Allen Stichler – Wood Carving

Bespoke Ornamental Wood Carvings & Tree Sculpture

   Sep 21

Oil Be Seeing You

It felt quite sad to be finishing this carving ~ I can’t think of another place I’ve worked where there has been such a constant stream of positive and enthusiastic comments from the visitors and passers-by; each day around 100 people (from infants to the elderly, most on their way to the museum, others making a special journey to see the sculpture) expressed their support and interest in the carving. It’s been a very humbling, and enjoyable job.

So, with all three coats of oil applied (and even the weather was supportive ~ a strong, warm wind helped each coat dry quickly and evenly), it’s goodbye to the North Lincolnshire Museum. I urge anyone who’s not been to make a visit and see for themselves what a brilliant collection there is ~ and all locally sourced.


Above – Before and after

With Bev Oliver of North Lincolnshire Museum; Bev started the whole project and worked with the pupils of Bushfield Rd Infants School to get their design ideas. Her enthusiasm and help was much appreciated ~ thanks, Bev!

Bev with her personal favourite ~ the Saxon shield boss.

So, all finished (except for a book recording the project ~ complete with a wooden, carved cover ~ coming in the near future); now for a few days of rest….then on to the next job:


   Sep 17

Ploughing On at Epworth

We had a brilliant day at the Epworth Festival of the Plough ~ a fantastic event with a wonderful atmosphere. Apparently the organizers are looking for a new site to hold the festival otherwise it may be under threat, which would be a great shame as it’s been a fixture since 1980.





   Sep 17

Mires Beck Carving Course #3

Final week of the carving course at Mires Beck!


Alan and Julie…


Anne and Sharon…


Glan and Arthur…


Paddy and Tony…

…and David.


Well done to all, they look great.

As usual around this time of year, Mires Beck’s woodland walk is full of interesting fungi ~ here are the obligatory photos (see posts from previous Mires Beck carving courses!)



   Sep 17

Pictures of Humberside

I forgot to put these pictures on from the end of August ~ Amanda White of Radio Humberside came for an interview and it ended up being quite a decent spot on the early morning show; a lot of people visited the tree on the strength of having heard the interview, and I avoided sounding like a gibbering wreck (I think!) ~ all those days telling hundreds of visitors about the project was a good rehearsal, and it all just rolled off the tongue!


   Sep 12

Steel Structure

The last item on the tree was one of the trickiest ~ the Bushfield Road Infant School pupils had had their imaginations caught by the fossils, Romans and Vikings quite easily, but maybe understandably they weren’t as taken with the steel-industry displays from the museum; I think perhaps when the youngsters have grown up surrounded by such industry it’s been just another element of everyday life, and it’s possibly only as they get older that the magic and importance of the steelworks to the area will hit home.

So a design for the steel industry was required, something symbolic but also something found in the museum display. It was agreed that the ladle image found on some plaques for long service was suitable:



A bit of artistic license with the flow of the steel with the ladle, just so it didn’t stop dead as on the plaque.

FINISHED!!! (except for oiling!)

   Sep 12

TV Repeat

After establishing the position and shape of the 1960s TV set previously, I now worked on the screen and controls:


For the background pattern, I thought I’d use a geometrical pattern popular in the 1950s and 60s; the museum had examples in the kitchen display:

The space under the TV looked right for some triangular shapes.


The shapes look like slices of pizza at the moment, with the different shades of wood; when it all settles down to a uniform colour and has been oiled it’ll look more subtle.

   Sep 12

Mires Beck Carving Course #2

Things are taking shape on the second week of the carving course:


Anne and David



Sharon and Arthur


Julie and Glan


Paddy and Alan


One week left!

   Sep 07

On the Box

The 1950s/60s TV set was next, and I’d earmarked a spot right at the top of the trunk for it to sit.


There was a lot of cutting back either side of the TV, quite time-consuming work. I should finish it next time with a bit of luck and good weather!

   Sep 07

Hoose Agen Hoose, Toon Agen Toon….

On to the modern era now, beginning with Haxey Hood; there is a brilliant display in the North Lincolnshire Museum, and it obviously caught the imagination of the pupils of Bushfield Road Infant School, who picked it as one of the subjects to go on the tree.

I’m calling it the modern era, although the tradition of Haxey Hood dates back to the 14th Century; it’s still very much alive and kicking in these modern times (up to press ~ there has been worrying rumours that building plans may affect things for the worse), and I’ve seen it up close on several occasions.

There is so much to this tradition, from the communal singing beforehand to the Fool’s speech, to the children’s sack hoods and the main sway, sloe gin and the Boggins and Lord of the Hood…so how do you represent all this? I felt that it had to be down to one item, to fit in with the rest of the carvings; when you whittle it all down (literally!) it comes back to the leather “hood” itself, held aloft ~ as it is by the Fool, the Boggins, Lord and finally the triumphant pub landlard at the end of the day.

There were a couple of lumps on the trunk that I hoped to utilise ~ one for the end of the hood, projecting out of the trunk, and the other, larger lump for the hand and other end of the hood.



I couldn’t avoid the bend in the hood: if I’d taken it back further it wouldn’t have projected so well off the edge of the trunk, and the end with the hand was dictacted by the shape of the lump.

The other carved areas have had background details, and for this I took the double “H” that is found on the front of the Fool’s sacking top. The children’s designs had featured this quite prominently too.


Talking of the backgrounds, I went back and put a Roman key pattern on the side of the helmet and the Saxon and Viking carvings.

   Sep 02

Mires Beck Carving Course #1

The first Saturday of the three, and a sweltering start to this carving course at Mires Beck. The participants had some hefty sycamore logs to work on, about a foot in diameter and extremely heavy, but lovely to carve.

Anne making a good start on her lion

Alan’s owl

David’s toadstools

Arthur, also with an owl

Sharon’s Green Man

Glan with his fleur-de-lis

Julie starting a log fairy house

Paddy’s First Nation-style fish

Carving-course veteran Tony creating a seascape on a piece of mahogany