Sunday, July 27, 2014

Apache - Read To Paint

Put the final knife strokes to this one this morning so he's destined for the paint table.  Still have to do some more detail on the lance and shield, i.e. feathers, etc. but it's basically finished.  Should be quiet colorful once it's completed.  Also, was lucky enough to have sold it already to a collector who's been waiting for an Apache carving.

The base is out of red oak and the lance and shield are pegged to the carving and the base.    Hope you like him and your comments are welcome as always.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


This one is all finished but the painting.  He's a big one...standing about 22" tall.  He will be holding a lariat loop in one hand and the coiled excess in the other.  Should make for an interesting piece.  Will hopefully use him in a rather big experiment should things work out as I hope.  If not he will be a nice addition to someones collection.   No additional photos on him...just these two.  Comments always welcome.


Here's one I've been working on over the past couple of days.  So far he's looking pretty good.  That base is not the one that will be on the finished article....just something I had handy to make the thing look a little better.  He should be pretty colorful once completed.  No additional photos this time but your comments are welcome as always.

Sunday, June 29, 2014


I've done this one in smaller versions in the past so thought I would try a larger one.  Also, it gave me a change to add a couple extra details, one that I wasn't aware of.

When doing some research for this one I noted that in some photos of him there appeared to be a badge of some kind pinned to his neck scarf.  I had thought maybe it was his Medal of Honor but when checking the medal issued at that time it was clear it wasn't that.  I sent a note to my good friend and sculptor David Lemon and he informed me of something that I didn't know.  Custer had his own medal!  I won't go into just what that is but here's a very interesting link about it:

Due to the size of the piece and my feeble eyesight, I wasn't able to add the smallest details to the medal but I think there's enough to indicate just what it is and you have to admit it really adds a neat tough to the piece.

I also took the liberty of adding the leather strap across the chest just to break up the large expanse of yellow/tan leather.  It also creates just one more details to add interest to the piece.  While a lot of the painting of him show him wearing a light tan hat in looking at the photos it looks much darker than that so I colored it a dark blue with a gray piping edge and hat band which would more closely match the issued uniforms they were issued.  Granted, he pretty much wore what he wanted and even designed his own but that blue hat again makes it that much more interesting.  This bust stands a little under 12" with the walnut base,  a nice size that will easily stand out from the rest.

There are more photos in the Gallery along with a couple of unpainted ones showing his ears which I re-carved to more closely follow the photos.   I hope you like this one as I certainly do and I look forward to your comments as I always do.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Here's a little quickie I finished yesterday.  While I've done this character a couple of times in the past this time I made his situation just a little more intense.  The arrow is a piece of 1/8"dowel with plastic feathers and a hammered copper arrowhead.  To accommodate the arrowhead and feathers I burnt two slots for the fletching and a completely burnt through slot for the arrowhead.  I wrapped thread around the point to keep it in place and also to give the look of realism.

Not really much to add about the figure itself other than his prognosis doesn't look to good.  Of course, like all cartoon characters, no one ever seems to succumb to their injuries so there might still be some hope.   This is the only photo.  Look forward to your comments.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Good Trade

At this years Rendezvous, this Mountain man managed to swap a few beaver pelts for a pretty nice blanket.  It will no doubt come in handy on cold winter nights high in the Rockies.

I think Beaded Blanket strips are one of the most colorful items associated with Native American crafts.   I an only imagine how much time is spent making one of these and how proud one would be to wear one.

With the base this piece stands over 12" tall.  The base is walnut.  One thing about bases......when making a base a lot of us make the mistake of picking a soft wood like pine when we should have reached for a nice piece of oak, walnut or even better, cherry.  I realize that these are much more expensive than a pine board you can pick up down at the home center. Unfortuately, that pine board reacts to stain in such a way that the finished article appears blotchy and unprofessional.   My advice is to go ahead and fork over the extra money and purchase a nice piece of hardwood.  Your carvings and hard work deserve it.

A few more photos in the gallery and I look forward to your comments.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Captain's Coat

Believe it or not, I actually finished something!  Believe me it wasn't easy...working between all the chores around the place and, the relocationof our oldest son's family into their new place next door, and the visit by our grandsons for the past week, there's not much free time to set down to whittle and paint.  But, I thing the effort paid off with a really nice and colorful piece.

I don't know if you all have been following the "Turn" series presently showing on the AMC channel about General Washington's spy network, it sure sparked my interest.  I had just recently read BrianKilmead's book "The Secret Six" which was also about these same events but seeing the many uniforms whetted my appetite to try something along those lines.  Granted, my piece sort of stretches the facts a bit by giving a plains Indian the coat of a revolutionary officer but, hey!  It could have happened!

Anyway, while I've done similar carvings  before I tried to make this one a little more realistic, at least in the face.  I added that knife and sheath to fill up the area on the breast plate.  It also creates a bit of interest and addes another element of color.  The carving, including the base stands about 12" tall.  Brass nails were used for the buttons.

Hope you like it and there are more photos in the gallery and I look forward to your comments.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

"Where'd They Go?"

First off we hope you're all having a great Memorial Day, celebrating the true meaning of what it stands for.  Being a vet myself it seems that with each passing year I become more aware of the sacrifices that have been made by those who've passed before and by those still with us and especially those in uniform.  Most will probably blow the whole thing off with BBQ and boat rides but to me it's  my Great Grandfathers, who fought in the Civil War, my Grandfather, who fought in the Spanish American War, my Dad who served in the National Guard during WWII, myself who did a stint with the US Army and our sons who both served and participated in the Desert Storm campaign while in the US Air Force and the US Army.  Proud?  You betcha!

As for what else we've been up to that has prevented us from our usual postings, it's a house full of in-laws and grand kids and a Spring full of chores.  We did manage to break away the other day to pay a visit to the Cowboy Hall of Fame in OKC on our way to pickup our grandsons who are up for a weeks visit.  While the place was full of bare walls while they gear up for the upcoming Prix de West show it was still enjoyable to wander and gaze at the many things on display that we've seen many times before.  Also, we snuck down to check out the Chuck Wagons setting up for the big Memorial Day Kids Fest which started Saturday.  Having a wagon ourselves it's great to see and talk about what's been going on with the wagon competitions around the country. Then it was off to the Stockyards to check out the Western stores and have a steak at the Cattleman's Steak House before heading down to pick up the boys.

Here are a couple of photos of that short trip:
That's Judy standing beneath Wilson Hurley's Yellowstone triptych in the great hall of the museum.  We were lucky enough to attend the banquet there honoring the annual Rodeo inductees a few years back where one of my pieces was auctioned off to raise funds for the museum.  Quite an honor.

Me, standing beneath the "Trail of Tears" plaster by James Earl Fraser inside the entrance of the Museum.  If you like the west and are in the area you owe it to yourself to make this museum a stop on your itinerary.

So, that's what's been going on around and about our place.  While we certainly haven't forgotten about those of you who follow these ramblings, time is getting short so we have to take time to work in the other important things in our remaining years.

Happy Memorial Day!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Where's Waldo And Waldette?

We're still here.  But that photo over there on the left will give you just one of the many reasons we haven't posted for a while.  With spring weather finally here we have a ton of projects around our place to work on as we're sure most of you do too.  With close to 60 acres to take care of it's a struggle to keep up with fixing fence, cleaning up the fallen brush not to mention the mowing.  Then there's dodging the tornadoes and severe weather fronts that roll through Oklahoma from April till June.  Just over the past week we lost two large trees to the winds which need to be cut up, brush burned, and wood hauled off to be split.  That's what we did today.

Anyway, one of these days we'll be back in the shop cranking out the least we hope so.