2011 in review

a happy new year to all our readers ! this was a great year, and as i love these stats provided from wordpress (thank you wordpress :-)), i like to share them. they did a miracle to make the stats fun to look ! enjoy !

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 42,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 16 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

constanza bonarelli

i know this is not wood carving, but still it is about my passion of portraits… since a while i am learning digital sculpting, i want use it as a tool to visualise projects for carving. in deed, i have such a project in the work right now, i will share soon… this digital sculpting, is closely mimicking sculpting with real clay, and i find it very useful to learn forms… for today, i want share what i did the last nights, and invite you to visit my zbrush blog, where i showcase my digital sculpts created with zbrush.

i tried to recreate the marble bust of constanza bonarelli, carved by one of my favourite sculptors, bernini… i tried to be as close as i could on her face and expression, i was deliberately loose with her hair and blouse. for these i just wanted capture the essence, but not every detail as bernini has carved it…

a note for ipad user

i just received my ipad, and, of course, one of the first things i tried, is to see how our blog looks on the ipad … and, i was disappointed at first, since the “ipad view” is quite restricted, and you would miss a lot of the features i have put into the blog. but, you can still see the blog as you do see it on your mac or pc !!! simply scroll down on your ipad the whole page, until you find the button “standard view”. click that, and you see the blog as on a computer in all its glory, with all featues enabled 🙂
and, again by scrolling down to the page, by clicking the button “ipad site” you can view the blog in an ipad format, if you prefer, which has some features disabled…

100 000 views !!

wow, is that not great ?

100 000 views in less than 2 years. what a wonderful feeling. what a great motivation to keep going, to try to make the blog even more a resource of knowledge, a resource of inspiration, a resource for ideas, a resource for encouragement …

thank you, dear readers, and, thank you mark, for being an inspirational partner. without you, the blog would never have been born 🙂 … i am very happy we did start the blog together… on to the next 100 000 !!

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 48,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 6 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 32 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 82 posts. There were 202 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 60mb. That’s about 4 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was January 5th with 565 views. The most popular post that day was Eagle.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were woodcarvingillustrated.com, hobbyschnitzen.de, sawmillcreek.org, woodworkersinstitute.com, and riolama.de.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for carving bench, wood carving bench, bernini, carvers bench, and mark yundt blog.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Eagle July 2009


Mark Yundt´s gallery May 2009


Tools I Can’t Live Without November 2009


Welcome April 2009


Portable Carving Bench May 2009

yes, wow !! i am so happy our blog is living and doing so well.

Thank you dear readers !

Stone Carvings Gallery

in september 2003, i began stone carving, inspired and guided by an email friend from canada. i first carved soapstone. this is the softest stone on earth, and can be carved with any tool, like knifes, files, or even only with your fingernails… later i carved harder stones like calcite, lapislazuli, jade, carneol, and then mainly agates, which are quartzes and some of which i carved have gem quality. these hard stones i carved with a foredom flexible shaft machine with tiny diamond burrs, tiny diamond saws and pastes on selfmade wooden burrs and wheels. so, carving stones is grinding stone to the desired shapes, not cutting like in wood.

i want show here some of old works of mine in this stone carving gallery, showing the work in chronological ordering, the first done in september 2003, the last in november 2006. on with the show … (and, as always in my posts, pease click images to enlarge)

Views around the Studio

Thought you might like to see some shots of what surrounds me on a daily basis. Sure, shop photo’s are OK,,but piles of tools and heaps of wood chips don’t tell the whole story. There are other facets to my daily life and here are some. Please click the images for a larger view.

I bought the house when I was 19. Been here 32 yrs now. At one time I  thought of selling but decided instead to by the property next door,,  take down the house that was there ( damaged in a fire) and have more property.Did that myself. I’m in the city so I welcomed the extra land. Here is what I’ve done with it.

