The Carousel Journey

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Project by shouldwood posted 01-07-2007 08:45 PM 2428 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is titled as such to best describe the process of carving this large scale project since this was my first attempt at “wood carving”. Had I known the depth of difficulty and length of the learning-curve initiallly, I might have chickened out for a few more years or never attempted it at all.

Four years ago the unchartered quest of carving this carousel horse began. It would have been done much sooner, but I would “shut down” sometimes for months from the intimidation and lack of information to solve some of the problems.

Enlarging the line-drawing onto kraft paper, it became the pattern used throughtout as a reference. Planks and blocks of basswood were planed and glued up in a “coffin-like” fashion commonly used in early carouse- carving practices. The basic shape was roughed-out wth a chainsaw wheel attached to an angle grinder, then hand-carved with various chisels.

Parts of the mane are still being filled, sanded and primed. The tail still lacks the final carving details. The body of the horse is painted a pastel yellow and will be glazed to give it an aged, antique appearence. Painting the trappings, etc. is in-process. In all honesty, this stage is moving very slowly because of not wanting to “mess it up” after all the work of getting it to this point. My new-year’s resolution is to complete it in 2007. We can only hope.

9 comments so far

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4305 days

#1 posted 01-07-2007 09:04 PM

Looks like time well spent! It sounds like quite a process. I look forward to seeing it completed.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4294 days

#2 posted 01-07-2007 09:20 PM

Being a carver myself, I’m impressed at your abilities. I’ll be looking forward to it completion.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4309 days

#3 posted 01-08-2007 02:10 AM

Great attention to detail…so quit horsing around and just finish it!

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4171 days

#4 posted 01-11-2007 12:06 AM

Wonderful, SW, you make me feel so inadequate. Had I viewed this before posting my Little Red Rocker, I wouldn’t have done so. How do you intend to display the horse?

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View Randolph Torres's profile

Randolph Torres

295 posts in 3523 days

#5 posted 02-03-2011 11:45 PM

spetacular first attempt

-- another tip from cooperedpatterns

View shouldwood's profile


42 posts in 4152 days

#6 posted 02-04-2011 03:19 PM

View shouldwood's profile


42 posts in 4152 days

#7 posted 02-04-2011 03:51 PM

Finally finished this challenge in 2010. Had the whole year to do it being laid off from custom cabinet/furniture shop since December 2009. Didn’t have good excuse to run from my fears of completing the horse. Comparing to initial photos the face/head needed complete revamping. Nostrils too large; mouth/teeth were not consistent with original pattern; eyes facing sideways rather than forward; lack of knowledge of a horse’s anatomy, etc.

Put the horse in room where I slept, forcing me to see it each morning and studying why it didn’t look right. Researched classic carousel carvings more closely to determine why theirs worked. Am pleased with final results. In retrospect, can’t believe I attempted to take on such a large, difficult task as a first carving project. Too many problems to solve when not truly understanding an actual horse’s/carousel horse’s anatomy and trying to overcome the learning curve of carving a 3D object at the same time. Have learned a lot, however. Attempted to glaze it to give appearance of an antique.

As far as what to do with it, I have no idea. Still sitting in my bedroom collecting dust. Wish I knew of a way to advertise my skills; not necessarily in wood carving, but general woodworking. Not competent or experienced enough to make a profit on carving. Pondered if a bank with large windows in front would like to display it for a period, drawing attention to their business and hopefully mine too. Any recommendations from you all would be appreciated. Thank you.

View Dan Coultis's profile

Dan Coultis

47 posts in 2802 days

#8 posted 02-06-2011 04:24 AM

Wonderful work, This should be on display some where for everyone to see.

-- Dan Coultis, Milan Tennessee

View shouldwood's profile


42 posts in 4152 days

#9 posted 02-06-2011 01:21 PM

Thank you Dan. Would like to display it. Would get this laaaarge thing out of the house and maybe bring in some business and by chance perhaps make some money.

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