The Great Horned Owl in Miniature - Carving

Part One: Carving


Updated March 20, 2017
The Great Horned Owl in Miniature - Carving

Al Jordan lives in Rochester, New York, where he is a master falconer. He was the North American shorebird champion in 2008 and the IWCA Shorebird Champion in 2010. Al is also an instructor and judge and the author of WILDFOWL CARVING MAGAZINE’S Half-Size Osprey Workbench Project. Learn about Al’s classes and one-on-one instruction at (585) 227-2235, www.ajordanbirds.com, or by email at ajordanbirds@yahoo.com.

Carvers seem to like owls. I can understand why. There is something about the intense stillness of an owl that lends itself to compelling carvings. Maybe people just like to stare back at them. With their big eyes and distinctive facial disks, owls are truly interesting-looking birds, and the great horned owl is one of the most impressive of them all. It is a big bird—with a wingspan of around 44 inches and a weight of three pounds—and it is well adapted to hunting at night. The big eyes—which give the owl an air of solemn intelligence—help the owl spot its prey in the darkness, while the ear tufts and facial disk serve as sound-direction aids, helping the owl pinpoint its target by listening for it. Although the carving I demonstrate here is a miniature, you can easily follow these directions to carve a life-size bird.




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Oh how I love this Great Horned Owl in Miniature-Carving. I have never used hand power tools for my carving and wonder if I can still do this with just hand carving tools? I know it will take longer to carve out the areas you used the sander on, but hope it will come out. Thank you for the pictures they will help me greatly while doing this carving. I have always loved bird carvings but have only done flat ones on plaques, I'm looking forward to tying the 3-d bird.. Thank you again for this free how to!


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