We use wood for all kinds of things. We use it to build stuff. We use it to make furniture. We use it to burn for fuel. However, there are some people who use wood for creating works of art whether through carving, chainsaw, or whatever. Of course, I’m talking about wood sculpture. Sure you might see some neat carvings at festivals. Still, while wood may be flammable, biodegradable, and vulnerable to insect damage, it’s fairly easy material to sculpt. Unlike metal, you don’t need to make a mold or use any fire unless you want to. Unlike glass, it’s not delicate and easily breakable (well, for the most part). Unlike clay and ceramics, you don’t need to put it in a kiln. And unlike stone, you don’t need to continuously hammer it with a chisel unless you want to. Just take any assortment of cutting tools from your local hardware store and cut away. Not to mention, wood is a rather light material and take in fine detail. Nevertheless, wood sculpting has been extremely widely practiced and forms an important but hidden element of many cultures. The Native Americans tribes in the Pacific Northwest are a major example since they build totem poles (though we know little of how that tradition developed since wood tends to decay. And outdoor sculpture doesn’t last long). But you’d find some form of wood sculpting tradition all over the world which is still practiced today. I mean you still have wood sculpting at festivals in the summer and fall as well as contests. Hell, you can even buy some wood sculptures for indoor use online. Of course, some types of wood are easier to carve in than others. So without further adieu, I now present to you an assortment of wood sculptures for your reading pleasure.
- Seems like this fox is either stumped or is just standing on a stump.
Now that’s a nice color for a fox like that. However, I’m not sure if that’s the color of the wood or spray paint.
2. Of course, eagles will always have to fly back to the nest.
Birds are a popular motif in wood sculpture. And you’ll see a lot. However, how I see it, I think the dad is the one taking care of the chicks while the mom is spreading her wings. Because in bald eagles, the female is supposed to be bigger.
3. It seems that Mary’s little lamb has sprouted some big horns.
Contrary to popular belief, sheep aren’t docile or dumb as you think they are. Sheep actually have good memories and are very social animals. Also, if cornered some will attack you. Rams are also pretty aggressive that they’re used as mascots on sports teams.
4. You might see wood sculptures a lot during special events in the summer and fall. However, you wouldn’t see sculptures of nudes like this one.
No, can’t show that in front of the kids. But at least she has a lot of highly defined features. Though I’m not sure about whether her boobs would be real if she was an actual person.
5. In North America, there is no better known red bird than the Northern Cardinal.
Now the cardinal is a very pretty bird as I can admit. However, this doesn’t mean that it seven states should adopt it as their state bird. Yeah, apparently when it comes to state birds, originality doesn’t seem to be the focus here.
6. This old crow is a wise and strong one among his tribe.
Then again, this might be a raven if it comes from the Pacific Northwest. Ravens tend to be significant among that culture. And it’s also wearing the tribal robes.
7. Of course, I wouldn’t want to cross this hawk on wood.
Not sure what the hawk is. Know it’s not a red tailed or red shoulder. But it almost looks real.
8. Yes, I’m certain that bears and birds of prey can exist on the same tree.
And I guess the eagles eat whatever the bears catch. Then again, these may be cubs. The owl just goes out alone for critters.
9. Try to dance in these dancing shoes.
Then again, these shoes really don’t look appropriate for clog dancing. Or ballet. Or anything. Of course, they’re just for show.
10. When it comes to trees, none is more magnificent than the Tree of Life.
Now this was a sculpture that is carved from wood. Wood comes from a tree, which is currently dead from how I can tell it. See the irony here?
11. Of course, a wine chalice must always be covered in vines.
Wonder if they use something like this in churches. Then again, it’s probably too delicate. Still, you have to admire the craftsmanship.
12. Now is the time for this owl to spread its wings.
Yes, it’s a day time sculpture and I know that owls are active at night. But it’s still quite detailed and magnificent, I may add.
13. Now a soaring hawk can be frightening as well as magnificent as it swoops for prey in flight.
Hard to believe that this hawk sculpture looks so lifelike. Seems like there’s nothing to keep it held up. Love the feathers, too.
14. Ironically, water usually tends to extinguish an open flame. Not this time.
But if you try to set this statue on fire, I’m sure it will burn. And you will most likely get in big trouble for arson.
