The process starts with a tree that has come down, either through storms (such as this one), or by a tree-service removal, homeowner or construction removal.
First Carving Tool
The chainsaw is the first-used carving tool. Before cutting, the wood properties of each log section are analyzed for growth patterns, grain, defects or features, and optimization of material.
Having the right tool for the job.
A nice, big, high-horsepower saw with a long-bar helps to make the carving accurate and safer.
A professional-quality saw
Husqvarna or Stihl: a professional quality saw is highly recommended for working with green-wood.
The logs are cross-cut into sections that are a few inches longer than their diameter.
It's so much easier and safer to cross-cut with a chainsaw bar that is longer than the diameter of the log.
Each log section is ripped through the 'pith'; the very center of the tree is made of cellular material that is prone to cracking. This is where cracking will start, so if it's cut out, chances of cracking into the good-wood are reduced.
Two rough-outs from one section
Each section-half might become material for a carved object. Here I've chalked out a hollow form and bowl.
The wood's beauty is revealed.
Using a rip-chain on high-horsepower saw makes this cut easier and safer.
Storing and letting the wood rest.
A waxy-emulsion is painted on the end-grain to help reduce cracking while the sections are stored before processing on the lathe.
Studio Supervisor & Master of the Universe (MOU)
The MOU inspects for health & safety violations, and is highly trained in time-keeping and quality control.
The log section is then mounted between centers on the lathe, thus allowing for re-orienting and adjusting for balanced grain and form.
After removing wood and roughing to shape, the wood is adjusted between the head-stock and tail-stock BEFORE creating a chuck-tenon.
Carving with a gouge
Here, I'm using a heavy-handled roughing gouge, peeling away bark and layers of wood. Safety equipment includes glasses, face-shield, earplugs, fingerless-gloves, apron and hood.
Once the wood has been roughed out on the lathe, the rough-out is dried in a dehumidifying kiln or air-dried in a cool, breeze-less area. It will reshape and wood compress while drying.
After the rough-out has dried to 8-10% relative moisture, the blank is re-chucked on the lathe and carved to final shape and thickness. Here's an example of a finished bowl with a pyrographically embellished rim.