An Annotated Portfolio & Project Documentaries

Fourteen. Tree art toteboxes, shaving horse, tool caddy

These pieces, including the ones I’ve kept and used, are as much tree art to me as the commissioned pieces or those I’ve taken to market.

This is the first totebox I made, in 1990 as I remember. I used it for 20 years, and gave it to a good friend last year as a thank-you gift. It's all of Lodgepole, with a tree trunk handle, slab ends and sides. Like all of the toteboxes I've made, the handle is "captive" at each end, joined with round mortises and tenons. No metal fasteners, just dowels and glue.

I'm still using this totebox. The handle is tree trunk, a 100 year old Lodgepole, naturally grown into a dramatic "swan's neck" shape.

I made this totebox for myself, but a man who saw it wanted to buy it just a bit more than I wanted to keep it.

A shaving horse is essential to the makings of tree art. It makes it easy to clamp irregular shapes and quickly unclamp for repositioning. This horse was made for "show" and for portability, so it's smaller than the others I've made. Its design uses a naturally curved section of a Douglas fir tree trunk. The legs are inverted Lodgepole pine tree trunks, naturally forked. The seat and clamp table (leather covered) are Lodgepole. It, along with the tool caddy shown below, is still in use.

This combination of shaving horse and tool caddy were part of my set up when I did public demonstrations, downtown Virginia City. The caddy is made of a hollow Lodgepole section, with inverted Lodgepole forks for legs. Leather straps hold tools.section


5 responses

  1. Fiona Davis

    I’m new to green-wood-working and need to make a shave horse. There are loads of shave horses on the internet but this is the best. Its beautiful and simple looking and has given me inspiration. If you have any tips, it would be great. Thanks, Fiona

    April 11, 2011 at 6:52 pm

  2. Michael

    I’d like to have a shaving horse like that one too… Anyway to get one made? Or maybe share enough details so others can try to create one … Though I’m sure I couldn’t come close to the beauty of this one…

    July 13, 2015 at 1:44 pm

  3. I have just featured your fantabulous work on the WeirdWood Facebook page. 🙂

    March 5, 2016 at 10:30 am

  4. Susan Tungate Cheshire

    Hello Jack,
    I love your work.
    I’d be interested in buying a piece and I will be coming to Whitefish this year .
    Please let me know how and where to see your pieces.
    Thank you
    Sue Tungate Cheshire

    January 1, 2020 at 6:49 am

    • Thanks Sue,
      Reading your comment on the first day of 2020 is special. We could arrange for a private meeting at our home here in Twin Bridges MT, since I no longer have pieces in galleries or shows. I have retained a variety of special pieces, as home furnishings and workshop equipment. Given the distance between Whitefish and Twin Bridges, there could be other viewing options. I haven’t taken any commissioned work in awhile, but would consider it. At your convenience, please email me at or text to 406-865-0904.
      Best, Jack

      January 1, 2020 at 5:09 pm

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