15. It can be wise to avoid a dragon, especially when it’s hanging out with its reptilian friends.
As you can see, this is an Asian carving. Probably from China or Japan. Not sure how old it is. But somehow it seems East Asian dragons tend to have scales and feathers.
16. Seems like this bird feels like letting out a loud, “kaw.”
If crows and ravens can talk, I guess you can hear them say, “I just love the smell of roadkill in the morning.” Seriously, the smell of decaying flesh is a delicious aroma to them.
17. Looks like one buck has just become dinner for a pack of wolves.
Actually though quite dramatic, wolves don’t act like this in real life. To them, going after a strong buck is just plain stupid. Wolves go after easier prey like the very young, sick, weak, and very old. Hell, if you see a pack of wolves eating a full grown animal, it’s likely to be old and dead of natural causes. Yes, wolves will wait for an adult animal to die.
18. Now here we come to a rather playful little elephant.
Let’s hope the tusks on this one aren’t made from real ivory. Because that would be bad. Very bad, indeed.
19. A rose may be a rose but this one seems to have a lot of shavings.
Now that’s a huge rose. Probably derived from a chainsaw carving. Kind of looks obvious. Wonder how they’ll shake off the shavings.
20. Now this toucan certainly has a stunning beak to behold.
This is a sculpture from Costa Rica where many toucans live. Not sure which one this is. Still, very colorful beak.
21. Seems like this polar bear prefers to stand on its stump.
Now this little polar bear is adorable. Though its eyes seem a little sad. Of course, I’m not sure how it would handle climate change with the ice caps melting.
22. Now this snowy owl always seems like a beautiful snowbird in flight.
Of course, I see where it’s hung. However, it’s still quite gorgeous with its wings spread out like that. Kind of see why Harry had an owl like this.
23. Now this is where you put your leather jacket.
Actually that wooden jacket may look real. But it wouldn’t be comfortable to wear. Well, if you can wear it. Also, what’s in that pocket?
24. Now this woman is enjoying a stroll in her new hat.
And something seems to catch her eye. But I don’t know what. Still, her hat seems a bit flat for some reason.
25. Now that is one big, scary moth.
Man, those wings look huge. And I bet they weren’t easy to carve with a chainsaw. Still, big bugs are terrifying. Need I say more?
26. Of course, you always have to stop and smell the flowers.
Now these look quite lifelike. If they were painted with the right colors, I might not be able to distinguish them from the real thing.
27. Still, I hear that a light bulb can brighten a room any day.
Except if it’s carved from wood. Yeah, I know this wouldn’t do well on a dark night. Well, unless you burn it.
28. Now this skeleton just wants to lounge around for awhile.
Guess this guy is taking a break from the graveyard shift tonight. Yeah, even undead skeletons need a little R&R now and then.
29. Now this horse definitely looks majestic in the sunlight.
Horses are another common motif in wood sculpture. And this one is no exception. However, if you want to buy a wooden horse as big as this, always check for Greeks.
30. Think this came from a wild cat? Think again.
Now if it weren’t for the wood marks in this, you might’ve had this owner arrested for poaching. Still, this is quite cool.
31. Now this angel seems to like standing by the window.
For some reason, biblical angels are typically addressed as male. But you tend to see them in artwork as female. Then again, it’s said that angels in the Bible tend to look quite freaky.
32. Of course, you can’t do without a wooden sculpture of a cathedral.
This must’ve been carved by someone with a great deal of talent, attention to detail, and an ungodly amount of patience. And it was most likely not carved by a chainsaw.
33. Even in art, dolphins can be beautiful in the ocean.
Now this is quite stunning. However the shadows in this picture make ti a little hard to see. Must be about 6 on this.
34. A wooden rose will be best used to decorate a wooden box.
Now this looks quite lifelike and beautiful to behold. Still, I’m not sure if I’d want to use this for anything though.
35. “Ah, the Norwegian Blue. Wonderful plumage.”
Actually there’s no such thing as a Norwegian Blue because parrots are tropical animals. Still, this blue parrot is quite pretty if I do say so myself.
36. Remember that a sturdy trunk makes a good tractor.
Guess this tractor didn’t take a lot of sawing to produce here. But it seems to require a lot of assembly. Nevertheless, quite clever.
