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The Tease of the Teasel

How to make this invasive plant out of paper, twist ties, wood, tubing, and a bit of glue.

By: Tom Baldwin
Photography by Tom Baldwin

It was the first trip to the Canadian National Carving Competition for my wife, Barbara, and me. Even though it was mid-March, we enjoyed clear, sunny skies and temperatures in the sixties. When we attend shows we always try to take a little time to enjoy some local environment, so we stole out from the show and found a trail that led to the banks of the Grand River. Once past the tree line we found the trail edged with tall grasses and plenty of teasels, prickly herbs with distinctive, thistle-like heads. Several song sparrows were singing and flying from one teasel to the next. The combination of blue sky, sun, and the sparrows’ beautiful song told me what my next carving project was going to be. Once home, though, I had to figure out how to make the teasel.

In this article I will take you step by step through my process for creating this challenging habitat. It is not something you can make quickly; in fact, it is best if you have lots of patience and work on it a little bit each day. When finished, you will have a wonderful presentation for your bird carving.

Read the rest of this article in Wildfowl Carving Magazine’s Spring 2014 issue!


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