First Whimsical Bark House Carving

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Project by Josh Carte posted 02-27-2015 03:42 PM 2842 views 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I carved this unique and whimsical bark house in a piece of Cottonwood bark. Yes, this is actual bark from a Cottonwood tree. This is my first whimsical house carving.

I like to imagine the “Littles” that inhabit this unique dwelling. This is an exit only house as there is no easy way to enter :) There are stairs down and even a slide, but getting back up is tricky business. I suppose only the Littles know the easy way to enter.

I really like the natural shape and texture of this bark. It’s like a house that was formed in and with nature- everything about it seems natural.

This sculpture is carved from one piece of bark and finished with oil and wax. I signed and dated the back and also attached a hanger on the back.

I created this carving beginning with carpentry chisels to remove the bad bad bark, then working my way down to finer and finer rotary hand tools. The finest of sandpaper does wonders with bark, as it is easy to smooth things up in a hurry.

If I can give any tips or pointers, feel free to contact me. If you have any advice, I’m all ears :)




18 comments so far

View oldrivers's profile


2527 posts in 2627 days

#1 posted 02-27-2015 03:58 PM

Whew That is different lookd gtest I like it much!

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View Mark's profile


1071 posts in 3034 days

#2 posted 02-27-2015 03:59 PM

Very cool Josh. Well done.

-- Mark

View hunter71's profile


3549 posts in 4247 days

#3 posted 02-27-2015 04:22 PM

Cool, very cool man.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View rustynails's profile


951 posts in 3589 days

#4 posted 02-27-2015 04:26 PM

Looking good Josh. How much are the tax’s a year? :)

View Josh Carte's profile

Josh Carte

590 posts in 2740 days

#5 posted 02-27-2015 05:44 PM

Thanks, guys! Taxes are cheap there, Rustynails… Ready to move? :)


View leafherder's profile


1979 posts in 3012 days

#6 posted 02-27-2015 08:19 PM

Great job! It kind of reminds me of those small wax cast sandcastles they sold in the 1970s and 1980s – they always had lots of detail. I still have one – the only castle I will ever be able to afford. :)

Also reminds me of the Keebler Elf Door art project from a couple years ago – Keebler Cookies sponsored artists to build tiny elf doors in trees in public parks across the country. Some were very plain and others were quite ornate.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Leafherder

View BobWemm's profile


2963 posts in 2986 days

#7 posted 02-27-2015 11:22 PM

Josh, that is beautiful. Congratulations.
It really does look like an enchanted bushland cottage.


-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View Josh Carte's profile

Josh Carte

590 posts in 2740 days

#8 posted 02-28-2015 12:07 AM

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4549 posts in 3621 days

#9 posted 02-28-2015 12:27 AM


I really love the carving. I always wanted to do carving like that and do not know how or the tools but I do like to see the results.

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View DocSavage45's profile


9043 posts in 3902 days

#10 posted 02-28-2015 03:06 AM


Are you sure you’re not Gandoph? LOL! Great addition and home for your wood spirits.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3864 days

#11 posted 02-28-2015 01:27 PM

Very whimsicle and detailed, as always. haha-DocSavage, Gandolf. :)

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

View Josh Carte's profile

Josh Carte

590 posts in 2740 days

#12 posted 02-28-2015 02:08 PM

Thank you, fellas :) I may be turning Gandolfish, Tom :) Arlin, you can create a carving sort of like this one with a piece of bark, some carpentry chisels and sandpaper- and a little vision. It’s a whole lot of fun- don’t be afraid to try!


View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2927 posts in 2123 days

#13 posted 07-29-2015 06:07 AM

Speaking of Elf Doors: Have you done any Faerie Doors?

-- Mark

View Josh Carte's profile

Josh Carte

590 posts in 2740 days

#14 posted 07-29-2015 02:41 PM

No faerie doors, Mark. But, that might be a good idea


View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3927 days

#15 posted 07-29-2015 04:41 PM

I love this, Josh. You can double your line with these types of carvings.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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