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Creating a Horse


Raw Burl

From Burl to Horse—A whole burl is cut into slabs that vary in thickness between 1-6 inches.  Each slab is then treated with a wood sealer and allowed to air dry slowly over 6-12 months.  While each slab is drying it is evaluated frequently for developing cracks or checks.  Once completely dry, the burl slab is critically evaluated to determine the most appropriate form for a specific horse carving.  Based on the outside profile of each burl slab, a rough outline of the horse is sketched.  

Slab Horse

Using a band saw or a scroll saw, parts of the burl wood are removed that will not be included in the final form.  Mastercarver power carving ( is then done to approximate the final shape.  The burl sculpture is then sanded by hand to remove all imperfections and tool marks.  Hand carving is then done to exact final detail.  Some burl sculptures are treated with stains to highlight the burl pattern in the wood whereas others are left natural.  Each sculpture is then finished by applying up to 10 coats of lacquer over several days to reveal the natural beauty of the wood.  Sculptures designed as wall hangings are fitted with the appropriate hardware.  Sculptures designed as statuary are mounted on a natural edge granite  or basalt plinth (base).   

Dr. Ramsey
Photo by Liz Silky

Finished Horse


David Ramsey, Carving
Photo by Liz Silky


To Contact the Artist: Click HERE

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