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.

Occasionally, 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 carving. The client requested that the eagle be stylized and simple. Historically, the overwhelming majority of wood carvings are much more complex.

shigir idol wood carving

Constantin Voutsen copyright, both photos

The Shigir Idol

To date, the Shigir Idol (pictured) 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 proudly stands at 9.2 ft., although it could have been 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,

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.

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

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