Cherry is Here, and Different, Again.

Thank you for stopping by.

I have, again, Cherry for the large carvings. I also again face the beautiful reality that every carving, even those based on the same design, is unique.


Especially in the large sizes, the slabs are fairly rare. There are only a few saw mills in the US that cut and stock wood of the size I need, and they don’t carry “lumber” of those sizes. Instead, I buy a slab or flitch, typically with live edges. These are not of uniform width, aren’t closely cut to size, and the thickness seems to change with the day.

Further, the standard for measuring thickness seems rather loose. In the case of finished lumber, the thickness is the stated thickness, minus 1/4″. So, 5/4 lumber measures 1″ thick. 6/4 lumber measures 1 1/4″ thick.

With Slabs and flitches, it varies. Sometimes 6/4 material is 1 1/2″. Sometimes it is thicker, and needs to be planed to the thinner size. Sometimes, it is thinner, closer to the 1 1/4″ of finished lumber.

How does this affect the carvings?

I adjust the design to suit the wood, perhaps by cutting deeper, or changing angles. I think I will also start cutting the designs to match the width, rather than staying with a common size. This opens the design possibilities, but makes it more difficult to describe what I can make. Expect to see some changes in the store to reflect the variety.

If you are inclined, send a note or comment.

— Carl

I’ll be at Limmud Boston

Coming on December 2, 2012 is Limmud Boston, a one-day exploration of Jewish learning, with teachers from around the world, sharing ideas of every nature. I think of it as a Jewish TED conference, without the elitism. Information is at the Limmud Boston web site.

I will be exhibiting at Limmud, and preparations are in full swing. What better place for a public coming-out party? I hope to see you there.

Wide Cherry

At this moment, I have no wide cherry wood ready for carving. I have some other species, and hope to have a small shipment of cherry soon.

The wide wood for the 15 1/2 ” carvings is much harder to find than the wood for the 11″ carvings.

My sources for wide wood usually have other, more exotic species available also. If your tastes go to bubinga, wenge, butternut, purpleheart, or other beautiful woods, drop me a note.

Cherry is a Beautiful Wood

Ok, this is no surprise to anyone, but cherry is beautiful.

Tonight I put the first coat of polyurethane on an 11″ cherry Seder plate. I had spent much of the afternoon sanding and smoothing, watching the wood change as I moved up the grits. The Seder plate was smooth with some warmth, but the color was disappointing. It looked pale, with almost no color.

Then, the poly hit the wood, the color popped, and the grain took on shining depth. The plate bloomed like the sunrise.

— Carl

Peace in the workshop

Good evening, and welcome to my workshop.

Tonight, I’m testing out the new design of the 11″ Seder plate.

I love this process — trying a new design, and watching it emerge from the wood.

When I was a photographer, or more specifically when I worked in my darkroom with all that magical wet chemistry, there was a moment that always touched my sense of awe. I would expose the paper, slide it into the developer, and nothing would happen. Nothing. Finally, through the light brown developer I would see first the darkest shadows, then the complete image emerge from the paper. As the image met reality, there was a perfect fusion of the technique and the vision, the practice and the art, the left and right brains in harmony.

So too, this gives me that same sense of personal balance. The Seder plate begins to emerge: Seder plate forms under the cutter

Doing this using a machine I built with my own hands, forming a design from my own vision, through countless stages of artistic and technical refinement truly places my life in harmony.

This plate, or one similar to it, is available through my store.

If you have a thought, drop me a line.

— Carl

Welcome to Carvings by Carl

This web site describes my work, and perhaps will wrestle with the intrinsic conflict between right brain and left brain pursuits.

The work I do here is personal, technical, creative, and spiritual.  Over time, and perhaps in response to interest from you, I will discuss the various aspects of my work.

This site is a personal blog, and also a commercial site.  My work is available through my store at this link, where some designs are shown.

I welcome opportunities to create a new design from your inspiration, or to customize an existing design to please you. If you want something special, let’s talk.

Your comments and suggestions are welcome.

Thank you for visiting,

— Carl