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Here' the work of one very talented wood carver in the Sudbury area.
The hall mirror was carved out of basswood, the most common carving wood. It is a relatively bland and uninteresting wood, but has a very fine grain, so it can be carved both with and across the grain and hold intricate details limited only by the skill of the artisan.
The dragon was carved out of one 2"+ thick piece of butternut lumber. A wood from the walnut family that is a little softer than most traditional Canadian hardwood, so it can be carved by hand with a knife or with power tools according to the preferences of the artisan. The grain is a little more dominate so carving butternut is reserved for the more experienced crafter.
The extra effort is worth it though as the butternut can have beautiful shades of beige and pinky brown appearing in alternating bands to create interesting figure and colour not available in a traditional basswood carving block.