Posted by: woodbeecarver   in BEE Buzz

HOG HEAVEN PIG SEEDHOG HEAVEN PIG SEED was first created as a whittling exercise to see how small  one could carve a pig.  The first miniature pig was carved in 1982 becoming a pig seed by the accident of humor.  The WOOD BEE CARVER was showing and demonstrating his carvings at an outside show at a restored log cabin-ed village called Pioneer Village close to Caesar’s Creek Lake near Harveysburg, Ohio.  School children visited on a field trip and as part of the demonstration for the visitors I would ask the children if they had ever seen a “pig seed” and then showed them the carved wooden pig explaining that this pig would grow into a big hog by using one’s imagination.  Most of the children realized that I was just kidding them but then the fun part of humor is exaggeration.

The “seed” part of the story came from a novelty of a plastic sandwich bag of Cheerios that was labeled “Doughnut Seeds.”  With the childrens’ response and adults laughter who were standing near by when the “pig seed growing into a big hog” story was being told, it became apparent that this was something I could expand  into a fun carving novelty.

Thus was born the “HOG HEAVEN PIG SEED: A carved wooden pig guaranteed to grow into a big hog.  Use plenty of ‘Verbal Fertilizer.’   Every family has at least one who is full of it who can really make this pig seed grow.”


Hog Heaven Pig Seeds have been popular with pig collectors and with those humorous people who know someone who is “full of it” and they want to carry on the humor by getting a Pig Seed for that “special person.”

In 1997 while teaching at War Eagle Seminar in Arkansas there were some students from California who told me about Ron Harper from Fallbrook, California.  Ron was the founder of “The National Pig Carvers Association” which carried on the tradition of “pig decoy carving” and maintained a small museum dedicated to “Pig Decoys.” Meant as a “spoof” to the serious “decoy bird carvers”  Ron Harper, as Dean of American Pig Carvers, had a lot of fun with his pig carvings.  But he was unaware of the “Hog Heaven Pig Seed” until one of the California students took one back to Ron.  Good natured and with good humor he carried on the tradition by making me an “Official Member” of  The National Pig Carvers Association with an “official” certificate.

PURTIRINA CHICKAs one thing leads to another, carving a miniature chicken only seemed natural and thus was born the PURTIRINA CHICK (pronounced “Pretty-rina Chick”) The PURTIRINA CHICK: Carved wooden chicken.  It does not lay, cluck, scratch, hatch.  Only a lazy chicken but then it does not eat its owner out of the hen house.”

Hog Heaven Pig Seeds and Purtirina Chicks are always a part of my table display at wood carving shows and commercially are available at Peter Englers Designs, Grande Village, Branson, Missouri.

Pig Seeds  and Purtirina Chicks are carved on the end of a  basswood stick three eights to a half of an inch wide by three sixteenth to a quarter of an inch thick and six to eight inches long so that one can hold onto the stick while carving the miniature pig or chicken.  The pig is completely carved still attached to the end of the stick at its back bone and then separated from the stick where only clean up cuts need to be made along the back bone and the ears.  The chicken is carved completely with a small base which is then separated from the stick and shaped to its final appearance.   After carving several pigs or chicks  off the stick, it becomes too short to hold safely, so it is placed inside a machinist’s clamp.  In the photo two knives are pictured as an example of the blade size and shape to do the slicing cuts necessary to carve miniatures. Deft brushing lacquer is used for the finish which is applied by holding each carving with a tweezer or needle nose pliers and dipping carving into the lacquer and placing on wax paper to dry.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 5th, 2008 at 9:11 pm and is filed under BEE Buzz. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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