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Making Wood Carvings

 
Monkey Pod branches harvested and delivered Monkey Pod tree trunk
Branches from a Monkey Pod tree (Acacia, Rain Tree) are generally cut between one to two meters in length and delivered to the carving facility. Monkey Pod has greater then 50% Moisture Content (MC) when first cut Occasionally a tree is cut and used. Large one piece carvings are made or alternately one piece table tops. This is generally not done as the tree rejuvenates fast after branches only are cut at about 1 to 2 inches a year in diameter
Spare wood from Monkey Pod branches rough cut for products Chain sawing rough shape in Monkey Pod wood
The wood is then rough cut by chain saw into the shape of the product that will be made from this batch of wood. Scarp is used for small carvings and heating homes in the cool season It takes skill and time to rough carve a shape like the Twist Stool leaving enough material for the finish carvers to make consistent shapes - This is done while the wood is still wet
Roughed out Twist Stool carving from Monkey Pod Roughed out cube end tables from Monkey Pod
This is a roughed out Twist Stool by the chain saw operator. The wood is still very wet and will shrink and crack by a large percentage These are roughed out Cube18 body's - the most dangerous is the inside. The wood is still wet and the blades of the chain saw can jam easily if care is not used during carving
Starting finish carving on roughed out Twists Stool body from Monkey Pod Selecting the right carving tools for the Twist Stool
Finish carvers have generations of experience behind them and work by the "feel" of the wood. Carving is not a full time job and is generally a family affair involving cousins and close friends. Being an agricultural society carving can slow down or stop during the rainy season for rice planting and again for harvesting Carving is done to earn extra money while crops are growing and for enjoyment by crafts people who are communally oriented. Other unexpected interruptions are weddings, funerals, Buddhist and other religious holidays. Done in villages where everyone knows each other, celebrations and mourning's are a community affair that take precedence
Continuing to carve teh Twist Stool shape in Monkey Pod Home Made carving tools of teh wood carvers trade
A skilled carver just knows what tool to select based on how the wood feels and what they see as they are working Tools are generally hand made and every carver has their own set they have created for the work they perform
Visiting a carver to see how they are progressing and for new ideas Delivering the Twist Stools for blending of carving areas
Visiting a group of carvers is always interesting. You see the work you ordered as well as some interesting new ideas a craver creates with odd pieces of wood. This can lead to new designs for the future After carving the body there are those that do the initial cleanup work on the pieces to blend in as much as possible so the design flows smoothly before we pick up to start drying - see OUR QUALITY