Piercing the Sun

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Project by Justin Gordon posted 11-27-2013 02:13 PM 1435 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

View timberframedave's profile


20 posts in 1846 days

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

Awesome – nice work!

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6301 posts in 1613 days

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


View Ken90712's profile (online now)


15836 posts in 2224 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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5489 posts in 1328 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


1484 posts in 1989 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

5313 posts in 1364 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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3389 posts in 1209 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"

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


16399 posts in 2712 days

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

stunningly awesome!!

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

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


16399 posts in 2712 days

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

BT, welcome to LJ ;-)

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

View aussiedave's profile


3090 posts in 860 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


3259 posts in 1454 days

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

fabulous carving!

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

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Monte Pittman

17895 posts in 1374 days

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

Really beautiful work

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

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8286 posts in 2068 days

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

Very Nice Work Indeed! Thanks For Sharing!


-- Can You Hear The Toilet Flushing?

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317 posts in 1510 days

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


View Manitario's profile


2386 posts in 1919 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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