We headed down to Standing Stone Gas bar 2 on the Oneida Reserve to create a beautiful wood carving project: A swooping bald eagle, A powerful Bear, A strong chief and the turtle carrying the tree and all on its back. This was a pleasure to carve and turned out awesome! we garbed some of the highlights for you so enjoy and let us know what you think of the carving!
We had the pleasure of carving this wildlife tree sculpture in our family’s home town of Winsor, Ontario. Creating a massive, 16 foot tall and over 3 foot wide, Pin Oak tree over 7 days carving native Windsor wildlife.
The YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/6xx0hkMWXLU
Paul Giroux, City Forester/Manager of Forestry & Natural Areas commissioned us to transform this majestic tree into a work of art depicting a selection of wildlife from the local area.
The wildlife tree sculpture we came up with has a beautiful soaring eagle that was carved out of the side of the tree. a fox snake, a barn owl, a pileated woodpecker a red headed woodpecker, brown bats, a Blanding’s turtle, a sturgeon, a mud puppy, a swallowtail butterfly and some squirrels!
This was quite the project with all the scaffolding but we managed to make it worked and it turned out beautiful. All the features on the tree were carved in place except for the bald eagle.
The Challenges of carving this wildlife tree sculpture
-carving the tree inside the tree was difficult because we needed to plan space for every feature on the tree while keeping the tree even and realistic.
– height was a bit of an issue given wind the weight of the pieces we were cutting off, it took some good sense to remove the top wood safely. Along with attaching the eagle up top and the engineering involved.
-before finishing, the grain was so strong everything blended together and it was hard for the public and clients to see what we were making but once we burnt and put sealer on the shadows came out then we added color which really created the contrast needed.
-There was a couple rot pockets we needed to plan around and general strength integrity was a priority but we also allowed for some fragile negative space just like there always is in life.
-Getting very specific anatomy and proportions to allow for wildlife experts to identify each individual animal, bug etc.
Checkout our previous blog post: https://carverkings.com/tag-team-carving-whimsical-barn-owl-garden-sculpture/
Dad and I tackle this owl carving together as a tag team carving at the same time! This piece represents the balance of nature, and the importance of family relations and love. Papa barn owl sits on top watching over everyone keeping pests and illness at bay. Mama barn owl is protected with her baby in the hole keeping everything warm and happy. The tree carved is made to represent a cedar stump with vines crawling up the side.
This was a great carve, it is very dangerous to carve next to someone else that close but given our skills with the saw and our experience working together we are able to do it safely and efficiently. Its amazing how fast the wood can move and turn into something beautiful.
Barn owls are beautiful creatures that help balance the ecosystem by keeping down rodent and disease carrying creatures. They are deadly silent and great at hearing not to mention a beautiful bird. Some native cultures hold that owls are a sign of death and others do not I believe them a balancer a watcher that keeps illness at bay.
If you want to skip quickly through the video we made some time stamps in the description of the video. We also left a funny blooper at the end for your pleasure.
You can see a picture of the finished carving here:
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Location: Guelph, Ontario
Completion Date: 2018
Special Interest Construction : Landscape Ontario Awards Of Excellence | 2019
Carver Kings create the Riverside Park Water-Strider for Earthscape who Describes the project as :Riverside Park is a landmark urban space in the City of Guelph, hosting large city-wide events throughout the year. Inspiration for this themed destination playground was taken from the adjacent Speed River. The playground has a unique personality and show-stopping playable sculptures that have quickly become iconic play features for Guelph children.
A large water-strider attracts older children who are drawn to climb through and along ropes, logs, and nets to reach the top of the strider body that was hand carved by local artists. A quick escape route is possible from the water strider’s head down the sliding metal rails which resemble antennae.
Nearby, a large mouth bass sculpture appears to swim through the river that is demarcated by blue rubber surfacing. The fish is a whimsical sculpture that offers a lower challenge climbing option to younger children. The irregularity of the hand holds and the curved surface require younger children to be thoughtful and intentional while navigating the bass. Inside the fish, children have a great hiding spot for hide-and-seek or a fun place to hang out with friends. The structure was designed to give site lines to caregivers while still offering the sensation of privacy and enclosed space to children.
For the youngest children, a small embankment slide provides a space for little ones to develop their gross motor skills while experiencing topographical changes running up and down the gentle slope and navigating among the log reeds.
Social Media Posts
What it was like carving the strider:
For this project we carved the body and head of the strider all out of one log and earthscape attached the legs. It was great to work with such a huge beautiful piece of Oak, I think the wings really bring the piece to life and it was great to work on such a cool project.
Location: Cypress, Texas
Completion Date: Spring 2019
Earthscape Describes the project as : The master-planned community of Bridgeland on the north-west side of Houston is peacefully situated among lakes, rivers and trails. That natural beauty informed the creation the wetland-themed play space of Dragonfly Park at the development’s amenities center, designed collaboratively by Clark Condon and Earthscape.
The completely custom and unique central feature of the playground is an enormous dragonfly sculpture that stretches 10.5 metres (34 feet) across its wing span. The dragonfly’s body is a combination of chainsaw carved oak and sculptural form and cladding. The four wings each offer different play and climbing opportunities. The dragonfly sits among additional playable elements that reflect the ecosystem of a dragonfly, including tall grasses and plants.
Social Media Posts
Together Jacob and Paul Frenette father son team used their chainsaw skills to bring the dragonfly to life out of the old oak. below we have a collection of our live video and posts we published on our social media during the making of the project.
What Making the Project was Like
This project was rather complicated given we had to make the dragon fly tail over a curved surface and as you know logs dont generally grow that big in that way. So we had to shape each log to match the curve. We used cutting techniques to get the right angles matching across the rising concave curve then slotted each piece to hide the joinery and add to the scale effect of the tail. Overall it was a very fun project that tested certain skills like proportion, joinery, angled precision cuts, texture etc and artistic flow needed to have the head of the dragon fly look good, be fun to play on and not be too scary for the kids.