A Snowy Owl Lands in Dallas

On January 3rd, 2021, just over a year from when the idea was first hatched, Wing’s carving of a Snowy Owl finally reached its home in Dallas, Texas. The 2021 Winter has had plenty of surprising weather. Freezing temperatures that swept across much of the South pushed the mercury below zero in Texas. Who could ever imagine that a northern bird, perched upon a terrace overlooking Dallas, would ever look out upon a frozen, snowy landscape?

A black cherry log in Wing’s studio transforms into pieces for the owl’s wings.

Once the request for the carving was submitted Wing went about selecting the wood. A large black cherry tree had come down near the Smith Playhouse in Fairmount Park. A friend and neighbor, Ken Yanoviak, a.k.a. TreeKen (https://www.facebook.com/treekentrees/), was removing the tree. Cherry has been used to make much of Philadelphia’s fabled antique furniture. It carves very well, is durable, and has a rich red color. It is almost never found as large dimensional pieces, only as boards, so Wing leapt at the chance to carve it.

Wing carved the body, head and tail of the owl from a wide, crotch section, and the wings from a long log split in half.
Large mortise and tenon joints hold the piece together
Wing carved the tapering feathers once the wings had been joined to the body.
Once the oil finish is applied the color of the wood begins to sing.
The marks of the gouge and the tree’s bark are integral parts of the finished carving.

2021 was a year like none other. The global covid-19 pandemic forced everyone to pivot to new ways of working, interacting and earning a living. Having a studio commission to work on over the Summer months was truly fortunate for Wing. The bulk of the carving was done over a period of a few weeks during the Summer. The oil finish was applied in Fall, once the pieces had dried out and more or less stabilized. Wing shipped the piece to Texas after the election and ahead of the Christmas mail rush. But because of the snafu with the postal service it didn’t arrive until January.

If you have a carving in mind that you’d like to commission please contact the artist.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *