The Ancient Art of Wood Carving

Jan 24, 2022 | hand carved signs | 0 comments

eagle wood carvingFor as long as trees and humans have co-existed, so has the ancient art of wood carving. Of course, the use of wood is universal in human cultures. First, it’s a means to create or enhance technology. Also, it’s a medium for artistry through the ages.

To date, the Shigir Idol (below) is the world’s oldest known wood carving of Mesolithic art, circa 7,500 BCE. In 1894, archeologists unearthed it in fragments from a peat bog near Kirovgrad, Russia. Currently, it stands proudly at 9.2 ft., although it could be taller. Its home is at the Sverdlovsk Regional Museum in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Historically, this ancient work of art is more than twice as old as the Great Pyramid. It is also 6,000 years older than Stonehenge! It’s the oldest wood sculpture in the world. There’s more about the Shigir Idol at, shigir idol wood carvingOccasionally, we get requests for carved wood pieces. The Eagle’s Roost project (first photo, above) is a recent effort. However, the eagle is an intentionally simplistic carve. The client requested that the eagle be stylized and simple. Historically, the overwhelming majority of wood carvings are much more complex.

bella fiore photo The Bella Fiore storefront sign (pictured above) is another, more detailed, example of Paxton Signs’ wood carving technique. However, instead of wood, we made the sign out of softer, more forgiving HDU (High Density Urethane). Still, the carving tools and techniques are the same. We hand-carved the entire border, then distressed it. The sign’s interior is also distressed.

We specialize in communication art

Paxton Signs’ more than 40 year history includes hundreds of signs. Some are major monument signs, some small business signs. In addition, we create ranch signs, lighted signs and signs made from recycled wood. We specialize in hand-painted and hand-carved signs. We also offer vehicle and fleet graphics. Paxton Signs provides a continuous variety of communication art for Fort Collins, northern Colorado and the surrounding mountain areas.

You can view more of Paxton Signs’ hand-carved, handcrafted signs at, our galleries at, or by using the menu bar, above. Please contact us at 970-221-5519.

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