Carved Snake

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Project by Phil Brown posted 05-26-2007 08:23 PM 2976 views 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Me and said snake go a long ways back, to the moving days of my trucking career. Years ago when we were still doing that sort of transportaion a divorcing couple came to the warehouse to split their storage lot. I came back off a run to find two items left over. I asked my boss if the folks forgot the stuff, a 3 foot square smoked glass table top and a unique looking piece of driftwood. He said they couldn’t agree on the items and things were getting huffy so he told them to take it somewhere else and they packed up and left the table and driftwood behind. He told me to take the pieces home and do something with them. I did.

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I was single for 9 years waiting for my first story to fade away and had bought this little house in a country town which served as a bedroom between runs. I set the glass top on a pine coffee table I had made from a pine cabinet that had housed a rock core sample collection in some arm of our government, and plunked the driftwood on top. It looked pretty cool, the combination.

One night as I was watching tv I looked down at the driftwood and envisioned a snake flowing through it. Out came the carving tools and what nights I was home I would find the snake hiding in the driftwood. It took a bit of coaxing but it finally revealed itself.

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Unfortunately the snake carving never got completed. Several years after I remarried and combined 5 kids and 8 grandkids, now 12 grandkids, one of our grandsons took a liking to the snake on the coffee table and decided to drag it around the house by its tail. I should have put the piece out in the shop and not left it on display while I was completing it. It disappeared for the longest time and as I was busy trucking kind of forgot about it.

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One day I decided to work on it and asked my wife where it was. She got a funny look on her face and produced the snake, minus part of its head. Our grandson had dropped it and busted the whole left side off of the head of the creature. It took a while to get over it, and even though the broken piece never showed up I know that with my skills I can glue a block in there and recarve it but it will never be the same.

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I hope that someday I will find a similar piece and be able to recreate what I started to accomplish with this carving as it was exciting watching this mysterious creature come to life.

-- Phil Brown, Ontario

14 comments so far

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4244 days

#1 posted 05-26-2007 08:31 PM

Very neat looking snake Phil. Yes its too bad it never got finished, it would have been a museum piece. jockmike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Mark1's profile


6 posts in 4018 days

#2 posted 05-27-2007 12:51 AM

It’s Awesome, any idea were it came fromm

-- Great things begin in chaos

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4312 days

#3 posted 05-27-2007 02:57 AM

Somethings just are. I like it half finished. It blends in with the wood. Too bad it got damaged. Some of my most importain pieces have been lost or damaged due to my neglect…and wild way of life.

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 4084 days

#4 posted 05-27-2007 02:59 AM

Wow….It looks like it could start moving any second, eerily real…would have been nice to see it done…..what about reworking it as a thinner snake and finishing it…you could do even more relief. Either that or leave it as is and let it have the story you just told.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker

View Phil Brown's profile

Phil Brown

219 posts in 4056 days

#5 posted 05-27-2007 03:05 AM

We have big old mean water snakes around here. In fact here’s one that tried for my grandson’s fishing lure the other night and missed, hooking itself in its body. I’ve had this experience a few times as well. He grabbed it by the back of the head and got the hook out.

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I thought of reworking it thinner as well but with the damaged head, which I can fix, I’ve kind of given up on it because it wouldn’t be the original tree anymore if I glue a piece on.

-- Phil Brown, Ontario

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4137 days

#6 posted 05-27-2007 06:42 AM

WOW! Phil, very realistic carving.


View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4309 days

#7 posted 05-27-2007 02:09 PM

O.K. Phil, how many people have you scared stiff with this one? LOL. Very interesting carvnig.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Phil Brown's profile

Phil Brown

219 posts in 4056 days

#8 posted 05-27-2007 02:20 PM

A few, Mark. Some people couldn’t handle it – the look on their face’s said “Will it bite?”

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-- Phil Brown, Ontario

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4158 days

#9 posted 05-27-2007 05:26 PM

yah.. I had to force myself to open this one…. ewwwwwewwwejwww…
but I looked. I was impressed.. and I am sad that it was broken and the piece lost :(

one of the first pix looked like it was wrapped around a leg…. double eweweewewew (my biggest snake fear)....

ok. I’m done.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4034 days

#10 posted 05-27-2007 10:37 PM

Neat carving!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4398 days

#11 posted 05-28-2007 12:36 AM

Phil On your third picture at the top of this project. It looks like another head peeking out of the wood.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Phil Brown's profile

Phil Brown

219 posts in 4056 days

#12 posted 05-28-2007 01:14 AM

Karson, it does look like another head. The driftwood was a very pleasing piece by itself before I carved into it.

-- Phil Brown, Ontario

View cajunpen's profile


14575 posts in 4064 days

#13 posted 05-28-2007 10:33 AM

Phil, that just may be the first snake that I’ve seen in my life that I actually can say I like. Great job and wonderful story – you are a talented man!

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View mmh's profile


3676 posts in 3720 days

#14 posted 10-23-2008 05:20 PM

Very realistic and well done. I agree with cajunpen that this is one of the best snake carvings I have seen. The unfinished middle section actually adds to the mystic of the piece, as it shows how your craftsmanship evolved “nothing” into “something extraordinary”. It’s a shame the head is damaged, but please do try creating another one. Your talents command you!

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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