Hello Again!

I have been busy with so many new things.

New designs are on Etsy in my CarvingsbyCarl store. I haven’t been keeping this blog up up to date, nor have I been active enough here to have conversation with you I have hoped for. May this next year bring more!

Some good news: I’ve developed a process for making cutting boards (Challah boards) with a custom inlay pattern. I can work from your design, or create something special just for you. I enjoy working with you to capture your desire.

So far, the custom Challah boards have been most popular for weddings, and for special “thank you” gifts.

On the techy side, I am republishing some posts I made on my town’s STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) site, www.waylandstem.org. I’d love to hear from you if you agree, and especially if you don’t.

— Carl

Wayland, MA Maker/STEM Site

I am lucky. My son got involved in FIRST Robotics, and is now a Mechanical Engineering major at Clarkson University. During his time in Wayland, I saw that more could be done to expose students to the creative joy I find in engineering. Talking with others, we found a common concern, and have started a small group to explore how.

The group is Wayland STEM. We are just starting, so the web site will evolve. Stop by and give us your thoughts.

Gilding the Seder Plate

One aspect of Carvings by Carl that excites me is experimenting with new processes. Sometimes these are truly new, and sometimes they are simply new to me. The process I’m talking about today is as old as art.

The process is gilding — covering a surface with a thin layer of metal. Traditionally this has been gold, but the technique applies to other precious and semi-precious metals.

I applied copper leaf to an aged Cherry Seder plate, and I love the result. The Cherry had matured to a deep reddish-brown. The Copper balances perfectly with darkened Cherry, and adds some shine and elegance to the result.

I have 23K gold, copper, and aluminum (silver) leaf in my shop, and offer gilding in any of these materials.

I Love My Customers

It is such a thrill to make something for someone.

Really — every step makes me smile. The first contact, either an order for something I’ve already made, or a special request, opens a door. My pleasure is to greet the visitor, understand their request, and deliver to them the best I can make.

With order tracking, it doesn’t stop when I ship. I get to track the package as it meanders through the carrier’s network, and imagine that my customer is doing the same. I hope that when the package arrives, it is opened and met with satisfaction.

My customers should expect no less.


This Passover is special for me — it is the first Passover that other families will be using my Seder plates.

It is such a thrill that the years of preparing the tools to make these plates have enabled my handiwork to add to others’ Seders.

Thank you.

If you need a Seder plate for this Passover, I have a few ready.

If you want a plate made specially for your table, there may still be time, although time does draw tight.

Again, thank you for making this a special year.

Time for the Left Brain

Hello, and thank you for being here.

We’re deep into Channuka now, so why am I still talking about Seder plates? It turns out that Limmud brought me a custom order for a large Seder plate. I make my own variations, but hadn’t formalized the process with someone else, so I had to set up the work flow to make that possible. The process is pretty simple, actually. We talked about the desires for the design, and I made an electronic mock-up. The customer reviewed the design, and gave approval to proceed. I sent frequent photos showing the work in progress. That is all in order now, the Seder plate has been delivered.

Now, my attention turns to the technical aspects of this — specifically maintain, improving, and calibrating the machine I built.

Here the emphasis switches from smoothness, sanding, and finishing, to bearings, beams, and variables. We move from wood working to engineering — from art to math.