37. Now the bald eagle has always been America’s majestic symbol.
Now this almost looks like the real thing I almost mistook it for taxidermy. You see, how great wood is used for carving stuff?
38. Of course, this mermaid is sure to let anyone go with her under the sea.
Still, in a lot of mythologies, while mermaids are usually pretty, they’re not always nice or bright. In fact, some legends have them drown sailors through their songs. Whether it’s accidental or on purpose depends on the culture.
39. If painted, this lighthouse is bound to look pretty on a postcard.
Of course, I wouldn’t want to take this lighthouse on any beach. And if it was smaller, you’d see it at some souvenir shop in New England.
40. With handcrafted flowers, any beauty creations are possible.
Wonder if these flowers would look any prettier with colors on them. Then again, maybe not. Best not disturb what the artist intended, shall we?
41. Seems like these feathered fantasy creatures are really getting at it.
And it seems that this fight is costing each one some of their feathers. Not sure what these two creatures are. Think the artist made them up.
42. This wooden motorcycle puts the pedal to the paddle.
Well, saying “pedal to the metal” would be pretty ridiculous here. Also, I’m sure it doesn’t do well with gasoline.
43. Sorry, rabbit, but you ain’t coming home tonight.
Seems like it’s going to be rabbit stew at the hawk’s nest tonight. Yeah, that rabbit never had the chance. Sure this might look quite frightening but it’s how nature works, kids.
44. When it comes to eagle mating, just lock talons and spin.
Now this is quite an amazing sculpture. Wonder how the person who created this pulled it off. Not to mention, painting the thing.
45. Guess this is the music equipment for the Stumps.
Sure the woodwork is fine. But I don’t think the equipment is guaranteed to work. Still, quite a set up here.
46. Not every bird of prey can sit on a ledge majestically as this hawk.
You should know that birds of prey are popular subjects in wood sculpture. Because case in point, birds of prey are cool. Just ask anyone.
47. This black bear has been working on the railroad all the livelong day.
Seems like he’s the one holding the lamp so he can devour some tasty railroad workers. But sometimes railroad work can be simply unbearable, even to a bear in coveralls.
48. Even churches may sometimes have their share of intricate woodwork. This is depicting the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
This is from a medieval cathedral in Europe. And man, how they did this without power tools must be some act of the Holy Spirit working within the carvers who made it. How else can I explain stuff like this.
49. Now this is the sculpture pertaining to what lovers dream.
Of course, the position of these two figures is highly unrealistic. And it was probably executed this way to hide the man’s genitalia.
50. Seems like this eagle has managed to get the catch of the day.
Yes, it was quite the flight but it was worth it. Still, wonder what kind of fish that is. Guess it’s from some freshwater source.
51. There is no better wood sculpture that defines American character than this one of American Gothic.
Yes, it’s perhaps the most famous painting in American art. And it’s been parodied for decades. Sometimes I’m not sure why.
52. It’s always handy to carry a change purse with you, especially if it has a chain.
Now I wonder how they managed to carve out the chain. Would be very interesting to know. Love the floral design.
53. Someone seems in the mood for a rustic convertible.
Then again, it might be cheaper to go with a cedar cedan. Also, kind of looks like a Volkswagen which is known for being “eco-friendly” until they’re not.
54. Ladies and gentleman I give you, Our Lady of the Mahogany.
Now this is another very old wood sculpture which you can’t buy. Might’ve been carved by a famous artist from centuries ago. Not sure who.
55. This Indian seems really taken with the view.
Native Americans seem to be a common subject in wood sculpture for some reason. At least in America. By the way, this is a Plains Indian. And not all Indians dress like that.
56. Guess this guy is traveling to his destination by bird.
This is an old Japanese artwork which is unsurprisingly not for sale. It was probably made in Japan’s medieval era. Not sure what legend this recounts.
57. Of course, you can’t round off North American birds without including the Blue Jay.
Now I like blue jays and think they’re rather pretty birds. But there are some people who think these birds are annoying. They don’t understand.
58. Sometimes it pays to travel by Jeep, especially in the military.
Yes, this is a wooden jeep. Easy to set fire to, but not meant to drive in. But still, it really looks like a jeep but with everything furnished.