IMG_5385 This is the view from my back door heading to the Studio. At one time it was the door to the right, a single car garage. Now it’s the door to the left. I’ve recently built this patio and the Pergola roof. I’ve just planted the wisteria to the lower left to grow over it. With a bistro table, perimiter lighting as well as  mini lights hidden overhead, It’s a great space to be in the evening with a glass of wine.
IMG_5386 Turning to the left will take you to the lower patio/deck. That is my herb garden in it’s infancy just to the right. Handy by the kitchen door and smells wonderful ( lavender) as you’re sitting on the patio.That’s the Studio ( where the old house used to be) All the hanging planters were just done so they’re not in their prime quite yet.
IMG_5387 Standing on the patio in front of my studio door looking down towards the lower deck/yard. All of this was once flat as a pancake. I had to build the levels and terraces. Actually everything you see here I built myself. Brick, block, concrete, buildings ,wiring etc. Actually most all the plants I started myself from cuttings ( amazing what a little Butyric Acid will do) or seeds or just one pint plants.At one time I was a Biology major.
IMG_5388 Heading towards the path ( one of two ways) that leads to the lower level of the yard.  Since these pics, many new annuals have been added. And in that blank spot framed by the post will be Elephant ears. Last year they grew to 4 ft in length and 3 feet in width. That space won’t be empty for long.I’ve been cultivating them for some time and they are doing very well .
IMG_5397 A partial view overlooking part of the lower deck ( which is to be replaced with brick to match the upper this summer) , part of the fish pond and rest of the yard.
IMG_5389 Where I’m standing now used to stand a 50  ft rotting apple tree with a broken , cracked , crumbling side walk leading away and the rest of what you see was an overgrown weedbed 6  ft high.. It’s now my lower yard. Small but manageable.
IMG_5390 Looking back to where the last picture was taken. You can see part of the lower deck and roof on the right and my studio is the blue building at the far end. In the deck I have part of the fish pond extending into it.I also have ceiling fans.. track lights on dimmers.. a sound system, “mood lighting” , accent lighting, It’s a nice place to live during the summer.  I’ve added more planting beds and islands in the effort to eliminate cutting the grass. Now I spend my time fussing over plants..planting,,weeding etc.. so I didn’t gain anything . The design of the garden is not by the way by accident. My intention , without getting into details.. was based on man becoming an island unto himself with the intention of the false illusion of a separation from death ( not getting morbid here) and there are symbols in the plants chosen that represent man, woman, death and rebirth. Pretty much everything I do has a reason.

But not too long ago I had a collection of 9 cars many of them classics that I had no room for and they sat in this yard. It got absurd so I got rid of them as I had no time to fuss over them as they should have been and sent them off to new homes. I wanted my garden back. Made my wife happy as well. No fun looking out a window to a car lot. Stupid husband!

IMG_5392 Moving up to the deck area you can see the small fish pond and that clay fish with his mouth agape is a small fireplace. Might not seem like much,, but a small glowing fire on a chilly night with a snifter of Brandy , listening to Beethovens Moonlight Sonata is an evening well spent in my book.
IMG_5400 A closer view of the deck where last summer it still had the 60 ft Walnut tree growing straight through the roof. I built everything around the tree. I even had the ceiling painted a sky blue with clouds and a faux branch arching over head. You felt like you were still sitting outside. This summer the plan is to remove the failing deck and replace it with brick to match the upper patio. Yes.. I took the tree down myself as well. Who needs help?
IMG_5447 And finally the “business side” of the studio. The two story section didn’t always exist. This was once a one car garage with the door being where the single door is. I tore the roof off ( in the dead of winter no less) and built the second story which houses storage, the compressor which feeds the shop through drop lines located around the perimiter of the shop as well as a vac system which does the same ( but I no longer use)  and the two garage doors which behind door number one houses my baby.And the second door is for moving projects in and out. This is the alley side and the garden is on the other side hidden from view. Again , except for the shell,, I built everything you see myself.  And to think,, the Woodworking Studio was once entirely housed in the lower section that once was a single car, one story garage.

Now this is my primary residence for the past 32 yrs. I’ve added additional property ( I control 75 % of this block),, two more houses and recently a 4 unit which keep me busy just with upkeep. All because I can make big piles of woodchips.  And that keeps me busy in itself. And now,, in my infinite wisdom , I’m remodeling my home room by room. The kids are grown and have places of their own so I’ll build the space I want to be in. Library, gourmet kitchen,carvings for my own home ( yeah,, right!) etc.  Who would have guessed it? Yup,, I like being a woodcarver. It’s not much but it makes me happy.

Previous Older Entries