Twists & Turns of Life

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Project by LittlePaw posted 09-07-2012 11:56 PM 1565 views 7 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The slab of sycamore measuring 8” X 14” by 2 5/8” thick was a gift from a friend. My experience with sycamore up to now is limited to seeing the beautiful box that Andy (gfadvm) made. I love the fine and subtle grains in sycamore as it reminds me of the similar grains in ivory. It is harder to carve than basswood; about the same as maple.

I’ve named my sculpture “The Twists & Turns of Life”. You may have noticed that the pot is cracked symbolizing growing up in a dysfunctional family. And as you can see I took a couple of side trips in my life as well as experiencing dual personalities. I am glad that I have re-connected with Heaven in the latter part of my life.

I was extra careful not to accidentally break any of the twists and turns, especially the ends of the lower branches. Yesterday, I applied a coat of Sam Maloof’s Poly/Oil very carefully with a soft brush used in water color painting. After the finish was applied, lo and behold! some flaws showed up. So today I spent most of the day making necessary changes and reapplied the finish. The wood was very thirsty as it darkened the wood quite a bit. I spent a total of 110 hours in carving time, using a scroll saw to cut out the big holes; the rest was done mostly with hand tools, a few power tools such as Proxon Power Carver and a Dremel. ..... finished just in time for my birthday tomorrow for which my sweetheart is taking me to an Indian (India) Festival ! !

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

24 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

13995 posts in 2142 days

#1 posted 09-07-2012 11:59 PM

That is a very dainty and pretty carving. Sycamore has some pretty grain. I have a few pieces I keep looking at waiting for them to tell me what they want to be!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

3170 posts in 1598 days

#2 posted 09-08-2012 12:02 AM

That is a sweet job. Love how it looks

-- Please help me help other Vets click..> is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View Roger's profile


17667 posts in 1841 days

#3 posted 09-08-2012 12:03 AM

This is so moving. Thnx for your life story. Absolutely beautiful, and very finely carved.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

8438 posts in 3089 days

#4 posted 09-08-2012 12:04 AM

Beautiful work!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

17909 posts in 1375 days

#5 posted 09-08-2012 12:32 AM

Very nicely done

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View DocSavage45's profile


6591 posts in 1879 days

#6 posted 09-08-2012 12:34 AM

Unique “twist” on carving!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View shipwright's profile


6182 posts in 1835 days

#7 posted 09-08-2012 12:37 AM

I like it.
Very natural, lifelike and peaceful.

Nice work.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees.

View bowtie's profile


913 posts in 1383 days

#8 posted 09-08-2012 12:51 AM


-- bowtie,.....jus passin thru....

View Steve Esterby's profile

Steve Esterby

285 posts in 1797 days

#9 posted 09-08-2012 12:59 AM

Great work! huge degree of dificulty. This is the type of work that demands you stay in the moment. Nothing matters but the project. Nice.

--,the best teacher is repetition.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2345 days

#10 posted 09-08-2012 01:07 AM

Very very nice LittlePaw…Your patience and hard work show up nicely. I think your definition of the cracked pot is a wee bit different that what my wife is thinking when she calle me a crackpot.

View gfadvm's profile


13750 posts in 1727 days

#11 posted 09-08-2012 01:31 AM

That turned out to be an amazing piece of art. The interior carving appears so delicate that I can’t imagine the care you took not to break an end off. The somewhat stringy grain was probably a plus. I love sycamore and you did this piece proud. The finish appears to have worked well. And happy birthday!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View MShort's profile


1757 posts in 2455 days

#12 posted 09-08-2012 01:58 AM

110 hours is alot of time to invest but wow your reward for it is absolutely stunning.

GREAT piece of art !!!

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View woodshaver's profile


3318 posts in 2390 days

#13 posted 09-08-2012 02:58 AM

Beautiful work !!!

-- Tony C St Augustine FL, My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

View Woodenwizard's profile


1187 posts in 2080 days

#14 posted 09-08-2012 03:22 AM


-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View lightweightladylefty's profile


2955 posts in 2749 days

#15 posted 09-08-2012 03:26 AM


I can’t imagine the care and attention to detail necessary to carve such an intricate piece. It would have made me nervous, wondering when (not if) I would break one of those delicate branches.

Thanks for sharing.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

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