Each year, for the past dozen years, woodcarvers from New England and beyond spend Columbus Day weekend at our pristine 2,300 acre W. Alton Jones Campus in West Greenwich eating, sleeping, carving, and socializing.
At the end of their retreat, the group, sponsored by the Mystic, Conn., Woodcarvers Club, donates a carving to the growing wooden animal kingdom at Alton Jones. It’s a group effort. The carvers take turns carving, sanding, and sealing. All of the carvings are located in or outside of the main Environmental Education Center dining lodge.
The biggest carving is a life-size moose, which stands in front of the building. There’s also a 7-foot bear, a life-size doe and her two fawns, and three geese in flight. One of the animals is fictional—the Lorax made famous by Dr. Seuss.
Most of the 12 carvings were created with a mallet and chisels although the bear and a tree of raccoons were roughed out with a chain saw. All carvings are sealed with a clear matte coat. The bear was carved out of white pine and the raccoons were carved from a tulip tree; the other animals are from basswood, which comes from the Linden tree.