Carve a Simple Owl

Monday 9 July 2018

This is a simple owl project utilising surplus offcuts. The learning stick shown is a piece of pine roofing offcut but for this project, a piece of lime (Tilia spp) 65 x 65 120mm cut down to its length diagonally will give you two blanks.

Draw a line 20mm up from he base and transfer the design above that to both front facing edges (see photo 1). As can be seen from the stick, I then mark the outline of the eyes and beak with a knife or a V-tool. The wings can then be marked out in the same manner, which then allows the breast to be shaped. At this stage a little more depth can be added to the wings. Removing wood from both sides at the back of the head creates the ears effect,

The top of the head should be sloped forward by about 15 degrees. Remove wood from both sides of the beak in the neck area with a small gouge, and then the whole thing can be finished by sanding or with scrapers.

As a personal choice, I have used pyrography to burn in the feather detail, but felt tip type calligraphy pens can also give a good effect photo 2.

An interesting outcome of this project was that after carving this simple owl, most of my students went on to create their own learning stick photo 3.