Carve an Americana Santa – Part 2

Carve an Americana Santa                                              

Part 2

By: Bob Kozakiewicz

Step 5. Draw two lines where the sleeves meet the hands and make stop cuts along these lines.  Cut back to these stop cuts from the hands toward the sleeves.  Carve small notches in each elbow to represent creases, and round off the inside and outside of both arms.  Carve two short sweeping V-cuts along both sides of the upper back area to define the backs of the upper arms.

Step 6. Draw two sets of parallel lines (about 1/4″ apart) down the outer front area of the robe from the arms to the bottom.  Make stop cuts along these lines and cut back toward them. This creates the robe trim.

Step 7. Draw the mouth and mustache.  Make a stop cut along this line and cut up to it.  Use a micro V-tool of your choice to carve the mustache and beard.  This can also be done with a knife if no V-tool is available.

This completes the carving portion of the Americana Santa. Next week we will paint and finish the project. Stay tuned!

Questions & Comments

Our first comment this week comes from my good friend, Dean Stewart, who struck it rich at a recent antique store.  Dean writes:


Tool storage is often a topic when carvers gather.  I wanted to share this if you want to start a thread.  I found this 24 pipe stand at an antique store for $5.  It holds all the important carving tools on my table.  I can see the tips of all the gouges easily.  Notice the Dock yard fourth from the right.  It is too small for the hole, so a wine cork became a convenient spacer. 

Also, I’m looking to carve a wolf’s head ring.  I’m finding that a challenge and wondering if anyone reading your newsletter might have a suggestion on a pattern or instructions for carving a wolf head.”

Pipe rack tool holder

Thanks for the photo, Dean.  That’s a great idea, and for $5 you can’t go wrong! 

I don’t think many of us would have thought of that…I know I didn’t.  I could use something like that on my workbench.

As far as the wolf’s head goes, try googling wolf’s head images and wolf’s head clipart, if you haven’t already thought of that.

How about some of our carvers out there?  I’m sure someone has a pattern to share with Dean.  Send it in to

Our second message comes from Keith Goetz with a question about using oil finishes before or after painting with acrylics.  Keith writes:

“I think your blog is great! I have a question about oil finishes and acrylic paint. Is it better to apply oil before painting acrylic or can you paint your carving and then apply an oil finish? Thank you!”

That’s a very good question, Keith.  Actually, finishing oils can be used both ways although generally, in woodcarving applications the oils are applied before painting with acrylics.  The reason for this is that the oil helps to control the paint application in that it slows the rate at which the paint soaks into the wood, and more importantly prevents the colors from bleeding.

On the other hand, finishing oils are widely used, mostly in furniture making to give a hard protective finish to the wood.  Such finishes are applied to bare (unpainted) wood.  I personally don’t recommend using an oil finish on painted wood.  The paint does not allow the oil to dry properly because it just sits on top of the paint rather than soak into the wood.

Carver’s Corner

“Carver’s Corner” is the section where you can send in photos of your carvings to have them critiqued by me and get my truthful opinions on what you did right and where you might improve next time.  It’s an excellent opportunity to improve your carving skills!  Send your photos to

Since we didn’t get any contributions to the “Carver’s Corner” this week I thought I would show one of my carvings. 

Meet Duffy…..Duffy is Santa’s head accountant.  He’s been with Santa since the first day Santa opened his workshop.  He cooks the books and watches over all of Santa’s expenses; like paint, toy parts, work aprons, and snacks for the elves while they’re working.  Duffy is like a magician with a pencil!  No matter what the expenses are he always seems to come up with a balanced check book!  All the elves in the workshop wonder where Duffy gets the money to buy those expensive Cuban cigars he smokes, and just figure it must be the result of his “creative bookkeeping!”  From the sly look on Duffy’s face right now, Santa is probably in the red again…after all red is Santa’s favorite color!

“Duffy” carved by Bob Kozakiewicz

Photo Shop

“Photo Shop” is the section of Wood Chip Chatter where carvers can send in photos of their wood carvings for display. It’s your chance to show off your work…sort of a show and tell. The photos will only be displayed and no comments or critiques will be made.  For critiques on your carvings send them in to the “Carver’s Corner.”  Send your photos to

This week we have two entries to the “Photo Shop” from my good friend, Phyllis Stone from Pennsylvania. Phyllis has been working hard and doing a lot of carving lately. She writes”

“Hello Bob,

I’m sending you pictures that you can put in your blog.

The cat is carved in sassafras and the whiskers are paint brush bristles that I glued into tiny holes in the cats face. I took a picture of the cat off of Google images and carved it out of a 2” piece of wood.

The owl I started with the initial design of Doug Linkers simple owl but knew right away I wanted to modify it quite a bit to get the look I wanted. I carved the eyes in fairly deep then painted them and then took glass beads from the dollar store, glued them into the edge of the holes and it makes the eyes magnified. It was a bit tricky getting the correct piece of glass to fit the hole perfectly with the glass falling into the hole but I finally managed it. Before doing the eyes I wood burned the entire owl to get it to look realistic. After I had both projects done I put walnut oil on them and a couple of hours later I rubbed it all over.

I am extremely happy with how these both turned out. The owl is for my niece and the cat is for her daughter who are both going thru a very bad time in their life right now so I wanted something to cheer them up, and I think these will do the trick.

Take care!


Phyllis’s cat

Both carvings look terrific, Phyllis.  I’m sure your niece and her daughter will both love and appreciate them.

Free Pattern

Here’s a nice pattern for all the bird carvers out there:

Eastern Bluebird

News & Announcements

NOTICE: I will be away on vacation during the week including June 24th, so there will be no Wood Chip Chatter posted that day.  The next Wood Chip Chatter post will be on July 8th, so since it will be after the July 4th holiday I want to wish everyone a Safe, Healthy and Happy Fourth of July!

The International Association of Woodcarvers has upcoming Zoom meetings on the following Saturdays at 3PM EST with special guest presenters.  Check them out…

Zoom:  310-460-3575

NOTE:  During the months of June, July and August meetings will be held only once per month…


6/18 – Chris Wilson – Wilson Wildlife Sculpture

7/23 – TBA

8/20 – Malcom Sharp – Twisted Sticks




I’m sure you all have some terrific carvings to share in my “Photo Shop” section.  Photos of your carvings liven up the blog’s appearance and make it more interesting.  Also, my “Carver’s Corner” is a great way to get constructive critiques on your carvings so you can learn where to improve on your next ones.  When sending in photos please specify whether you want them for display in “Photo Shop” or if you want me to critique them in the “Carver’s Corner.”  Send your photos in to


Send in your questions and comments so we can keep Wood Chip Chatter active and keep the conversations going!  Effective discussions are one of the best ways to learn about the topics that interest you.  Remember, there’s no such thing as a dumb question.  Plus we would all love to learn about the unique tips, techniques and products YOU use in your woodcarving process.  Send your questions and comments to

Keep a sharp edge, and keep on carvin’!

Funny Bone

Published by carverbobk

I’m a self taught award winning wood carver who has been carving since I was a teenager. I enjoy instructing other carvers, especially beginners.

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