The elusive desk gecko

A member of the local wood carving club, Central Texas Woodcarvers Association, made a gecko a few years ago and brought it to one of the club meetings. He recently posted the pattern on the club’s site, so I thought I’d give it a try.

This particular figure began life as a chunk of sycamore that I’d picked up somewhere; probably down by the creek. I squared off the log on the bandsaw, traced the Gecko Pattern on the top and one side, and then went back to the bandsaw to make the cutout. The pattern, by the way, is a huge image. I resized it to about 8 inches. The finished piece is about 7.25 inches long.

I did all the carving on this with a single knife, then sanded it with 150 grit sandpaper. The sycamore is a pleasure to work with. I find it much nicer to carve than basswood, and I just love the grain, especially after finishing.

The finish is two coats of Watco Danish Oil. I’ll let that cure for three or four days and then spray two or three thin coats of Deft Satin polyurethane.

Overall, I’m very happy with the way this piece turned out. The only thing I’d like to change is the feet. I found it very difficult to get any kind of rounding on the feet or toes. With the grain running the length of the figure, those thin feet and toes are very brittle, and shaping them was very difficult. I did a little rounding with the sandpaper, but I’ll have to figure a better way for the next time.