Bird and Fish Carving for Wine Lovers and Other Heathens…


We’re just two HSS cats, but at least we’re honest… Ponchita and I have never tried to hide the fact that we personally think of you wine-sipping, snooty, condescending, types as little more than knuckle draggers in high places. This post will stay true to form.

Alrighty then… We’ll try to go slowly and start at the beginning… So you want to carve a bird or a fish… (Now why would two cats focus on those subjects???) No problem… Here’s what you need to do…

  1. Get yourself a little tool/supply kit. All you really need is a locking knife, some scraps of longish rectangular wood, sandpaper in various grits, a pencil, scissors, thin soda-pop can aluminum, epoxy in a plunger, and misc. paint. (Other really cool stuff like a scroll saw (preferably electric), and a Dremel help immensely!)

  2. Be sure to read, understand, and follow all safety instructions that come with your supplies. (In other words grape groupies… don’t cut, stab, burn, abrade, poison, or blind yourselves.)

  3. What to do next? Simple… Trim your stock to the max dimensions plus a foot in length for your model with a smidgen extra.

  4. Here’s where the creativity comes in… Imagine your subject frozen in time, and you have the ability to move around said creature. Picture in your mind’s eye looking straight down on the thing. Alrighty then, draw on the appropriate side of your stock what you see. (This is called the “plan view” or “back view”.) Keeping the bird or fish locked in place in your imagination, move around so that you’re looking at the side view (“profile view”) and draw that on the next side of your material. Doing that, you should end up with something like the following…

    Don’t worry about twists yet, just draw the big picture, keeping the excess wood as a sort of handle and squaring reference.

  5. Now just cut/whittle to a rough, slab-sided shape. You should end up with something like this…

  6. That out of the way, simply sand/carve the final shape into the fellow. This is where you introduce movement…

  7. The pic below shows two subjects in various stages of completion. The funky fish and the more serious hummingbird are the end, and near-end results… (To get a perspective for size, that’s a AAA battery in the shot.)

  8. Finally, add hardware and paint as needed. Got that tannin lappers?

Two cats creating by the racks…

Wine Glossaries

* Nat Decants: A thorough glossary from Natalie MacLean, noted wine writer, speaker, and judge.
* “The Independent Consumer’s Guide to Fine Wines”
* GLOSSARY of Wine-Tasting Terminology (Version 1.4 – Jan. 1995): A thorough collection of definitions from Anthony Hawkins.

Beer Glossaries

* ratebeer: Now that’s a straightforward name!
* beer-pages: Roger Protz and Tom Cannavan say that “it’s all about beer”.
* A fine collection of Beer dictionaries.


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