Mahogany Earrings

This project is a pair of wooden earrings. Carved from a single block of mahogany and dealt with from start to finish with hand-tools.

The brass was a stray piece of artist wire combined with some off-the-shelf clip-ons.

An unorthodox set of materials to craft a one-of-a-kind object.

Model: Ivy Zheng

Here is a small clip illustrating the whole build process.


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.


Mahogany Paisley Carving

I carved this out of a slab of mahogany. The paisley shape originated in Persia, was adopted heavily in Indian design, is a regular feature in henna and other art forms, and was adopted heavily by the print industry in Glasgow.

For this couple that contributed heavily to my life and my mental health, this was my way of saying thanks.

I was operating on a very tight deadline so I couldn’t clean things up as much as I wanted.

As we say, the next piece will always be better.


Basswood Carving

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



Instagram: @life_of_ess
Fortior Per Mentem
(c) Shriphani Palakodety 2013-2018