#14: Tupelo

Bird number: 35
Date: January 26, 2012
Wood: Tupelo (Nyssa)
Source: Unknown

It’s not that I don’t know where I got the wood, it’s just that I don’t know where it was from originally. A fellow member of my carving club gave me some introductory lessons and, knowing my interest in different woods, gave me a block of tupelo. ┬áHe also said that I should carve it with power rather than with a knife. For reasons unknown to me, tupelo isn’t often carved with a knife. I have a bit left over after this bird, so I might give it a try to find out why.

People who carve duck decoys and other wild fowl often work with tupelo. It’s light (in weight), and very light in color. The light color means that paints cover well. The comparatively bland look (when compared to most of the woods I’ve been working with) is fine for wildlife carvings, as those typically get painted.

Whatever else I know about the wood tupelo, I found on Wikipedia. It turns out that tupelo honey really is highly prized.

One thought on “#14: Tupelo

  1. Tupelo is native to where I live, in the eastern part of North Carolina. Once you take a knife to it, you’ll see why people don’t usually do so. Tupelo is a different type of wood and it carves kind of funny. One time, I was a a wildfowl show with friend and I took a few shavings off a piece of tupelo with a carving knife. It was like, I couldn’t get a regular shaving, like the knife just wanted to dig in or something. The guy who owned the booth said that was common for tupelo. Although….. there is a “tupelo knife” marketed that is specifically made for carving the wood.

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