Shawn Cipa ~Woodcarver

Recent Projects

Ted's Cane

I recently learned that a family friend of mine, Ted, had to have part of his leg removed because of infection.  I figured that once up and about, he would be in need of a good sturdy cane.  This particular piece does not display much carving detail, but it is strong,  with just enough originality to be to Ted's liking - better than an unattractive aluminum tube with a plastic handle.  I also personalized it with his initials on the front butt of the handle.  Despite the setback, Ted's spirit is ready and willing, and he will be up again in style : )

"Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord." ~ Psalm 31:24

I shaped the handle of black walnut, with a spacer of mahogany to join the shaft of oak.


Fishers of Men Walking staff

Created for my own enjoyment, this stick was inspired by the bible scripture Matthew 4:19 in which Jesus calls two brothers, Simon (Peter) and Andrew into discipleship with Him.  They were fishermen by profession, and were throwing dragnets into the Sea of Galilee at the time.  Of course, they dropped their nets and followed Jesus, come what may. 

"And He saith unto them, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."

I used a stick of elm for this piece.  The carved area, however, is of basswood; I started with a 2" x 2" block so as not to be restricted by the narrow shaft of the elm.  After carving, I "inserted" the basswood piece seamlessly, and strengthened the stick by joining the parts with a steel threaded rod and two-part epoxy.
The carving detail shows a stylized fish wrapped among the swirling waves, with a net stretched across the opposite side.  The scripture is wrapped around the lower portion, applied by wood burning.  There are also wood burning details in the carved area, as well as faint color tints.


Shown is an in-progress shot, with my most discerning critic, Maxi, in the background : )

Red Dragon

This piece was comissioned with the simple instructions of "We would like a carved dragon; do it however you like".  My design ended up being about 20" tall, and fairly delicate.  The most difficult part was removing the waste wood from the inner void areas between the wings, tail and neck.  Notice that the design includes one wing touching the tail and the other touching the neck so that the whole piece would remain fairly stable and less fragile.  The dragon was carved of one piece of basswood and painted with acrylics.


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