Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Sculptor's Tools

Here is a selection of my wooden modelling and finishing tools.  I like to have beautiful tools as they inspire me.  Many of these I spent hours carving, finishing, sanding, and sealing to make the perfect tool.  These tools are carved from jet black African ebony, cocobolo, purpleheart, rosewood.

Ebony is my favorite wood to carve tools from as it is incredibly dense and almost entirely without pitted grain.  It sands to a glass finish!  Ebony is not to EVER be dropped as it snaps into pieces on impact, being so dense and fine grained.

Some of these tools are from estate auctions.  For years I would hunt for the old world, well-made tools at auction.  Some of my tools are initialed by bygone sculptors, and some belonged to my teachers, such as the late Laci Degerenday and his wife Elisabeth Gordon Chandler.  The tiny tool at the bottom was purchased from their estate and to me represents the sweet tradition of passing the torch.


  1. Gavin-This is the coolest post! I love hearing how you made or acquired your tools. Knowing that some of them carry the initials of bygone sculptors just makes them even more special to me. It is most definitely "passing on the torch" to the new generation. Beautiful sentiment!

  2. Yes! This morning in fact, I was trying to read the initials. They are C.D. Or D.C. Could have belonged to Daniel Chester French for all I know. I need to do more research on the initials!