My Carvings, My Process, and My Passion For Birds

My Carvings

To create my carvings, I rescue wood from old barns, old fences, the forest floor, and trees that had the misfortune to be felled by diseases, storms, or chain saws. Rarely do I buy wood from a wood store. I design my carvings to bring out the most interesting and attractive features of the wood. To me, creating a carving from a piece of wood brings part of a tree back to life.

Power Carving

For me, the beauty of power carving is that progress is easy to see, because it is quick. I feel I can be more creative when I am making good progress. I prefer carving pieces that I can hold on my lap with one hand. That way, I can orient the carving with my left hand while I hold the tool in my right hand. Therefore, my largest carvings are about 20 inches tall.

My Pet Birds

I have a flock of pet parrots — mostly Moluccan cockatoos. I’m passionate about providing them with a physically and mentally healthy environment. In turn, they provide me with inspiration for my wood carvings. I spend quality time with my birds every day and despite the work and time they require, I love them and my commitment to them remains strong.

Wall Hangings, Stand-Alone Bird Carvings, and Dry Vases

stylized wood carving of a woodpecker mounted a wooden wall hanging by gary carver of carverscarvings

Wall Hangings

Most of my wall hangings feature nuthatches. Nuthatches are little birds that walk in every-which-direction on the trunks of trees — their antics are fun to watch! I also put woodpeckers on wall hangings. Woodpeckers always face up, even when they are going down. That restricts the ways and shape of wood backings I can use to display them.

Stand-Alone Birds

Carving large standalone birds is challenging because I carve them in one piece, without any attached parts.  I want the birds to look like they were inside the wood, and I want the wood to show its origin as a section of a log or beam. Because my “one piece” requirement, I can only carve birds that stand upright: birds-of-prey and parrot-family birds.

photograph of silk daffodils in a dry vase wood carving by gary carver of carverscarvings

Dry Vases

I make dry vases from both old wood, such as old fence posts, and new wood, mainly from native trees. I turn some vases on my lathe so that they show the natural surface of the piece of wood while also showing the grain and color of the wood inside. As their name implies, these do not hold water. They are made for dried or silk arrangements.

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a photograph of gary carver of carverscarvings standing in his aviary holding his pet cockatoo named punky


Gary P. Carver, Ph.D. is the talented artist and master craftsman behind the unique stylized bird carvings found here at CarversCarvings.

Gary is also a long-time member, and Director Emeritus of The American Chestnut Foundation.

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