Zoe Gertner  - Professional Woodcarver & Tutor

A Miscellany of Carvings

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What do a retired doctor, a teenager, IT specialist, fireman and a wood turner have in common?

These are some of the people who have attended one or more of Zoe's wood carving classes and produced some wonderful wood carvings. Each person works on his or her own individual project, be it a carving in relief, in the round or sculptural, lettering or furniture decoration and is taught how to use hand tools correctly and safely in the relaxed and informal classes.

Other than being aged over 8 years there is no age barrier and you do not need to be artistic nor to have any woodworking experience to enjoy woodcarving. Being an ideal family activity, you can also share an interest with your youngsters and spend creative leisure time with them away from home in a relaxed and friendly environment.

 This page shows you some students'  first carvings, several of which were made by people who had never used hand tools before coming to their woodcarving lessons, you can also see how some have progressed with their wood carving and see some woodcarvings made by children.


Janet's very first carving  (left) was of her small grandson, made in limewood and finished with wax polish. She attended several sessions over a couple of years to complete it, using photographs for reference as she worked. It stands about 8ins high. Janet continued carving figures based on family members - the middle carving, in Yew wood, is based on a photo of her daughter and son-in-law with their baby, dancing at a wedding reception.  She is currently carving a relief of oak and papaya leaves  (right) on the oak case of a clock she is making for a member of her family, the design reflecting English and Kenyan native flora.

  Carole is very keen on archery and for her first carving she made a trophy for her club. The wood she used was appropriately English Yew and she adapted the logo of a well known beer company for her design, carved it in relief and finished it with wax polish.
"Thanks, Zoe, for a wonderful 3 days learning woodcarving. With your expert guidance far more was achieved than I could dream of. From a log to an archery trophy in memory of my beloved husband and then another log to a robin with a red breast." Carole T.


Owls are always very popular for carvings in the round, and this one was made by Ray using Cherry wood and carving directly from the log. Finished in Danish oil it stands outside by his patio doors.   Jacky's family gave her some carving days for a special birthday present,  details...  In relief, she carved these kingfishers  darting out of the water into willow leaves, using a section of Beech wood she retained the bark as a border.


Using Yew wood, Imelda carved this barn owl for her husband's 70th birthday present. The light coloured sapwood of its face makes a spectacular contrast with the darker heartwood of its breast.


Chuck began carving his dog, Misch, at  evening class. Made from Lime wood and finished with wax polish, it is about 11ins long.


Gill carving her 'Green Man' which was stunning when finished. This was her first carving and she had not used hand tools before, though she is good at drawing. She is holding the carving in Carver's chops whilst she works on the fine detail. The carving is in Lime and is approximately 10 ins square and carved to a depth of about 2ins.



Tim is carving a traditional decoration in oak which he will use in his period property renovation.



One of Simon's interests is catering and his first carving was a relief of some mushrooms, followed by some incised lettering then a hedgehog in the round. Each project was made in a different species of timber so that he gained experience carving with several native woods.


Sue enjoyed carving with her teenage sons, Ollie and Tom. She carved some flowers in relief, Ollie made a crab on a rock, and Tom made a large scorpion in relief.


And to show that age is no barrier to beginning carving...



Richard and Carey with ten year old grandson Tidiahn, all of whom had never carved before. Tidiahn first made a mallet which he used to carve his coiled snake. the markings on Richard's giraffe were made using a punch and the frills on Carey's lizard cut using a V tool.  

Octagenarian Mac polishing his  first carving, ivy leaves carved in relief, made using Cherry wood.

How did he do it? See instructions...



 Details about

  Woodcarving lessons   and how to book,  see suggested   dates  to come,

and sample some     Wood carving projects   for  yourself



Carvings made by Children


Fourteen year old Jessica came with her grandmother for a week and made a relief carving of a gorilla. She has waxed the finished carving and is polishing it with a duster. It will be included in her GCSE coursework.

Our first day at a new school. Katie, aged 10, printed a photo of herself and her sister in their new school uniform then carved the picture in relief and gave it to  her mother for Christmas - a lovely surprise. An unforgettable event captured in a wood carving.

When nine year old Ellie came with her grandmother Rosie she made her own mallet and used it to work on a homework project on Dartmoor ponies. She drew and cut round the outlines of the horses and added a stream and tor in the background. Rosie continued carving some architectural panels for her barn conversion, in Cherry wood, depicting the four seasons in the life of the tree which she had started previously.

Liz aged 13 years old printed a photo she had taken of one of the family labradors and used it to make a relief carving which she gave to her mother for her birthday present.



Eleven year old Henry carving his football trophy using sycamore wood.


Willa with Josh, her teenage son, and their woodcarvings. Willa is carving a horse lying down and Josh has made a guitar.

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 Updated October 2018                  Puddleduck Farm, South Wonford, Holsworthy, Devon. EX22 7DR 

        Telephone:  01409 261648                  e-mail: mail@zoegertner.co.uk              www.zoegertner.co.uk