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We love showcasing our members carvings; after all, getting people to carve is what Woodcarving Workshops is all about! In the gallery you’ll see a wide range of carvings, from novice to advanced; each one the result of time and effort, inspiration and dedication. We value them all!

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Chris & Carrie

Viking era portico (miniature)

Project Owner: Phil Martin
Type of Wood: Beech
Finish: Beeswax polish
Dimensions: 235mm x 135mm


The original design is part of the (all-wooden) Urnes Stave Church in Norway and formed the portico of the original church, its wood has been dated to the year 1070. I happened upon the website of Jonas Lau Markussen ( who provides excellent hi-resolution drawings of numerous Viking designs at low cost. I was able to scale his drawing to fit an offcut of beech wood. I have been learning to carve for several years now. This was my first attempt at carving in beech, which I loved as it held detail well and did not have too strong a grain/figure which would have interfered with the intricacies of the design. I had to invest in a couple of Pfeil no.2 skew gouges (1 and 2mm) to get into all the very small recesses - and be very patient! The design has been interpreted as depicting a scene from Ragnorok (the twilight of the gods in Norse mythology) where the dragon, Nidhogg, devours the roots of the World Tree, but also, in Christian iconography, as the fight between good and evil in which good ultimately prevails (as some of the serpents are transmuted into lilies)

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