Jenga® Block Bear

Simple tools and materials can produce great results

By Lavonne Russell

I purchased Woodcarving Illustrated Spring 2005 (Issue 30) on a whim—without any carving experience and no tools. What was I doing with a woodcarving magazine? But something about the bearded figure on the cover caught my eye. He looked like a Green Man—a wood spirit.

Thumbing through the magazine, I saw the “Swiss Black Bears” article. I have always wanted to carve bears—looking on with envy as chainsaw carvers sawed out their creations. But the cost and weight of the chainsaw are too much for me. I thought I should start small.

With the magazine open to the black bears, I got out a hobby knife and a stray Jenga block. I spent about 12 hours whittling away at the tiny block to produce my very first carving.

Many people responded to the Jenga carving challenge. Here are some of our favorite submissions.


Claude Feaner carved Triceretops.


Claude Freaner carved Jenga Train.


Howard Johnson carved Snickers Bar.


Bob Halfhill carved Lighthouse.



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