Skull and Roses on Maple

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Project by Heidi Neely posted 09-29-2011 04:15 AM 2652 views 2 times favorited 32 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a cool little design that i liked, so I carved just for fun…something to get me back into the shop again after an unfortunate departure from it over the summer.

It’s done on a scrap piece of maple that was just laying around the shop. The finished project is roughly 7”x11”. Same as all of my other carvings, this was carved completely with hand tools…no power carvers or CNC! One thing i like about hand carving is the appearance of tool marks in the finished project. I think it gives hand made items a little bit of an extra “charm”, so i purposely left the background a bit wavy (and actually went back in after sanding to add a few more tool marks that had been sanded away) :)

I stained it with some left over stain from one of my BF’s jobs, and finished it off with a few coats of Deft Clear Wood Finish in semi-gloss. As with all my projects, it’s the process and the experience in carving that I enjoy and take away from it, which to me is more important then the overall perfection of the piece. My carvings aren’t perfection by a long shot, but I thoroughly enjoy making each one :)

Any comments positive or negative are welcome, and thanks for looking!

-- Heidi :) “The only source of knowledge is experience”

32 comments so far

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 4204 days

#1 posted 09-29-2011 04:19 AM

Girl you have talent, very nice work like always.

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4219 days

#2 posted 09-29-2011 04:23 AM

I’m not too keen on the content but I strongly admire the skill you have! I was given a set of carving knives and have been dabbling in it a little…just enough to have a feel for just how much talent you must have to create such intricate and powerful work. Thank you for sharing this.

It is to be hoped that the reason for your ‘unfortunate departure’ is a one time event.

On a completely different note Tony Atwood is touring through Winnipeg next week and Jen and I have signed up to attend! We hope to learn a lot of coping/educational strategies.

It is good to see more of your carvings!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View amagineer's profile


1415 posts in 3103 days

#3 posted 09-29-2011 04:25 AM

You are definitely a wonderful carver. The understand your reasoning for using handtools, it gives the piece charactor and uniqueness. It say’s you made this. Thanks for sharing.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View MichaelA's profile


778 posts in 3395 days

#4 posted 09-29-2011 04:33 AM

Nice flowing lines Heidi! Also great depth seperation for a low relief project. I know what you mean about leaving the chisel marks. They make the piece alive.Looks great!

-- The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. "Helen Keller"

View patron's profile


13654 posts in 3847 days

#5 posted 09-29-2011 04:38 AM

great work heidi

glad you have more time in the shop

i too hope the ‘unfortunate’ part is past

you have a great talent
keep it up

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View maljr1980's profile


171 posts in 2963 days

#6 posted 09-29-2011 04:47 AM

looks almost as good as you, youre a hottie

View Heidi Neely's profile

Heidi Neely

550 posts in 3681 days

#7 posted 09-29-2011 04:54 AM

Yes Mark and more unfortunate departures for me! :)
Thanks everyone!

-- Heidi :) “The only source of knowledge is experience”

View sgtq's profile


370 posts in 3183 days

#8 posted 09-29-2011 05:09 AM

Beautiful and I like the content it reminds me of cinco de mayo (forgive my butchering) Nice carving!

-- There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America. ~William J. Clinton

View Heidi Neely's profile

Heidi Neely

550 posts in 3681 days

#9 posted 09-29-2011 05:12 AM

Yeah…it sort of reminded me…with Halloween coming…of one of those “Día de los Muertos” (Day of the Dead) designs

-- Heidi :) “The only source of knowledge is experience”

View B13's profile


463 posts in 3200 days

#10 posted 09-29-2011 06:25 AM

That rock’s!

View Gary's profile


9402 posts in 3939 days

#11 posted 09-29-2011 06:31 AM

Looks great Heidi. You sure do nice work. Hey, tell Keith hi for me. I kinda miss chatting with him

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2708 posts in 4190 days

#12 posted 09-29-2011 06:45 AM

Great carving Heidi and good to see you back in the shed doing what you do so well. Look forward to seing more.

-- Bob C, Australia. Your best teacher is your last mistake.

View mahadevwood's profile


415 posts in 3526 days

#13 posted 09-29-2011 07:04 AM

nice work

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3543 days

#14 posted 09-29-2011 10:31 AM

Nice and crisp, Heidi. You definitely don’t want to mess with that snake. The look on him. I wonder whether you could get that sort of character from a CNC version versus your hand carved one. Overall a good play one the growth/decay and good/bad which all go up to make life’s rich tapestry. Excellent work and a very good post.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Roger's profile


21011 posts in 3310 days

#15 posted 09-29-2011 01:53 PM

that’s just awesome, like the rest o yer carvings.. the skull head has too many teeth tho… LOL jus kiddin. trick-or-treat …. muwaaa haaa haaa haaa :) keep on carvin

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

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