its large forest resources, the Upper Great Lakes area offers
some of the most popular wood around for carvers. Maple, a very
heavy, dense wood, is often used to make furniture such as tables
and dressers. Some people
also use this kind of wood to sculpt out guitars and violins.
A unique kind of maple called
bird's eye is highly prized by wood carvers because
of its beauty and color. Local woodcarvers in the Upper Peninsula
of Michigan use it to create everything from oil lamps and mirror
frames to jewelry boxes and chairs. Bird's eye is created by
a fungus under the bark of a tree which makes tiny depressions
in the wood.
many parts of the country, wood carvers use large logs to create
totem poles. Carved in the shape of fish, birds, or animals,
totem poles symbolize various aspects of Native American life.
More recently, people have taken up carving using a chainsaw.
These pieces are surprisingly delicate.
Still another wood carving activity
involves making boats or boat masts. In some native cultures,
canoes were created by hollowing out large logs and creating
an opening along one side for people to get into. Other cultures,
especially those in the Great Lakes area, created canoe frames
out of white cedar and ash trees. These were then covered with
strips of birch bark sewn together with black spruce roots.
To make them watertight, they were cover with sticky pine sap.
find out more about the many kinds of wood carving activities
that exist, check out the following links. Remember, wood carving
uses sharp tools and can be dangerous. Be sure that you have
an adult to help you out before starting a carving project.
Wood Carving FAQs for Woodworking
Sculpter.Org: Wood Carving Resources
The Construction of a Birch Bark