Allen Stichler – Wood Carving

Bespoke Ornamental Wood Carvings & Tree Sculpture

   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



   Sep 02

A Grave Situation

Next to be tackled was the Medieval grave slab ~ probably the most simple of all the tree’s designs, with a flat surface engraved with a symmetrical cross. The time-consuming part was leveling the face of the slab across the curve of the tree trunk.


   Sep 02

Here’s the Boss

After the Viking brooch it was back a step to Saxon times, represented by the impressive shield boss found at Sheffield’s Hill.

The main form of the design with the three lines coming from the centre was simple enough, but the strange intricate patterns in each of the sections was trickier ~ not so much in the carving, but the drawing; there is no symmetry or obvious form to the design, as apparently it was a representation of various creatures split into a number of parts in a very abstract way.

Anyway, after much squinting at the photograph I think I reproduced it quite faithfully:



And now for something a bit different….

A big hello to Charlie from Catterick, who I missed when he visited the tree with his Nanna:

Hello Charlie! Thanks for looking at the tree, hope you like it!


   Aug 22

Viking Fidget Spinner

After the Roman helmet it was on to the Viking brooch, and not, as many children have exclaimed, “a fidget spinner!!”


Spot the difference: Top: Viking brooch ……bottom: Fidget spinner!

The only photos I could manage were like this blurred effort above, taken through the glass of the display cabinets, so when it came to drawing the design on the tree trunk I was struggling a bit. I think it took as long to draw on he knotwork as it did to carve it.


Those steel hoops must have been hammered in a long time ago ~ I quite like them, they tell a part of the story of the tree.

I changed my mind about rogue pieces of steel when this happened…


Hitting this small steel loop, buried in the wood with years of growth over it, my gouge stood no chance. Much gnashing of teeth ensued and I’ll have to get the gouge on the grinder to get rid of that notch. This happened whilst roughing out the area for the next item on the tree: the Saxon shield boss, found at Sheffield’s Hill, Lincolnshire.


There’s an Art Festival on at the museum this Bank Holiday weekend ~ it’s been an annual event for around 60 years ~ so I won’t be back until next Tuesday.


   Aug 21

Scunthorpe Telegraph Pay a Visit

A nice article on the sculpture in the Scunthorpe Telegraph:

   Aug 21

Friends, Roman Helmet and Countrymen…

A busy couple of days at the North Lincolnshire Museum in Scunthorpe, not only with the carving but also the incredible amount of people being interested in the carving and enjoying seeing the progress of the sculpture. Today alone (Tuesday) an amazing 129 visitors came for a chat, and that’s been the pattern for the week or so I’ve been there; how nice to have this amount of interest and appreciation, from all ages too.

I finished the Roman helmet, worked on some big areas between this and the Stone/Iron/Bronze Age pieces, and stripped the bark ready for the Vikings.