I was recently approached by a landscape gardener and asked if I could carve a `Ganesh` for a Thai style garden he was asked to design, to which I replied,  “what’s a Ganesh”??

After some brief explanation and further research I took on the commission and set about to produce a maquette (i) to show the customer what I was proposing to carve, I would also use this maquette to produce plans using my digital camera which I enlarged to fit the block of wood at 1 metre high.

i) Pictures of the clay maquette which stands around 18cm tall. The reason for the screws is to represent holding something, later to be decided.

After getting the, `go ahead` from showing the customer the maquette, I took photos from all the angles I considered to be relevant and enlarged them using my digital camera and printing them off using my computer.

Below is the block of wood (Jelutong) laminated together approx` 1 metre square ready to transfer the plans on

I can now go about removing the bulk of the wood around the drawings.

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As you can imagine this took some time and it was quite difficult to move the carving around due the size and sheer weight of it! After many hours of chipping away, the shape was beginning to come through and as you can see in one of the pictures below, I keep referring to the small maquette to help with the visualisation

The next thing I had to address was carving the hands. Now does a four armed, elephant headed, seated deity have hands or pad like hands/feet? I thought about this for a while and decided this one was going to have hands which would enable me to easily carve them to the shapes I required.

The following few photos, hopefully show how I went from the block at the end of the arm to drawing on the wood then carving to the shape I wanted

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After deciding where to carve the eyes, (which might I add, wasn’t as straight forward as you may think) it was a case of making those finishing cuts to curves and then start sanding down with different grades of grit.

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Again after many hours of arduous sanding I finally had the Ganesh shape I was after. .

Maquette of Ganesh – 18cm tall.

Maquette of Ganesh – 18cm tall


Carving of Ganesh ? 500 cm tall

As this carving was to be sitting outside in the garden and be subject to the elements I heavy oiled it and tried to bear in mind when carving it not to allow many flat spots or places to collect water.

Also, you?ll notice that I?ve carved a separate knife which sits nicely into a hole in his right hand. This was to personalise it for the chef I was commissioned by, (http://www.lawlesscooking.com/)  and the shape of the knife was taken from his website to be as accurate as possible. Note, he like the extra touch!