Magnolia, TX, United States
Welcome to our shop of hand-carved spiritual symbols, Celtic knotwork, and cultural icons made from Western Red Cedar.
When we aren't on the road, we spend our time building our home in the woods, a room here...a building there; always loving our dachshund Pschnoogie, the cats; Noxie, Irving and Rifka; dog Briar found, crying in the briar patch and each other.
Skills and Techniques
Carvings begin as solid pieces of western red cedar that are scrollsawed, carved with rotary tools & grinders, sanded smooth in 3 sandings & finished with clear oils. For the step-by-step, please read 'About the Artisan".
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Get to Know
Hi! Coop & Katrina here. Coop's a wood carver and Katrina does wood burnings on some of his symbols. We live out in the piney woods when we aren't traveling across the country to Renaissance Faires, Celtic festivals, and art shows. From Coop: Long ago I realized that carving is a form of meditation. I am burning these images into my consciousness 16 hours a day. As an act of self defense, I made a decision to limit my carving to symbols evoking light, love, peace, exhilaration, freedom, liberty, ecstasy, and the creator of the universe. I spend my life focusing on positive symbols and meeting people that are attracted to them. It just gets better all the time. If you are unable to appreciate spiritual symbols that are outside your particular faith, please go no further in this webshop. I believe that spirituality brings us together in love, rather than isolating us in condescension and self righteousness. Please view my work as a grateful expression of my love of life and creation. May it bring joy to your day. And this is Katrina...I was blessed in 2006 to lose my job, have a friend that brought me to the wonderful Maryland Renaissance Faire, where Coop's friend brought me into his world. As our friendship, love and lives deepen together, he is encouraging me to develop as an artist. So his wonderful pieces that have wood burning on them are my attempts at creations of light, love, peace, exhilaration, freedom, liberty, ecstasy, and the creator of the universe. Namaste.THE FULL TECHNIQUE:CARVING: They begin as 1 inch by 12 inch boards. I draw each piece with compass and ruler, and/or free-hand. I cut the 2 dimensional blanks with scroll and jig saws, and carve them with rotary shaft tools, and disc grinders.SANDING: The 80 grit sanding is the final phase of the carving process as it removes the nicks and gouges from the carving tools, and finishes the shaping of the weave. The 120 grit further eliminates and smoothes out any scratches or dings. Finally, the piece is sanded with 220 grit. With each consecutive sanding, the grain of the wood becomes more and more visible. The 220 phase is when each grain line becomes sharply visible and distinct and the carving is fully ready to accept the oil finish.OILING: My blend of linseed oil, tung oil, and carnauba wax seals the piece, brings out the grain and the color. The oil is a natural finish, so the wood will dry out during periods of low humidity. I recommend rehydrating the wood with the product known as Orange Glo, although any quality wood oil will work. If you prefer a more matte finish, oil only occasionally, if you prefer your wood carving glossy, you can oil more frequently.THE WOOD: The beauty of Western Red Cedar is the varying color of the wood. Some pieces are dark, some light, and some vary from one tone to another within the same piece. The true color is never known until that final step of Oiling. The carvings you will see on the website are not the ones you will receive if you chose to order. What you get will depend on the boards that are in stock. If you desire and request something (for example) dark, I will pull the darkest board I have, but it will not necessarily be as dark as (for example) walnut would be. Western Red Cedar is the species from which roofing shingles, decks, and gazeboes have traditionally been made. It is resistant to mold, moisture, and insects. The oiling process also helps to block out damaging uv rays of the sun, so my carvings can be hung outdoors. Please be aware, that even with the oiling, the carving will eventually gray out, as any cedar will, if it is placed in direct sunlight.SIZE: The stock carvings are limited by the size of the board that starts the carving process. As the initial piece is 1 in. x 12 in., (in reality 3/4 in. x 11-3/4 in.) one side of the carving will be no greater then approximately 11-1/2 in. For custom orders, I can go larger by laminating 2 (or more) 1 inch boards together, and sometimes, depending on the piece, I will go with 2 inch planks instead of the 1 inch board. The pricing will increase depending on the size and the symbol.
Anniversary Tree of Life - This was a custom piece for our dear friends, Jannelle & Joe Olmstead of Something Else Studio ( www.SEStudio.etsy.com ) The leaf at top has their initials and wedding date wood burned on it. At the roots is an acorn - the seed of love that their tree of life grew from.
Yin/Yang Cabinet and a dusty Coop - We are trying something new. Katrina is oil painting and Coop is incorporating the paintings into his art. This is the first cabinet we have done together. This has allowed him to add the Yin/Yang symbol to our inventory...there was never any way to float the two circles before!
This is our lovely booth and home (upstairs) at the Maryland Renaissance Festival outside of Annapolis, MD. This is the best fair in the country, it is still a tightly juried art show, as well as entertainment for all ages.
This is our mobile display. 6 flats in a hexagon. We do have a new white and green canvas top. That's Pschnoogie on the cooler behind the tent.