One of the problems with not labeling everything is that I soon forget what it is I have.  This sunflower was engraved on wood I bought in 2009.  I carefully labeled when I purchased the wood, but I did not identify what wood I had bought.  I think it is either pear or castello boxwood, but whatever it is it carves beautifully!  The print is approximately 3″ x 6″.



Dahlia in Black and White

Dahlia in Black and White

Dahlia in Black and White




















2 3/4″ x 4 3/4″ print pulled from a castello boxwood block.

It’s a good thing I like castello boxwood since I just bought a 3″ x 8″ x 5′ plank that I plan on cutting up into one inch slices in four or five years after it has had a chance to sweat out its extra moisture and become stable enough to use without cracking.  This also means I plan on being around and still carving in four or five or six or ten years.

Apple blossom time

This is a wood engraving pulled from a block carved from castello boxwood.  The block is one that I cut from a plank I have had aging for the last four years.  And I now I just purchased a new 5′ x 2.5″ x 8″ plank.  As a result, when my old boxwood is used up in four or five or six years, this one will be sufficiently dry and ready to cut into one inch slabs for engraving.

This print is 2 7/8″ square.  As you can see, I still have some clean-up to do on the white areas.

Apple blossom time-web












Hisbiscus leaves on silver maple

In my ongoing quest to carve a wide range of woods, I purchased some 1/8″ silver maple.  Although the carving went well, and I will use it again, it will not replace either pear or black cherry as a preferred carving wood.  Silver maple seemed to have about the same hardness as black cherry, and it does hold a line well, but it didn’t seem to be any easier to carve than the black cherry I have been using.  My perception is that the wood is brittler, but as of now I have only used silver maple to carve this one piece.  There is a wide range of colors to the wood, and I wonder if there is an equal variation in how hard the wood is and what the carving characteristics are.  Does anyone know if the color reflects the hardness and carving characteristics?

Hibiscus leaves from a silver maple block

The Gardener Manqué

Italian stone pine cone wood block

Italian stone pine cone wood block
















The Gardener Manqué


The pines were planted plenty far apart.

A fool could tell they’d never fill the space,

But dreaming’s cheaper than a three-inch tree.

They would eventually, I was sure,

Outgrow the gallon pots I had them in;

And fill the space; survive the deer and out

Compete the weeds, the gophers eating up

Their roots, ground squirrels, skunks, and especially

An owner who’d forget to water them,

And who’d forget where they were planted when,

On rare occasions, he would mow the weeds

In that forgotten corner of the yard.

And still they suffer from that mindless fool.

In only thirty years, the trees

Are fully grown and overwhelm the space

They were allotted. How do you decide

Which tree to cut when you, for thirty years,

Have watched them grow from three-inch potted plants?