Acanthus Leaf - Black Walnut

This is a project very close to my heart. I first saw the acanthus leaf perched at the top of columns in old buildings in London. There’s something about the acanthus leaf that makes it stand out - the incredible fractality throughout.

I had a lot of fun carving this. And carving such an old ornament (found in sculpture as early as 1000 BC), you can’t help but feel humbled – 3000 odd years ago, someone like me was making the same thing. What were their dreams like? What drove them and their creative pursuits?

Here’s the leaf in her full glory - the chosen ornament of Western civilization, the muse of the great architect Callimachus, the artistic vision for over a hundred generations of mankind - acanthus.

Basswood Carving

A basswood carving. Finished first with polyurethane, which was a disaster. Rescued (sort-of) with a gel stain.

Cedar, Maple, Purpleheart Coasters

After my recent bookstand project, I was looking for a simple project to put left-over lumber to good use. These coasters are what I came up with.

A tree is the epitome of a selfless life - it provides shelter and sustenance for decades and it is sad to see any part of such a worthy being go to waste.

In this post I describe a quick project combining cedar, purpleheart and maple. The combination is aesthetically pleasing and can be put together in a few hours with simple hand tools.

I was building this project on a tight schedule and thus things don’t line up 100% - someone with better skills or more time should produce better output.


I finally put together my first complex woodworking project with moving parts. The result looks gorgeous to me - I have rarely seen 3 woods with such different textures complement each other so well.

Fortior Per Mentem
(c) Shriphani Palakodety 2013-2018