Carving Crafts by Eucalyptus Ike
In Ike's world, a miniature is any sculpture or carving of less
than about five inches in height (not counting the pedestal of
course). Thus the artifacts you see here are all relatively small
in terms of Ike's usual work. Like many who work with
wood, however, Ike also is a pack rat who rarely throws
away the small odd piece left over from some wood shop
project.  Thus all scraps go into cardboard boxes to be stored
under a workbench until the moment arrives when some dab
of this or that is needed.  Ike even saves small limbs and
branches as well as cuts off lumber, two by four, cedar
paneling, plywood, you name it, every piece will be boxed up
arrives,  Ike will dig through piles of scrap to find just the
right piece, no matter how long it takes.  Notice The Oracle,
for example.  The eyes for the top figure were simply cut
from a half inch thick pine branch, with the bark peeled off
(not from dowel).  The round for the face and the triangular
supports for the base were cut from a two inch thick piece of
pine with a table saw (the pine was from the dried trunk of a
Christmas tree actually).  The nose pieces are also from a
round.  Two small rectangular pieces of pine were used for
the bulk of the lower head and the neck piece.  Notice, wood
shavings from a hand plane run over a thin piece of pine are
used to form the two mouths and the eyes and eyebrows of
the lower figure.  Finally, wood glue is applied to bond all the
units together.  Similar methods were used to create the next
two figures. If you look carefully, you will see wood shavings
for eyes, and other odd cuts of wood for the remaining
The Oracle
See Cork Miniatures
Tree limb is a fairly common commodity just about anywhere
Ike ever lived (O.K. not the Mojave Desert, but, see, Ike never
lived there). When trees are pruned, cut back or cut down by
city maintenance crews or homeowners, free wood is usually
there for the picking.  Of course, it's catch as catch can (you
have to take what's offered), but you might be surprised to
discover what's actually available (especially where the
homeowner has no fireplace.) People actually cut down walnut
trees, maple, pine, sycamore, orange wood, Liquid Amber, you
name it (no not balsa, dummy).  So if you are a dedicated
scrounge, like Ike, and you always have one tentacle out and
your best stalk eye up and open, sooner or later you are going
to run into a genuine bonanza of free wood for the taking.  [I
mention this because for those of us who live in the city, it is
prohibitively expensive to obtain large pieces of wood in just
about any other fashion. Obviously,  I'm not talking about all
you guys who life off in the froggin' National Forest].  
Personally, Ike is not one of those guys who carves only in
basswood, if you know what I mean.  Because where in all
getout is he going to find a really big piece of basswood?  a
hobby shop!  So Ike is, you might say, very democratic about
what he is willing to carve in. (Like, he would probably be
willing to carve in asphalt if he could get a big pile of it for
nothing.) Seeing as how he can't always get what he wants
(because denial and disappointment are what life is all about),
Ike often turns to whittling with an X-acto knife when he can't
get his hooks into anything bigger.  That's why Ike took up
carving miniatures, so he could cut back on some of the odds
and ends under the workbenches (the place is a known
firetrap as it is). The piney looking piece above is another
example of a miniature Ike knocked out waiting around for
something more interesting to happen (not likely). No sense
letting a piece of wood go to waste, so everything tends to be
recycled into something else around Ike's workshop.  That's
just the way things are, according to old mother nature, don't
you think?
Clapadocious I
Return to Top
Photo Archives of Ike's
Garage 1990-1997