post your work here jordan, miss it…and we also miss your input into our work…enjoyed the interview….

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Grumpy's profile


25623 posts in 4365 days

#11 posted 01-15-2014 10:50 PM

Well done Debbie on a very talented LJ.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View justoneofme's profile


798 posts in 2994 days

#12 posted 01-16-2014 12:30 AM

Jordan … it’s always great to meet another LumberJock! Your carvings are incredibly beautiful!! I thank MsDebbie for bringing you back into the limelight … that was a great interview. A Brown Flicker Flasher you say?! Hummmm … don’t believe I’ve ever heard of one LOL !! Looking forward to viewing future projects made with such talented hands.

-- Elaine in Duncan

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10743 posts in 4566 days

#13 posted 01-16-2014 01:02 AM


... and you are STILL Flashing around… LOL

Beautiful work…

Thank you.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 3448 days

#14 posted 01-16-2014 04:32 AM

The first time I saw Jordan’s carving here on LJ, I run downstairs to show it to my wife.
She said ” he is good” and I was like that’s it?

You are the best Jordan!

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View oldnovice's profile


7499 posts in 3882 days

#15 posted 01-16-2014 04:45 AM

Good story and an outstanding portfolio work!
Wish I could do that!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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