Native American Wood Spirit in Driftwood

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Project by BassBully posted 02-15-2009 09:39 AM 5023 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello everyone, it’s been a LONG while since I’ve posted anything on Probably about 1 1/2 years. Quite frankly, my excuse is that I’ve been extremely busy—it’s a long story which I will have to post about later. At any rate, during this time away from my fellow LumberJocks, I have been doing some woodworking and have picked up woodcarving as well. Actually, I’ve been doing very little woodworking and a lot more woodcarving.

I can only speak for myself but I find that there is a paradox with woodcarving. In one way it is very relaxing; however, there is something stressful about it as well. For example, carving the eyes of an animal or a human can be tense. Not getting the eyes right can bring the entire project to a halt. This is especially frustrating if you’re doing the eyes last. I try to start the eyes first but this isn’t always possible. Maybe it’s the semi-tense nature that I enjoy because it makes it challenging. When the hard part is finished and is done successfully, there’s a sigh of relief at the end with a lot of joy.

This project is For Sale.

I found this piece of driftwood at Saylorville Lake in Iowa. Saylorville Lake is a man made reservoir and is connected to the Des Moines river.

This is my first carving done in driftwood and working with driftwood was a learning experience. If you look closer at the picture, you’ll see that around the eyes and some other areas, the wood is somewhat jagged. This is the nature of driftwood. The sharpest knife cannot solve this problem. The wood is so soft in some places that it actually brakes off. The only thing that one can do to avoid the softer part of this wood is to continue shaving off the softwood until the denser material is reached. However, the caveat is that if you shave off too much, you may not have any wood left to carve. Since I wanted to carve a face in this wood, I had no choice but to work with some of the softer material.

Actually, I kind of like the jagged edges because it makes it look more rustic. I affixed the carving to a walnut base and the base is finished with three coats of thinned polyurethane.

This is the first piece I’ve ever tried to sell. Everything else I’ve completed I’ve given away. Even if I don’t sell it, I’ll enjoy leaving it on my entertainment center. Please contact me if you’re interested in purchasing this. I can be reached at programmeranalyst[X]hotmail dot com. Please replace the [X] with the at symbol.

Thank You.

-- There are three types of people in the world, those who can count and those who can't!

3 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4576 days

#1 posted 02-15-2009 04:58 PM

this is really nice. Very powerful, rustic look to it.

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

View dougdeg's profile


107 posts in 4185 days

#2 posted 02-15-2009 05:15 PM

When you say driftwood do you know the species, nice items love the natural flow

-- Doug Cedar Log Furniture,

View BassBully's profile


261 posts in 4512 days

#3 posted 02-15-2009 11:45 PM


I’m not sure the species of wood but I tend to think it’s Walnut by the density of the inner grain. However, since it’s so old, there’s no bark, and no leaves, it makes it impossible to tell. I know for sure it isn’t oak, pine, and a couple of other things it’s not. I do know that I liked the way the harder part of the wood carved—the part towards the center.

-- There are three types of people in the world, those who can count and those who can't!

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