A “whimsy” is a carving such as a ball in cage, wooden chain, or other “useless” carving that whittlers do just for fun. This is as opposed to caricatures, stylized figures, lifelike animals, and other carvings that we do just for fun but other people call art.

I carved a baby rattle a couple of weeks ago, which was a variation on the old ball in cage. I had a little time over the weekend, and spent some of it whittling. I had started this whimsy–another variation on the ball in cage–about a week ago and finished carving it on Saturday.

I call it “Box in Crate”. The wood is Caribbean Mahogany. The crate itself is just a little less than two inches on each side. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to sand the piece and apply a finish, or just leave it the way it is.

Sunday afternoon I sat down in the shade with a beer, a bag of sunflower seeds, a piece of basswood, and a knife. The result was this whimsy–the sliding hoops:

I’ll be the first to admit that my carving on this piece leaves a lot to be desired. My goal here was to learn how it’s done. I made several mistakes, and you can see that I didn’t take the time to clean up my cuts before calling the thing finished. I really like this piece because there’s so much movement.

Maybe I should do a chain next . . .