Dallas County

Wood Carving

John Sheffey is a retired Army colonel with a BS degree in geology and a MS degree in Economics. An expert marksman, his original hobby was building muzzle loaders to shoot in competitions. While stationed in Japan, John began looking for another hobby to keep his hands busy since he could not take his fire arms overseas. An avid outdoorsman, he picked up a book and tools and began carving award winning birds.

John creates birds so detailed and anatomically correct that the desire to touch the carvings is irresistible. He uses Tupelo gum that he harvests from surrounding swamps. The texture of the gum accepts the burning process and its grain allows the carver to carve in both directions. John uses small hand tools to create the birds and then burns the meticulous details of the feathers while working under a magnifying glass. Once the intricate carving is complete, five to six thin coats of oil paints are applied to slowly build a realistic depth of color.

John’s carvings can also be seen at carving competition shows.