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 Woodcarvings by Maura

Ancient Arts Alive in the 21st Century

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The Paradise Door

          This project is a Bird of Paradise design.  The project will consist of 4 carvings on 2 23"x23"x2" Honduras mahogany laminated panels. Both sides of the panels will be carved with the same design.  The end result will be 2 side by side mirror images of the design.  These panels will be the bottom portion or 2 8'x3' mahogany entrance doors for a house in Rockland county NY.  The tops of these doors will consist of stained glass panels featuring a peacock design.  The carvings and the stained glass design will be seen both from the outside of the house and the inside of the great Hall. This project came on my drawing board in mid-August 2006.  Expected completion date, of carvings, stained glass work, carpentry and finishing work on the doors is late-November 2006.

Carpenter: Peter Brenner  

WoodCarver: Maura Macaluso 


The House








The Design

This is a floral design featuring the Hawaiian flower, 'the bird of paradise'.


The Carving

the design on wood.  A 1" border has been placed around the design.


Panels on Bench

The tools, sharpened and ready to go (and some roosters for an upcoming show)

More Tools

Ready to go

The first chip

Checking the depth. depth is 5.4 cm.  I will divide this by 3 to get a depth of 1.8 cm on each side of the panel.

Constantly checking depth, removing the waste and grounding out.  1.8 will be the center depth gradually rising to meet the edges.

The carving after 1 hour.

Of special note to fellow carvers.  These large relief panels will be completely carved without the use of a single stop-cut.  Many carvers consider the stop-cut to be an essential part of relief carving but there is a whole other school of thought on this.  The stop-cut is considered to be a very inefficient and even damaging technique because it will crush fibers and encourage tear out.  This entire carving will be accomplished using a v-tool to outline, gouges to remove waste and to contour and round.  All undercutting will be achieved using v-tools turned on their sides.  A v-tool is a very versatile tool and can even be used as two separate chisels.  The Classic style of carving requires that you know your tools, their profiles and use the proper tool with the proper technique.  It also requires the carver to be ambidextrous which is a big advantage when working with panels this large and weighty.



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  The information on the pages of this website is geared toward the beginning carver.  I have tried to speak in plain English and in a manner as to be easily understood.  As   carving carries the inherent danger of using razor sharp tools, power machinery and solvents, the carver (that, being you) must accept full  liability for any injuries incurred and is strongly encouraged to be safe in all carving related activities. It is further strongly recommended that the carver seek out many different resources and become educated on the         proper use of their tools and  the safety involved in using them. The owner of this site (that, being me, Maura Macaluso) bears no liability for your injuries, or for any misprints, missing or incorrect information.  It is rumored that a carving doesn't have a soul until there is blood spilled on it.  Please don't let the fear of injury deter you in the creative carving process.  No guts, no glory,- no pain, no gain,-be safe, not sorry.


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Maura Macaluso

Staten Island, NY




made in the USA

2006 Carvin' in NYC

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Copyright Notice


All rights to this material are reserved. No part may be reproduced, photocopied or reprinted in any form, electronic or otherwise, without the express written consent for authorization.
Original patterns contained herein, may be purchased by individuals and used to complete their own personal carvings for sale or show, as long as such sales or shows are not through licensed commercial businesses.
To that end, the author encourages the use of purchased material for personal and educational use. Mass production and other commercial use of the material herein, is strictly prohibited by law.