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Bird Dog Woodcarving

Learn how Gay Foltz transforms a simple drawing into a three-dimensional wood carving of a bird dog.

Gay Foltz wears many hats from full time mom to school bus driver to wood carver. But it’s as an artist and craftsperson that she has found contentment. She loves being in the wood shop and says there is something magical about seeing a simple line drawing transform into a three-dimensional work of art. She treats each piece as though it’s alive and says she often carves the face first so that she has someone to talk to while she finishes the rest! Her pieces are so life-like to her that she thinks they often "tell her" what color their eyes or fur should be!

Materials and Tools:
4" x 6" x 2" block of basswood for dog
2" x 2" x 3/4" basswood for duck
bamboo skewer for duck legs
acrylic paints:
- gloss white
- gloss black
- burnt umber
- white
- golden yellow
- forest green
- cinnamon apple (orangey-red)
wood stains:
- golden pecan
- dark walnut
#5 sweep 20mm gouge
wood mallet
wood carving knife
band saw with 1/4" blade
wood glue
safety glasses
wood burning tool

1. Draw any desired dog and duck pattern onto the basswood pieces.

2. Wearing safety glasses, cut the shapes of the duck and dog out on the band saw.

3. Clamp the dog blank onto the workbench and rough out the carving with a gouge and mallet.

4. Finish the dog carving with a knife.

5. Carve the duck using a carving knife.

6. Drill holes in the bottom of the duck and the top of the dog's head. The duck's legs will be inserted into the dog's head.

7. Cut duck legs from a bamboo skewer.

8. Glue the legs in the holes on the duck.

9. Glue the duck legs into the holes on the dog’s head.

10. Burn the wood around the dog's collar with a wood-burning tool.

11. Paint the dog eyes gloss white.

12. Paint the dog eyes' irises burnt umber. Position the eyes in a looking up gaze for character.

13. Paint gloss black dots for the pupils on the dog eyes. Paint the dog's tougue cinnamon apple.

14. Mix a smidgen of burnt umber with white paint to paint the duck's body.

15. Paint the duck head forest green and the eyes black. Paint the duckbill, legs and feet golden yellow.

16. Stain the dog golden pecan. Stain the duck dark walnut and wipe the stain off immediately. .


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