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Project by LeroyTheLips posted 12-14-2012 02:54 AM 1793 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Carved this from an old oak plywood cabinet door. I finished this on my 60th birthday this year. I used a crooked knife (from Japan), wood chisels and Foredom chisels and grinding stones. Even used a 50mm #3 sweep Ashley Isles gouge. This was really helpful to take light controlled slices on curved surfaces. I had to make sure the knives were sharp to carve the plywood. I had a few unexpected areas where there were voids in the wood. I had to use putty to overcome that. The paint is airbrushed with an Old Masters Dark Walnut stain rubbed on/off. I first woodburned the image. This is a carving that a client from Japan commissioned me to make. I hope that she likes it. She is a music teacher and wanted something to hang up in her music room. She will be in the USA next week on a vacation and will get it then. She doesn’t know what music icon I was carving. I wouldn’t suggest using plywood as a first carving project. It is unforgiving and splinters unless you have very sharp tools and you carve on the bias. Additionally, I was unexpectantly running into small brads that were used to hold two 1/2” boards together. I didn’t notice it when I trimmed the edges to make the frame. All-in-all, I’m glad I made it. I choose plywood because it was there in my shop and it was free. It is about 18” x 18”. I have another one but it is 18” x 30”. I might make this with an Alice in Wonderland theme.

13 comments so far

View Woodbridge's profile


3751 posts in 3657 days

#1 posted 12-14-2012 02:59 AM

Wow, that is a great carving. The eyes are so intense looking!

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View BadDavid's profile


86 posts in 3271 days

#2 posted 12-14-2012 03:28 AM

wow, simply wow

-- BD, where bad wood finds a home. Va

View a1Jim's profile


118250 posts in 4816 days

#3 posted 12-14-2012 06:19 AM

View Hawaiilad's profile


3380 posts in 4260 days

#4 posted 12-14-2012 08:17 AM

What a wonderful talent you have..

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View Raymond Thomas's profile

Raymond Thomas

189 posts in 3458 days

#5 posted 12-14-2012 04:18 PM

Those eyes drew me in – WOW!!

-- Raymond, Charlotte, NC -------- Demonstrate the difference!

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4106 days

#6 posted 12-14-2012 04:39 PM

Very nice carving.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View DocSavage45's profile


9069 posts in 4082 days

#7 posted 12-15-2012 06:46 PM

This piece is much like your previous work, Art more than craft. If she doesn’t like it, you can make another, as customers sometimes are difficult? Really wondering why you chose oak plywood flooring? I might have thought to use it for a backer and glued on more amenible (sp?) wood to carve?

Your work shows an artisan at work, and play. Wish I had your talent. LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View LeroyTheLips's profile


248 posts in 3487 days

#8 posted 12-16-2012 07:50 AM

This was not oak plywood flooring….it was a kitchen cabinet door that was given to me. Infused it because the size fitted my vision of what I wanted. I have all kinds of wood that I could have used but the plywood spoke to me. Was it easy carving? Not really, but I wanted the gradiations of each ply to stand out in the face to give depth. I ‘m really a relief carver. I carve mostly in the round. I am pleased with the results and will probably try another. It is really weird, though. I first woodburned the image and then lightly carved the image. Sat on it for a few months then decided I had to go deeper….then deeper…then deeper. I then had to decide what to do with the background. I liked what Van Goth did with his Crows in the Field painting so I thought I wood gouge some patterns in the wood. That proved to be as difficult as the profile. I then had to sand the edges since they were sharp. I also had a time with the scarf. A little difficulty getting the image from my brain then into my hands. Then the paint scheme took a few iterations. This was a process for me like most of my work. Some people can just start creating in a sitting. I have to eat it….breathe it….live it and sometimes puke it. I love creating and am very critical of my work. I really appreciate all the kind words from everybody.

View DocSavage45's profile


9069 posts in 4082 days

#9 posted 12-16-2012 08:37 AM

Sorry missed that it was a plywood door, shoulda had my second cup of coffee , thanks.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 3737 days

#10 posted 12-31-2012 07:19 PM

This is a mesmerizing piece of work, one that I’m not sure I’d want to be in the same room with for too long. He seems to be accusing you of something, playing the wrong notes perhaps?
You, on the other hand have hit all the right notes here. The carving is patient and very evocative, much like an fine oil painting but instead cutting the brush strokes into the humblest of materials.
60 looks good on you. Great work.

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View LeroyTheLips's profile


248 posts in 3487 days

#11 posted 12-31-2012 08:18 PM

Thanks Gene for the kind words. It was my intention to try and make it look like an oil painting. I even used spray on varnish, that is used for oil painting sealer, for the coating. As far as the profile picture of me…well that was at 58 and some good ol’ Grecian formula I used for a joke. I think I better update that picture!

View WebErika's profile


104 posts in 2768 days

#12 posted 03-21-2014 04:53 PM

This is beautiful! I have several hardwood cabinet doors given to me by a cabinet making friend. Mostly samples. I’ve painted a rooster on one and hung it in the kitchen … but I never thought about carving them. I’ve always been fascinated with carving – so now I have a new winter project for next year :)

-- Have a happy day!

View LeroyTheLips's profile


248 posts in 3487 days

#13 posted 03-21-2014 05:59 PM

Thanks WebErica. This was truley a labor of love. Started out as a woodburning but then I got into it. The plywood has some challenges that’s for sure. This plywood about 11/2” thick and had small brads throughout hidden. I chose plywood because it was there. Like you, I recycle wood and in fact…am a wood freak!

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