carved wooden bear

Posted on January 6th, 2015 by mountain girl  |  10 Comments »


Since I was a kid reading Abe Lincoln biographies, I’ve always had an itch to whittle something. Last month I finally gave it a try…can I get a woo-hoo!


I used basswood, and after some research, decided on a set of Flexcut tools.  I found it was really worthwhile to spend the extra money and get a great set of knives.  This set contains two knives and two palm chisels, and I used them all.  You have to keep your knives really sharp, so I also got a stropping block and compound.   There is an awesome woodworker’s store in Denver called Rockler, which is my version of a candy shop–second only to Guiry’s art store.


On our visits to New Mexico I’ve seen lots of little Southwest-style bears, so I decided to carve one.  I took a blank of basswood and just started whittling it down.  I could have saved some time by hacking the extra wood off with a coping saw, but I wasn’t really in a hurry (and I didn’t have a coping saw).  I found I loved the slowness of it–it was so relaxing, and really fun to see a little bear begin to emerge!  I kind of felt like I was setting him free from the block of wood (is that weird?)










Once the bear was the way I liked it, I rubbed on a few coats of tung oil.  It really brought out the grain and gave the bear more of a honeyed look…


I painted the designs with calligraphy inks:









I sent this bear off to New Mexico to my very sweet in-laws.  Another little bear is in the works…:)

10 Responses to “carved wooden bear”

  1. Mom & Dad says on :

    Hi honeeeee….we LOVE this little bear (with claws out) :). I loved seeing the work you did to “get him out”— a true work of love 🙂 :). We Luv u to the moon / mom

  2. mountain girl says on :

    Glad you like him…love you too!

  3. Debra says on :

    He is gorgeous! It turned out so well, I really want to try this now too!

  4. mountain girl says on :

    Thanks, Debra!

  5. Yanic says on :

    That is just darling! I’m sending this to my hubby. He,s just started carving and it’s really hard to find step by step tutorials out there. So simple… Love your art!

  6. mountain girl says on :

    Oh, good…though I don’t really know what I’m doing, haha. I noticed you mentioned on your blog that he was carving wood, which of course piqued my interest. 🙂 It really helped me to watch a couple of YouTube videos, just to learn how to sharpen my knives, and also how to control my knife stroke.

  7. appleshoe says on :

    Woo Hoo! He’s lovely! I use the same knives. It pays to have a good set of carving tools. I can’t wait to see what you make next.

  8. Kim says on :

    Love this! One of my creative goals this year is to do some carving, spoons and bowls, maybe some other things. I have been looking at knives, glad to hear you like these ones. Have fun carving, and enjoy your weekend.

  9. mountain girl says on :

    Yes–spoons are on my carving list, too!

  10. Carlin says on :

    I love seeing these pictures, he’s adorable.