Gordon Stennett Wooden Bird Sculptures

Sculpture Technique

There are multiple steps that progress simultaneously which stretches the average time to about one year per bird. The driftwood is hand selected from the beaches of California and Oregon. Exotic hardwoods are from specialty woodworking shops. California coast redwood and Oregon Valley myrtle wood are from local mills. Except for the mounts most wood is sold in slabs as the picture above illustrates.

All of the wood must be stored indoors for up to 4 years to be slowly air-dried. A dry kiln is used to reduce the moisture content by another 7% to help avoid wood splits.
They are then sealed and sprayed with satin lacquer up to 5 times before they are meticulously finished the old fashioned way…a warm rub down with paste wax. This deep layered finish is unmatched and invites you to pick them up and love them. Each piece is signed and dated to come live at your house.
Next is to cut the individual pieces from each slab to be laminated together in block form shown above. For example, a Mallard Drake is redwood for the chest, myrtle wood for the body, maple and black walnut for the tail, walnut for the head and eyes with cascara for the bill. It’s like a puzzle matching the different naturally colored wood to the coloring of the bird.

The birds are sculpted using a flex shaft and disc sander. A gentle hand sanding perfects the contours to a seamless glass-like feel. Now the natural grain and warmth of the wood emerges to showcase plumage. Eyes are inserted bringing a life-like look to each bird.

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