59. Of course, this piece exemplifies how Renaissance wood carvers put their modern counterparts to shame.
Now this sculpture of Mary weeping of Jesus is quite amazing. And in some ways almost looks real. However, it’s no Michelangelo’s Pieta.
60. Now this snake seems to have a sneaky side about it for some reason.
This is another old artwork from Japan. And it almost seems quite lifelike for a wooden snake. But it’s curled in the shape of a turd.
61. Seems like this owl now has its wings right open.
Yes, this owl has its wings spread in all its glory. And yes, marvel at its feathers in all its glory. Of course, critters beware.
62. Now you can’t talk about the saints in woodwork without including Saint Michael and the Dragon (wait, a minute, isn’t it supposed to be Saint George and the Dragon?).
Now this might be a contemporary religious subject. But the wood work in this is awesome. Just look at the details here.
63. This Japanese woman always knows when to come in with style.
This piece might be of some Japanese art form which I don’t know the name of. But while most of her body is wood, her head consists of ivory and metal. Also, another old medieval piece you can’t buy.
64. May I present to you, this gilded Buddha.
Yes, this is a very old statue and it’s paint has not worn well. However, I can be sure that this was made of wood and is not for sale.
65. You may take some birds’ presence for granted but you’ll never forget when you see a Pilated Woodpecker.
Now I’m sure that bird is bigger than the real thing. But I love the paint job. Really brings out the colors.
66. Sometimes all you need is one big quill.
Now this is Pacific Northwest Native American design. Just look at the markings. Still, wouldn’t mind having that.
67. Of course, you can’t have a post on wood sculpture without penguins.
From how the chick looks here, it can go either way for the parent. Still, this is adorable if you ask me.
68. Now an elk has always been a great creature of the American West.
Well, at least there wasn’t much to do with the color scheme. Still, it does look quite real and majestic when you look at it.
69. How about travel the countryside in this VW microbus?
If this was a real working vehicle, it would be one of the most eco-friendly cars around. Oh, wait, it’s from Volkwagen. So this is basically false advertising.
70. Somehow this fire breathing dragon tends to rise out from the panel.
Now some of you might be familiar with dragons in East Asian culture. But you have to admit, this is pretty cool.
71. My, what a lovely hat.
Not sure if I can wear it or if I even want to. Still, it almost looks like one you’d see at a store. Then again, it would if the ribbon was painted in a color that stands out.
72. Of course, a teddy bear has always been a toy for all ages.
Yes, it may look cute but it’s not cuddly. Besides, since it’s a wood carving, trying to hug it might cause splinters.
73. Sometimes you’ll never know what you’ll find on other people’s clothes lines.
I’m sure wearing wooden panties wouldn’t be comfortable to say the least. Might feel like wearing a chastity belt that runs the risk of causing splinters.
74. Of course, in China it would be awesome to see a dragon boat like this.
Now this is quite pretty. Wonder what a life size one would look like. Then again, you’d probably not see one in Beijing. Too much pollution.
75. When it comes to the kitchen, sometimes you can’t separate the cookbook from the cutting board.
Not sure what this person’s cooking up here. Those ingredients could suggest almost anything. So could the book.
76. There are some days when you just want to devour a nice, juicy steak.
However, I wouldn’t recommend anyone to eat this. It’s not very tender and tastes rather woody and painty. Yeah, disgusting.
77. Sometimes wood carving can help bring a painting to life.
Now this painting is rather famous for some reason. Still, I heard it takes place in a 19th century park known for its disparate dress code policies for men and women.
78. In the event of modern war, you can’t leave your ground troops without a tank.
Of course, despite being armed with all the latest state of the art weaponry, it would be pretty useless in battle. Still, makes an awesome museum piece that boys and young men would enjoy.
79. Of course, who can’t forget that adorable robot from Disney and Pixar’s WALL-E?
Now this is so cute. Wish they had one of EVE. Of course, I can see why a wood sculpture of that one wouldn’t work.
80. Still, some people tend to play their video games on their X-Box 360.
However, you wouldn’t be able to play video games on this XBox 360 Console. Because it’s all made from wood and just for show. Still, would go great in any entertainment center.