Posted by: Michael Keller Woodcarving | November 30, 2014

Carving an Eagle in Brazilian Walnut

It is difficult to remember when I became infatuated with Eagles. But suffice it to say, it was a long, long time ago… maybe even a previous life, if there is such a thing. Way back in the mid-70’s, I carved my first real Eagle accomplishment… first real woodcarving accomplishment, for that matter.  Part of the accomplishment was the fact that it was my first material sale.  But, probably the best part of the accomplishment was the fact that the buyer loved the Eagle as much as I did.  Many years have passed since then but in early 2013, I made the decision to do a similar Eagle to the first. It took me over a year… the feathers got to be a challenge after a while.  I don’t have a lot of patience and the feathers took well more than I had.

Blocked Out Eagle

Blocked Out Eagle

Early Gouge Work

Early Gouge Work

Eagle Finished

Eagle Finished

Another view

Another view

One of the blessings in my life was a good friend of mine, a banker, had a client that was in the lumber Import business. This lumber broker had mentioned to my friend that he had a shipment of Brazilian Walnut destined to become veneer. Well, my friend told me about it and off we went to the broker’s lumber yard. There, before my eyes was a monstrous stack of gorgeous Brazilian Walnut cants. This took place in roughly 1972. I bought 2 cants of the walnut and a couple of other woods and the amount of the bill was in the neighborhood of $125.00. Today, the wood is priceless. My friend and another fellow had also purchased a cant or two. Over the years, I traded things with these guys and ended up with most their walnut as well. I have been pretty selective as to where I use the stuff but two projects were the two Eagles discussed above. And, I still have several feet of 8” X 8” material that I am saving for another wonderful project. There are benefits to being an older guy and buying this wood forty some-odd years ago at a dirt cheap price is one of them.

Thanks for reading.

Keep sharp!

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  1. Excellent post about your journey of eagle carvings and Brazilian Walnut wood “miser-ing” I have wood that old as well, but not as valuable, except that all wood is valuable to any carver, even scraps of wood. Thanks, and your Eagle will fly in the carving world. Thanks, BEE CARVEFUL , Don Donald K. Mertz

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