Project 1: The 3 Minute Owl

Project 0 was done. Or at least by this time the first inscription on it of the first hike I did was done.

My tastebuds were teased and so I toiled with the idea of “what next” as I was not yet satisfied. I had the the hiking stick but the next entry onto it would only be after the next hike which was still far into the future.

This was when I discovered Pinterest. And oh and what a wonderful discovery it was. Since that first day and throughout the development of my woodworking journey Pinterest has become a part of me!

I did what any other normal person would do and I went to Mr. G. Oogle. So naturally I searched for “Beginner woodcarving” and stumbled on what was called a “3 minute owl”. Now this I thought can’t be difficult. 3 minutes, like really? Easy pickings man.

The link I found was one that took me to Pinterest. This pin is what I found. Sure it said it will only take 3 minutes, but once I saw the picture I was still confused. I did not know where to start. First of all I needed a piece of wood, so I went about the yard and found a small piece of wood that was lying around. In hindsight that probably wasn’t the best idea as you will see in the photos to follow. Yet I marched on with this little piece.

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I had a piece of wood. I had a small carving knife. But I didn’t know where to start cutting and in which order. Luckily the pin I found had a link to a website that helped to explain it a bit better. Whittling with Will on this website they explained in a detailed little drawing exactly how you should cut and when. Detailed steps as to how to go about. Now this was amazing for someone like me at this point with absolutely no knowledge of how to whittle/carve.

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Step by step I followed this diagram. The title said that this was a 3 minute job? Pfff what a lie. It took me close to 3 hours to finish! But I was proud. My first attempt with the object actually being recognisable. I immediatly went to show everyone who was in the house at the time, and luckily they were all pleased. The only problem here was that the piece of wood was of really bad quality because it was lying outside for who knows how long, and it was quite small.

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It wasn’t exactly a masterpiece and didn’t look as nice as the image I was working from but it was my masterpiece, and with that I was happy. You can see from the first image that the quality of the wood was not good as it was already splintering and wasn’t very strong. This did however make for easy cutting. It was only later on that I found out how hard some woods can be.

A while after carving this little 3 Minute(“Hour”) Owl I found a local art shop. They sold small pieces of better quality wood than what I had used. I duly bought a few pieces in anticipation of more projects.

The first project I did with one of these new pieces of wood was to redeem little Mr. Owl up top. I took my father’s iron saw and started cutting a piece off of the block of wood. This was in the first place a bigger piece than my original owl so there was more space to work with.

So with the better quality, slight bit of experience I gained from the first owl, and bigger size I was able to redeem little Mr. Owl. This one atleast came out quite nice in my opinion. It was easier to work with wood that was of better quality as the wood would not break and splinter without notice. You want to cut there, then you can cut there. And the wood obliged.

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In terms of the actual carving of these owls, I do not really remember what I struggled with as it was quite some time from the time of writing this. I just followed the instructions on the website linked above, cutting away little bit by little bit until the owl shows itself.

This project has been one of the defining projects for my journey and still sits on my desk to this day.

Crazy Oak out.