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 Woodcarvings by Maura

Ancient Arts Alive in the 21st Century

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 I will be making a reproduction of the Sacred Cod of Massachusetts

The original Sacred Cod of Massachusetts

The Wood---Pine

Putting the pattern on


pattern sized at two feet long

Pattern on wood

fish cut out at bandsaw


  center lines in    place for fins is marked out

inserting the fins is the superior way to do a fish.  It can be carved from one piece but the fins would be too weak.  The fins go in different directions and in order to give any strength to the fins, the grain must run in the direction that the individual fins go in.  While making and inserting the fins is more work for me, it is the way it properly should be done.  I have no doubt the original Cod was done this way.


Beginning to shape the body

5 fins  drawn out out.  these will not be inserted until the fish body is fully shaped.

The front fins will be part of the main body.  wood is left in place so these can be shaped properly later in the carving process.


as this is all hand carved, it takes time to shape the cod but coming along nicely

starting to look like a fish


alright, whos gonna clean up

 individual fins shaped and marked

first fin in------that dark spot on side fin is a blood drop------yes, as rumored, it is true, blood must be spilled in order to bring a carving to life(In the fine art world artists are now signing their masterpieces with blood so they can be DNA verified in the future to deter forgeries)

top fins in and tail shaped----don't be alarmed I have not carved off my face....will be a Halloween prop.  Ha ha


shaping the gills and side fins



bottom fins in......fins and tail looking good

 starting to look like a fish

Next steps will be to detail all fins, draw in mouth and carve, sanding then onto scale detail, then for the fun.......painting.  not even halfway through the month and coming along nicely.  expect to be on schedule for completion by end of month.




 The scales bring the fish to life





This is the last time the Cod will be seen  in wood.  The painting will start in the next few days.

The final stages are the painting and the finishing. 

Part 2 Painting and finishing

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

 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.