Frequently Asked Questions
What tools do you use to create wood and foam carvings?
Almost all carvings are created with 90% chainsaw or hot wire and 10% small power and hand tools like grinders, drills, rotary tools, chisels, rasps and sanders.
What materials do you use to make your sculptures and signs?
We create sculpture and signs using all kinds of media including bronze, concrete, foam, wood, metal, and clay. Our carved dimensional signs are made using wood, PVC board or HDU foam.
Foam or Epoxy Resin
What is the process of commissioning a sculpture?
The process begins with discussions about design ideas. Once a design is chosen, a sketch or photo is created and worked on until the customer is satisfied. The beauty of using a sketch is that the customer and the artist both know and agree what the carving is going to look like before any work has been done. Next, a formal work order is drawn up that spells out in writing all the details of the transaction. Once the customer has approved the work order, a deposit will be collected to lock the project into the schedule. When the project is finished, the rest of the balance will be collected, and the customer will invite all their friends over to take pictures of their new sculpture and then share the pictures all over the internet.
How are the carvings protected from weather?
Each carving is finished according to how it will be displayed. Carvings that will be left outdoors are treated with an outdoor deck and fence wood preservative that contains UV, water and mildew protection. The wood preservatives used for most projects are Benjamin Moore’s Arborcoat Natural, TWP – Total Wood Preservative; Cabot’s Australian Timber Oil; Deck Savers, or Thompson’s Water Proofer. The beauty of using wood preservative instead of polyurethanes and spar varnishes is that the oil penetrates into the wood fibers instead of sitting on the surface. This way the wood cells actually become healthy and protected. The other advantages are that it is easy to maintain because it will never flake or chip and it doesn’t have a glossy appearance.
How Should I maintain my carving?
Outdoor carvings must be kept in the shade and off the dirt by setting them on bricks or stones so that air can get under the carving and keep it dry, allowing the wood to breath. You may also try using lag bolts coming out of the base of the carving. Screw three of them evenly spaced into the base leaving an inch of the lag bolt exposed for the carving to sit on. Once a year in the spring, take a good look at the carving to see if the water has stopped beading up. If so, simply reapply a clear wood preservative / deck or fence stain to the surface to keep the water beading up. Indoor pieces should be kept away from heater or air conditioning vents. Extreme temperature changes due to indoor vents will cause splitting, so keep the carving in a neutral temperature place.
Click here to view the “How to care for your carving“ maintenance PDF.
What about splitting?
All log carvings are guaranteed to split. Minor splits should be expected. Major splits that detract from the beauty of the carving (across the face for example) or affect the structural integrity of the carving will be repaired as a free service if the carving is brought to me. Otherwise, there will be a fee if travel is necessary.
What kind of wood?
Most of the wildlife carvings are created with pine, tulip or catalpa. Highly detailed pieces are carved in hard woods like oak.