Allen Stichler – Wood Carving

Bespoke Ornamental Wood Carvings & Tree Sculpture

   Apr 17

Spring Workshop Comes to a Close

The final weekend at Mires beck for the Spring carving workshop, and as usual everyone took home some lovely sculptures. All the participants managed their time perfectly and the last hour was remarkably relaxed, without the merest hint of panic!

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David’s effective Yorkshire rose.

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Jackie with her well-carved hare.

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John’s great kingfisher ~ and the beak survived!

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No, that middle picture isn’t a “Spot the Difference” competition, it’s Trevor with his fantastic Tree Spirit.

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All ready to be taken to their new homes.

We hope to be able to fit in another workshop around the end of September, when the greenhouses at Mires Beck are a little cooler.


   Apr 17

Forest Fairies

I was asked by Eibe Play Ltd to carve six oak panels for a play area in Alice Holt Forest in Surrey, all with a woodland fairy/elf theme; we’d had several discussions initially about me perhaps carving some large logs  from home, which would then be transported to Surrey and then set in the ground at the play area ~ and this was the basis for this fantastic promotional film from Eibe : https://vimeo.com/146232653 , which cleverly superimposes some images of past carvings on to trunks to give a sense of the finished look.

It was soon agreed that to carve and fix panels to existing stumps on site would be the best thing to do, and I ordered six panels of oak, each 800mm x 500mm x 75mm and got to work.

I had to flatten each panel with an electric hand planer as there was a certain amount of  “cupping”, and no-one I know has a thicknesser to cope with timber this size. Then it was the usual process of tracing my designs on the oak and chipping away.

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I was working to a completion date of the end of April, so the pressure was on!

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Leveling the background on the last panel.

A small concern was how to package the panels, as I didn’t want them arriving in Surrey with a nose missing; luckily I happened upon a listing on Gumtree’s “Freebie” section, where a chap was getting rid of a number of boxes of large bubble wrap, which was perfect. What luck! It took nearly as long to package the panels as it did to carve them.

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The finished panels:

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Photos of the individual panels, with close-ups, will appear on the gallery pages shortly.

 


   Apr 14

Week Two at Mires Beck

More photos from the carving course at Mires Beck, North Cave:

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Trevor making progress with his Tree Spirit….

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Jackie cracking on well with her hare….

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John working on his kingfisher ~ watch that beak!

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David carefully carving his Tudor rose.

Some snaps from the woodland area around Mires Beck, always good for spotting fungi:

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   Apr 02

It’s That Time Again

There are various signs of Spring: bluebells, daffodils, blossoms, lambs and boxing hares, but I can usually tell it’s that time again by the advent of carving workshops at Mires Beck. Despite it being 5 or 6 months since the last course, we slotted back into the old routine, with a couple of new faces in a small group of four (since two unfortunately dropped out due to ill health).

allen-stichler-carving-workshops  David, in the early stages of his Tudor Rose….

allen-stichler-carving-workshops  John creating a Kingfisher….

allen-stichler-carving-workshops  Trevor working on a Wood-Spirit’s nose….

allen-stichler-carving-workshops  …and Jackie carving a hare.

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The first of three sessions, so no nerves as yet!


   Apr 02

Saint Mary’s Throne

St Mary’s Primary School in Beverley, East Yorkshire, is in the process of creating a lovely outdoor learning or “Countryside” area, complete with a hedgerow to encourage birds and wildlife, bird feeders and “bug hotels”.  I’ll soon be starting on a pair of thrones for this area, after addressing the pupils late last year to chat about design ideas.

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“Stay awake at the back!”

As usual, I had the invaluable assistance of Pete (of Pete Bowser Tree Services), who sourced a fantastic piece of timber and wielded his chainsaw to great effect.

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It was quite a tough lump of Turkey Oak, and it was a trickier job than usual for Pete ~ and when I came to sand off the saw marks and smooth out any imperfections, I found it just as awkward:

allen-stichler-beverley-st-mary's-primary  Shaving off the lumps and bumps with the Arbortech

allen-stichler-beverley-st-mary's-primary  Eight 80-grit discs!

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Looking forward to carving this in a week or two, it’s a really nice shape and should look effective.


   Apr 02

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Magazine

A nice piece in a recent issue of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust magazine (thanks to eagle-eyed Steph and Karen, who passed it on):

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   Mar 07

Guess How Much

The main subject for this carving in Hessle was an image based on the illustrations from “Guess How Much I Love You”, a popular children’s book.

I’d been a bit wary about this stump holding much detail with it being Blue Spruce (basically a Christmas Tree), and very soft and wide grained ~ actually it carved surprisingly well all things considered, as long as you kept your wits about you and watched the grain and kept the tools sharp.

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Around the side was a jolly goblin, looking up at an owl peering down from the back of the stump.

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Round the opposite side, another goblin looking out of an opening:

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Underneath him, a fairy door:

allen-stichler-woodcarving……and a secret key:

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…..and a mouse guarding his home:

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A coat of oil brings it all together:

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   Mar 07

Too Busy to Blog

Busy doesn’t cover it! With evenings being taken up with sketches, designs and quotes of late, this blog business has taken a back seat. A log bench for Pickering Park in Hull is still under wraps, so no pictures of that as yet otherwise I’ll spoil the surprise at the unveiling, and the same goes for the Peace Poles for Bootham Primary School in York…although one or two snaps won’t spoil it too much, as there are 4 poles, with 4 carved sides on each (“May Peace Prevail on Earth” in 16 different languages):

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The posts when they arrived, a bit wet, stained and in need of a sand.

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A sneak preview of a selection of sides. I carved all the “Western-style” lettering first, thinking that I’d fly through the “non-Western” types ~ in fact it was completely the opposite, with words in Japanese etc proving quite time-consuming.

 

 


   Jan 02

Beverley Victorian Christmas Market

After last year’s blustery event no chances were taken for this one, with layer upon layer tucked underneath our Victorian garb; as it transpired, the forecast was right for once and a mild day was only broken by heavy rain moments after we had packed up.

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Like last year, I shared a stall with Chrissie with her Pinkneydell Dolls. That’s Chrissie on the right, who has the knack of being in black-and-white on a colour photograph!

A very popular market this, so much so that people are almost on a conveyor belt as they shuffle past, swept along with the momentum; it must be quite an effort to break free and actually look at a stall ~ but look people did, and it was another good day at this event.


   Jan 02

New Pieces at Newport

Just time before Christmas to carve a pair of logs for the trail; after the holidays this may get put on hold in favour of some workshops with the pupils, depending on the weather of course.

So after the owl, I thought a frog and a squirrel would be popular with the children. Both followed the same process, drawing on the design then getting stuck in to the soft poplar.

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I had to squash the frog slightly to make the most of the size of the log; the alternative was to make the design smaller but the trail needs to have some uniformity and impact.

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Then the squirrel, and this time the tail can be shaped to fill the available space.

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