Wood Spirit Carving Project, 1 Introduction

Free Wood Spirit Carving Project by Lora IrishWood Carving the Wood Spirit Face – another absolutely FREE, in-depth, step by step wood carving project by Lora S. Irish!

The Wood Spirit is a favorite carving theme, whether you do hand-held carving, mallet and chisel carving, or power carving.  Surprisingly, it is one of the simplest carving projects that a beginner can create and one where each and every wood spirit caricature you carve has its own unique look.  Join me, Lora Irish, author and carving pattern artist, as I take you through the steps to carve a classic Wood Spirit for a cane, walking stick, or wizard wand topper.

The first chapter in Lora Irish’s Great Book of Free Carving Projects and Patterns Series –
“Wood Spirit Carving” – Introduction


Table of Contents for this project is at the bottom of each page.


The wood spirit face is a favorite wood carving theme.  His wild, flowing hair, his long twisted beard, and his exaggerated nose make him an excellent beginner’s carving project. It may be hard to conceive that the human face is a beginner’s level project, but as we work through the simple steps to create the planes of the face, you will discover how simple and adaptable this style of wood carving is.

I am working my wood spirit face as a cane or walking stick topper, as shown in the sample stick to your right.  The wood spirit face is carved using a basswood practice stick – 1 3/4″ x 1 3/4″ x 6″ – then attached to the staff of the stick using a hardwood dowel or all-thread pipe.

Discover the carving tools, bench knives, sanding supplies, and other items you will want in your Beginner’s Wood Carving Tool Kit

This step-by-step free wood carving project is a practice piece.  Do not work this project as a ‘finished project’ tutorial, it is meant as a learning, experimenting, and exploring endeavor so that you come away being able to carve any type of Wood Spirit face. Approach this project with the idea of learning the planes of the face, learning how to establish the facial features, and learning how you can adjust this wood carving technique to create your own unique Wood Spirits.

Wood Spirit Carving Supply List

Free Wood Spirit Carving Project by Lora Irish6″ x 1 3/4″ x 1 3/4″ basswood practice block
bench knife or large chip carving knife
large 3/8″ round gouge
small 3/16″ round gouge
90 degree v-gouge
bull nose chisel or straight chisel
220- and 320- grit sandpaper
safety gloves, if you’ve got them
heavy terry cloth towel if you don’t have gloves
#2 to #4 soft pencil
12″ ruler
fine point permanent marking pen
sharpening stones, honing board, strop
one-temperature or variable temperature wood burning tool

Planes of the Human Face in Wood Spirt CarvingThat’s what I have on the table right now, I will add the paint colors later after I decide where this little dude is headed.  Use what carving tools you have. There is so little difference between one round gouge and another there is no point in getting into a snit over exact size.

Carving the Planes of the Human Face

I am going to teach is how to establish the planes of the face without using a pattern and how to use those planes to create unique facial features.

Please bookmark my web store, ArtDesignsStudio.com!


Learn how to sharpen your wood carving tools, knives, and gougesCheck out our downloaded PDF E-Project,
Mushroom Wood Spirits,

Exclusive designs by Lora S. Irish
Includes 48-page PDF Instructions that
focuses on carving the planes in the Wood Spirit face,
8 3-D Patterns, 18 relief carving patterns for more ideas.

art designs studio

For more information of Cane, Walking Stick, and Wizard Wand wood carving, and for more free wood carving and pyrography projects by Lora Irish, visit my blog, LSIrish.com.

Harvesting Walking Sticks – Learn how to harvest, store, and dry your tree saplings and branches for cane carving.

Common Tree Species – Take a look around your own backyard to discover which tree species you can use for walking stick and cane carving.

Adding Extras – Make your walking stick stand out by adding a small ‘What If’ bag to your staff.

Wood Carving Walking Sticks, Gluing Your Joint – A quick look at the basic steps in gluing a cane topper to your walking stick.

Wood Carving Walking Sticks, How to Join Your Cane Handle – Explore seven ways to join your cane topper to your stick

Wood Carving Walking Sticks, How to Clamp Your Cane Handle – Learn how you can use tape as a gluing clamp.

Wood Carving Walking Sticks, Working with Bamboo – Special technique for attaching your cane topper to your bamboo walking stick.


Copyright, Lora S. Irish, Art Designs Studio.com, 1997 – 2015
All International Rights Reserved
Use of any information, images, or text in digital or printed format
or in any magazine, book, or booklet is
strictly prohibited without
the written, hardcopy permission of the author, Lora Irish.

This is new work, created after May 2013, by Lora S. Irish
Use in part or whole by any publishing company
is strictly prohibited without a written, signed,
and dated contract for this new work with the author.
June 01, 2015

Wood Spirit Carving, Free Project by Lora Irish
1 Introduction and Supply List
2 Walking Stick Preparation
3 Exploring the Human Face
4 Planes of the Human Face
5 Carve The Human Face
6 Shaping the Facial Features
7 Sloping the Sides of the Face
8 Rough Cutting the Features
9 Carving the Eyes
10 Detailing the Eyes
11 Shaping the Features
12 Defining the Cheek and Nose
13 Working the Facial Hair
14 Refining the Face Shape
15 Carving the Wrinkles
16 Trimming the Beard
17 Review of the Techniques

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