Wolf Head - Carved in Cottonwood Bark

  • Advertise with us
Project by Druid posted 06-28-2011 08:43 PM 8005 views 4 times favorited 31 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is another “first” for my carvings. I had never tried carving Cottonwood Bark, but had seen and admired many beautiful pieces that had been done by other carvers, so when one of our club members offered to do a workshop, I was in!!
The lady giving the workshop is a wonderful instructor, Found-Wood Artist Anna Bradley (Profiled in Carving Magazine, Issue 28), and she included not only the carving guidance, but also the colouring and dry-brush techniques.
Here’s my Wolf (it’s actually my wife’s Wolf now), but I must admit that there was another “carver” who worked on it before I got the piece of bark. As I was doing the rough-out stage, I came across the bore hole (photos 2 and 3) from an occupant that had left his mark. I could have filled in the hole, but decided to leave the insect’s carving as it was. Oddly enough, there was no evidence of the tunnel anywhere on the exterior, and the tunnel was empty. ??
I did find that the bark is easy to carve, but you MUST have well honed tools if you want to prevent tearout in this fibrous material. The chance of breakage from the existing checks was also an interesting point to deal with, so I left the tips of the ears attached to the overhang (photo 5) until all of the area behind the head was done, then I separated and finished the ears (photo 6). This was a really enjoyable workshop.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

31 comments so far

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3694 days

#1 posted 06-28-2011 09:04 PM

Wow! That is really beautiful!

:) Sheila

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

View shipwright's profile


8555 posts in 3572 days

#2 posted 06-28-2011 09:08 PM

Every day you learn something new is a good day John, and you have been having lots of them. Good for you and I know you’re enjoying every minute.

That’s a fine wolf that you and your little friend have created. Do you think it was his / her first as well ?

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

View S4S's profile


2118 posts in 3455 days

#3 posted 06-28-2011 09:34 PM

That wolf is the sweetest looking wolf . She looks so happy.

I’m going to try your ’ Firsts ’ technique , because clearly it’s

proven to work well for you , Druid . Beautiful work . Now excuse me,

I’m going to round up a bar of soap and a steak knife and start practicing .

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 3687 days

#4 posted 06-28-2011 11:06 PM

That is so beautiful! Great work!
I love it! Thanks for sharing it and for telling a great story with it.
I just added it to my favorites!

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4871 days

#5 posted 06-28-2011 11:10 PM

Very nice. I’m a novice carver and this gives me something to think about. There are lots of cottonwood trees around here.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Dustmite97's profile


439 posts in 3994 days

#6 posted 06-28-2011 11:53 PM

Truly amazing work!

View skips's profile


223 posts in 3335 days

#7 posted 06-29-2011 12:26 AM

Very nice

-- skip I'm a maine maniac

View peteg's profile


4436 posts in 3597 days

#8 posted 06-29-2011 01:08 AM

Wow I like this one John, thoese eyes are looking right at you. Great job :))

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View Druid's profile


2205 posts in 3569 days

#9 posted 06-29-2011 01:48 AM

Thank you all for the kind comments.
WayneC – Try looking for the stumps of Cottonwood trees that have been cut. Most of the time, the bark is still there, and removing it will not do any further harm. Of course, you might have some LJ members contacting you for pieces . . . ;-)

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4871 days

#10 posted 06-29-2011 01:54 AM

I will have to make it one of my first items when I take a trip out (currently dealing with a broken leg). It is too bad I did not know about this sooner. About 3 years ago the guy across the street took a big cottonwood tree down.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Jorge Velez's profile

Jorge Velez

357 posts in 3360 days

#11 posted 06-29-2011 02:22 AM

this is a very nice work!

-- Jorge Velez, Guadalajara, Mexico.

View prompt's profile


341 posts in 3367 days

#12 posted 06-29-2011 04:14 AM

Beautiful work.

-- Elhan, Azerbaijan

View Druid's profile


2205 posts in 3569 days

#13 posted 06-29-2011 05:10 AM

peteg – You just reminded me that I did miss a bit of information. To get the “wet” look for the eyes and the nose, I used a coat of clear nail polish over the final colours.
WayneC – Ok, that explains your comment about the wheelchair in one of your blogs. Hope that you’re all healed and back to normal real soon.
Jorge and prompt – Glad you like it. It was a lot of fun to learn about the Cottonwood carving.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 4301 days

#14 posted 06-29-2011 06:28 AM


Love the chip marks and your subject matter. Kind of get tired of the old man thing…...Wild…........

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View newfie2's profile


11 posts in 3301 days

#15 posted 06-29-2011 05:45 PM

wow that’s amazing

-- Todd

showing 1 through 15 of 31 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics