Patterns & Projects

Carving a Caricature Colt

Simple stylized horse is easy to carve

By Floyd Rhadigan

This adorable little colt only requires a few tools to complete. Novice carvers can expect excellent results in a relatively short period of time and more experienced carvers can finish the project in a single day. 

My first carving project was a horse similar to this one. Back in the 1970s, I worked in my dad’s sign shop. Smokey Joe Briemuiller, a family friend, would often stop in to sell his carvings. He could carve a horse similar to this one in 20 minutes.

Smokey Joe’s work fascinated me and I spent as much time learning from him as I could. Joe taught me how to make a carving knife from an old straight razor and taught me a lot about carving, most of which I still use today.

Basswood: 2 1/2″ x 4″ x 5 1/2″
Natural finishing wax, such as Watco

Carving knife
Detail knife
#3 gouge: 1/2″
#7 gouge: 1/2″
#9 gouge: 3/4″
#11 gouge: 1/4″
V-tool, small

CLICK HERE to download the Caricature Colt Pattern.

Purchase Floyd Rhadigan’s book Carving Fantasy Creatures for further reading about caricature carving. Learn to carve 5 different lighthearted fantasy creatures such as gargoyles and dragonsmore with detailed patterns and instructions. The book is available for purchase for $12.99 from


CLICK HERE to read the full step-by-step instructions and other great articles from Woodcarving Illustrated Fall 2009 (Issue 48).

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