Piercing the Sun

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Project by Justin Gordon posted 11-27-2013 02:13 PM 1173 views 6 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a carving of a centaur shooting an arrow at the sun. It’s based on an astrological story of Sagitarius shooting his arrow at the sun symbolizing the soldier’s piercing the side of Jesus with a spear as he hung on the cross. I’ve put a dead tree as support to the centaur revealing the death of Jesus. You can subtly make out a human figure form at the top of the tree with a hole in its side.

This is carved in mahogany and stained with a special mix of stain colors and finished with multiple coats of polyurethane. It is signed and dated and mounted to a burl base that has the subtle shape of a fish. The base’s bottom is also felt lined. It stands near 20 inches high, 14 inches wide and 12 inches deep at the base.

The carving is actually three pieces of wood; the tree, the centaur, and the arrow. I carved the two big pieces separately as shown in the last picture. This did two things for me. 1) It facilited access to hard to reach areas at the horse’s hind quarter, and 2) Because I hate seeing glue lines in carvings, the two pieces of wood were taken from one piece of wood where I cut the two pieces to length and rotated one of them so the grain lines formed a big ‘S’ curve through the carving minimalizing the evidence of the glue line. The glue line also went through the contact point of the centaur and the tree for minimal exposure and maximum added support for the legs of the centaur where the wood grain was weakest.

This is one of those pieces that sat on the work bench, was worked on when time allowed, and finally got finished after a period of 7 years. The story of this piece and how it “was finally finished” was sent to two national wood carving publications: Chip Chats and Woodcarving Magazine. Both magazines published the story with photos and Chip Chats put its picture on the cover. So it’s well documented.

Thanks to all for the comments. Sorry I can’t respond, but something’s wierd with my page where the link to the ‘comments’ doesn’t work. I’m not being antisocial. It’s a broken link. Not sure how to fix it….Justin


22 comments so far

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20 posts in 1497 days

#1 posted 11-27-2013 03:14 PM

Awesome – nice work!

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5078 posts in 1264 days

#2 posted 11-27-2013 03:20 PM


View Ken90712's profile


15090 posts in 1876 days

#3 posted 11-27-2013 03:50 PM

Wow amazing work and details….. Great job!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

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4761 posts in 979 days

#4 posted 11-27-2013 05:51 PM

Great carving!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View RogerBean's profile


1179 posts in 1640 days

#5 posted 11-27-2013 07:45 PM

Wow. Superb work.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

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Mainiac Matt

4147 posts in 1015 days

#6 posted 11-27-2013 08:21 PM

what a stunning piece….

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

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3278 posts in 860 days

#7 posted 11-27-2013 09:50 PM

What a fabulous creation, I am speechless looking at the workmanship & fine detail.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

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14862 posts in 2363 days

#8 posted 11-27-2013 10:06 PM

stunningly awesome!!

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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14862 posts in 2363 days

#9 posted 11-27-2013 10:06 PM

BT, welcome to LJ ;-)

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View aussiedave's profile


3014 posts in 511 days

#10 posted 11-27-2013 11:22 PM

Wow that is an awesome carving….just awesome.

-- Dave.......Keep calm and make more sawdust....

View Woodbridge's profile


2776 posts in 1105 days

#11 posted 11-28-2013 02:39 AM

fabulous carving!

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

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Monte Pittman

14575 posts in 1025 days

#12 posted 11-28-2013 03:04 AM

Really beautiful work

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

View Rick's profile


6454 posts in 1720 days

#13 posted 11-28-2013 03:30 AM

Very Nice Work Indeed! Thanks For Sharing!


-- COMMON SENSE Is Like Deodorant. The People Who need It Most, Never Use It.

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282 posts in 1161 days

#14 posted 11-28-2013 03:45 AM


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2363 posts in 1570 days

#15 posted 11-28-2013 05:12 AM

this is awesome!!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

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