Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Carving Projects

“Santa Warming Feet at Stove” is a Floyd Rhadigan rough out.  Floyd comes up with some of the neatest carving ideas to be available in his rough out selections.  Even though the WOOD BEE CARVER likes to carve from a square block of basswood, yet on occasion a rough out will become a challenging carving project.  This Rhadigan project comes with four parts: stove top and bottom, Santa on rocker and a base basswood board.


Santa on rocker was chosen first to carve with its challenges of carving arms crossed, legs crossed and carving the rocking chair.  Like any carving project takes some study of imagination followed with progressive shaping of the various parts the same process goes into carving this rough out.  With progressive persistence, the overall shape began to appear on the journey towards carving in the final details. Character carving innovations included carving holly and berries on the back of the rocker, carved big toes coming out of the socks, and the patch on one sleeve and elbow protruding out of the other sleeve. A visual study of the photos of the completed Santa on rocker will fill in the imagination of the carving process.




The stove became the second phase of carving with figuring out how to make the top part fit into a pre-drilled hole in the body of the potbellied stove.  This drilled hole was enlarged to receive a small battery-operated flickering candle.  Carving in the grate openings on each side of the stove took some time to carve and gave a lot of character to the stove while providing light from the candle to shine through the openings.

The base came as a ¾ inch thick by ten inches long and four inches wide basswood board in which the carver chooses the design of the rug sitting on top of a wooden floor on one end and a stone surface for the stove to sit upon. The carved stove and Santa on rocker were placed on the board to aid in planning where the two coverings would go.  A round braided rug was chosen for the rocker area and flat river stones chosen for the stove area.  Underneath the stones and the rug would be a wooden floor so the first thing was to do a relief carving process of lowering the wood around the rug and the outer edges of the rock formation.  A compass was used to outline the rings of the rug and carved in a process similar to doing chip carving lettering.  The flat rocks were laid out in horizontal rows and free hand carved  by recessing around the edges and corners of the rocks.  The area that would become the wooden flooring was leveled and then laid out as flooring boards with texturing slices to simulate the grain of the wood.

The stove, Santa on rocker and the base received appropriate coloring using artist oil paints thinned with boiled linseed oil to create a stain to create a translucent finish followed with an application of Deft to protect the finish.  It was this carver’s choice for the Stove, Santa on rocker and the base not to be attached to allow for repositioning and changing of the pose.  It sometimes looks interesting if carvings are slightly turned in the pose.

The WOOD BEE CARVER often says, “Carving is more the journey than the destination,” which means that even carving a rough out of another carver’s design and imagination can be a fun journey of learning while carving towards the final destination. The challenge of the journey is what exercises a carver’s skill and imagination.  As my good friend Jim Hecker coined the phrase “CARVE DIEM” aka. “Carve the day,”  may all carvers ~ CARVE DIEM.




This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 26th, 2017 at 10:11 am and is filed under Carving Projects. 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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