2010 Deep Blue Designs  -  Handcrafted Wooden Fish by Nathan Burtenshaw

Each fish is carved out of a single slab of timber, firstly the fish is drawn onto the slab. Next I cut around the outline of the fish and then carve the body detail. Next the detail of the mouth and gills is finished off and the fin details are carved. Then the fish is sanded to a smooth finish. Finally the eye is inserted and the chain or catch is fitted to the back and the carving is then rubbed down with oil to bring out the natural character and colour of the timber.




Each fish has a flat back for hanging flush on a wall and depending on the size of the carving either has a brass chain or picture hook catch recessed into the back.

The eyes are usually made from paua shell with a blacklip oyster pupil. Sometimes I make the eye using a limpet shell with a blacklip oyster pupil. I can also carve scales into the fish but I personally prefer to leave the fish smooth without scales as it better shows the grain and character of the timber. Additionally I can insert teeth into the mouth for this I use a white mother of pearl shell.