Black Walnut Burl being cut up into slabs for future creations. That was one huge and loud chainsaw.
We were able to use some of it for a walnut burl rocker, the headrest for a desk chair and a carved wall piece. Also see Bowlzilla on our carved sculpture page to see just how beautiful the walnut was.
We currently use a few methods of "Green Building". One is to not use endangered wood species. We only buy from reputable lumber companies that do not import endangered wood species. Most of these companies work with tree farms that plant and maintain sustainable forests for the lumber industry.
The other method and perhaps one we have used and strongly endorsed since moving to the mountains is "Forest Restoration Wood". This wood comes from forest cleanup and private landowner cleanup. By maintaining a healthy forest we help to prevent costly and hazardous forest fires and improve the watershed. Most of our carved Vessels and Sculptures come from "Forest Restoration" wood and the woods vary from Alligator Juniper to Walnut (like the large burl pictured above). We also work with Mesquite, which comes predominately from Texas. Since these trees are most times considered a nuisance by ranchers, it is usually bulldozed over and thrown in piles to burn. We buy our mesquite from individuals whom either get the wood from ranchers before this is done or wood on its way to the landfill.
Another method and perhaps a very important one, is we create furniture that will last for generations. You are assured that your special heirloom piece is built strong and long lasting and not something that will be disposed of in a landfill.
THE CARVING PROCESS
As stated above, all our pieces are carved. Scott first starts with the chainsaw to remove a bulk of the wood and start the design. Then grinders do all the various shaping. Below are pictures of some pieces during the process.
Copyrite 2002-2020 Scott and Stephanie Shangraw. All rights reserved.
Our creative process is always changing. In the past we have concentrated solely on fine furniture, specializing in rockers and chairs. However, as we've evolved as artists, we've found that the carved sculptures is where our hearts are and where we can be most creative. We enjoy the process of looking at a big chunk of wood and seeing all the possibilities that it can become. Scott has a real eye for seeing unique designs and then creating a true masterpiece. We also like the idea that all our creations are "TRUE ONE OF A KIND" art collections. Between the wood we use and the carving process, no two are alike.
The Creative Process starts with finding the right wood. We hand pick out all our logs. Most of the logs we use are "Forest Reclaimed", such as Alligator Juniper. But we also use a lot of mesquite and other unique woods not normally used. We especially like to use burl wood, since it is very hard to find and therefore makes for very unique pieces.
Next in the Creative Process is seeing the end result in the mind and making it happen. Sometimes the sculptures may take a slight turn, if the wood dictates it wants something else, but overall whatever design Scott has in his head, is what happens. Then the work begins. A chainsaw starts the carving by removing a bulk of the wood. Then various grinders finish up creating tunnels, waves, bends and curves. If a piece requires it, stones or gems are inlayed into the natural cracks and voids to add a pop of color and stabilize those particular areas. And finally the long process of sanding down to a very fine grit and adding several coats of finish takes place to complete the piece.
All in all, our Creative Process has evolved artistically. No two pieces are alike. We take more time to ensure they are up to the highest of standards and become art collections to pass down for generations.