Monday 12 July 2021

52 Weeks Of Carving - Week 26 - Carved Writing - A Lesson Learned

 I've deliberately missed out a couple of weeks on here - not because I wasn't carving, but because I couldn't show it on here. Hopefully I'll be able to show that project soon. 

This last week I decided to tackle a part of carving I'd been intimidated by - writing. And it's a big part of being a carver is being able to do some good and neat writing carved into wood. I've also got a job coming up with a little writing so decided that this would be a good time to practice and convince myself I could do it. 

Of course being me I couldn't just pick a simple word. Instead I picked out one of my favourite phrases that I often say to the children when I tell them they need to look after each other - "The Strength of the wolf is in the pack and the strength of the pack is in the wolf" From the law of the jungle in the Jungle Book. 

I printed it out and started to carve. I was surprised how easy it was once I'd got the right chisels sorted and approached the carving in a systematic way. It's lots of repetitive cuts and I found that I left it set up with the few chisels I needed and just attacked it whenever I got 5 minutes. The nice clean piece of oak helped I imagine. 

Of course this would have been much harder in the past without a printer - but I try to use technology to my advantage where I can. Sticking the sheet on was a great idea but I need to find some better glue as this one took some taking off in the end. A book I own about doing carved writing even says how drawing it out is over half the job - not anymore! 

Luckily it cleaned up well with white spirits, 

I then sealed it with a coat of Scandinavian oil.

Now some of the more astute amoung you might spot something on this carving that I didn't. 

I mean I really didn't. 

I then showed it to a friend, who laughed a bit then looked at me. 

"You know you've spelt this wrong?" she said in her strong Australian accent.

"Get lost"

"No really - That's not how you spell strength." 


I was genuinely gutted. How had I not seen that! Normally I get my wife to check all my writing (except on here) and this time I hadn't. I felt like such a fool! 

So this is a cautionary tale about how you should always check your work before you spend a long while carving it out! 

Anyone else made a mistake like this?


  1. Dyslexia kicks in again! I suppose you'll have to do it over then eh?

    1. I came up with a solution but it's going on the workshop wall as a reminder. Dyslexia does suck at times!

  2. Hang it in the workshop!! Your carving is wonderful & the meaning is there. Take comfort in it & tell folks who notice - many won't - that it's intentional. I'd hang it on MY wall . . . .

    1. It's on the workshop wall. Luckily I also got an article out of it for woodcarving magaizne!

  3. I wondered if it was "Olde English" spelling. I've done something similar, in a community cookbook, my recipe for refrigerator cookies ends with "crap and freeze", instead of "wrap and freeze."


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