Playing With Knives


When  you are young, your parents teach you not to play with knives. When you are older, they might be the person who teaches you to play with them. That is the case for me.

I like to think that I take after my parents in equal measures. There are a lot of things about me that definitely come from my mom, and there are other things that are very much from my dad. One of the things I get from my dad is my creativity and ability to visualize projects in my head in great detail before diving in and creating. For years he has been turning ordinary pieces of wood into extraordinary pieces of art.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In 2017, I asked my dad to teach me to carve one of the beautiful masks that he has carved. He was happy to sit with me and teach me to carve one of his many beautiful creations. The original plan was to carve once a week for the winter in the hopes of getting it completed….it is now 2019 and I am not yet finished, but hopefully I will do so this year! Unfortunately, that whole once a week idea doesn’t always work out. We are at least getting much closer and the mask is looking more and more like the finished product.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Coming into today, Fathers Day, I decided I wanted to make him something, like I made my mom something for Mothers Day. Dad has everything he wants or needs, so I thought it would be nice if I carved him something in return for all the carvings he has given me over the years.

I had wanted to try one of these glasses holders that I found on Pinterest, and thought it would be a good gift for Dad. It is a nice carving to try out, and he will have somewhere to put his glasses at home. I did recently try a spoon on my own, which was a definite “learning” experience. From the side the spoon could be mistaken as a knife considering how thin it ended up! My hope for the glasses holder was a little higher, especially as it was going to be a gift.


I used the photo as a template of how I wanted to do the stand, but quickly got off track of the same look. I drew the faces onto some chunks of wood, fine tuning the individual looks.


Once I had the faced drawn, I cut the outlines the best I could using my band-saw. I did the remaining fine cutting using my scroll saw so that I had the general shape ready for carving.


From there, I used my chisels to cut out the area where the arms of the glasses would go.

First learning curve, next time I would cut the template slightly triangular from top to bottom. I ended up using my belt sander to take down quite a bit of the top of the stand for the glasses to fit around. I did use one of my carving knives on my testing piece, but found the end-grain difficult with the limited knife selection I have at this point.

In the end I ended up cheating quite a bit and used a combination of carving knives, belt sander and a Dremel with varying bits. I really need to invest in some curved carving knives for this sort of project.

I was quite happy with the end product. I had considered putting a goatee on it as my Dad has one, but then thought better of it and added a dimpled chin instead…which my Dad also has.

The last step was to attach the face to a base, which I added a personalized message to. He liked the carving and set it up on his dash with his spare sunglasses while we went for a morning bike ride.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Happy Fathers Day!




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s