This page documents the stages in the creation of a woodcarving of Saint Andrew the Apostle. The figure, hand-carved in basswood and standing five feet in height, is a commission for Saint Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church, located in Apex, NC.
Andrew and his brother Simon Peter made their living as fishermen on the Sea of Galilee. Of all the Apostles, Andrew was considered the first to become a disciple of Jesus. It was Andrew that introduced Peter to Jesus. Both men became Apostles, leaving everything to follow Jesus.
Before Jesus fed the Five Thousand, it was Andrew who said, “Here is a boy with five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these among so many?”
Andrew accompanied Jesus during His public life and was present at the Last Supper, beheld the risen Lord, and witnessed the Ascension.
Andrew traveled to Greece and to the City of Byzantium where he founded the Christian Church. The Roman Governor Aegeas condemned Andrew to death by crucifixion on a X-shaped cross (saltire) with his body bound to the cross upside down.
The sculpture will be hand carved from kiln dried basswood boards glued together to create a large block of solid wood to accommodate the five foot figure. The basswood boards are three and one half inches in thickness and average 6 feet long and 8 inches in width.
The boards were milled on four sides and then hand scraped to remove any imperfections left by the planer.
Basswood is soft and absorbent, so I applied a wood conditioner to the wood before brushing on a Minwax stain. The next day I applied several coats of a wipe-on polyurethane finish, which gives a hand-rubbed semi-gloss finish.
A brief introduction about how to carve wood sculptures. What wood to use, what tools are needed, and the techniques of how to carve wood.