The Artwork of Patrick B. Pointer

Patrick B. Pointer, Master Woodcarver and Maritime Artist, Specializing in Great Lakes Maritime History


Back to the drawing board!                                           Seen in this picture is northern Michigan artist Patrick B. Pointer marking out the final depths for the newest of his deep relief carvings.  The carving itself if a bit of a secret... but you can tell anyone you'd like! 

This carving is due to be unveiled on March 7, 2010 at the South Haven Maritime Museum in South Haven, Michigan. 

It depicts a ship named "Friends Good Will" a Sloop that was built in 1811. 

After spending approximately 50 hours of research on the ship and it's story, Pointer began his preliminary sketches.  Those sketches led him to a drawing that he was thoroughly happy with.  The title of the work was to be, "Taken By Surprize."  Only to have the artist himself "Taken by surprize," when he visited the museum in October to take pictures of the Sloop's rigging.  After walking back into the museum, there was a painting on the wall almost exactly the same as his final drawing.  Greatly dismayed at how close the two artworks were to each other and with all of the time spent on research and making connections and contacts it was "Back to the drawing board!" 

The pictures you will see here are progressive "glimpses" of the process.  He doesn't want to give it all away prior to the unveiling, however, he does want to throw out a few teasers.



 The wood is starting to take form... The wood is removed or "relieved" from the surrounding area causing the carving to begin to take on a little form.  The different levels will begin to come to life over the next few weeks as the carving begins to take on more shape and details.

"This is the exciting part... when I can actually put the chisels, knives and other tools into the wood and begin to bring it to life."

 Making the final mount to the work bench as Pointer hammers the clamps in place.  This piece will not move until it is completed.  The piece is set in place and the light source is placed above as the two will work in harmony together as the artist adds the melodies of shadows and highlights as the story unfolds.

This is my favorite mallet.  It has been passed down through my mother's side of the family from her great grandfather who was a ship builder.  "I call it my "Jesus Mallet," because it reminds me of something He might have used." 

There is just something about the way your tools fit into your hands and you know exactly what they will do for you as they cut through the wood.    


January 13, 2010... The progress has been a little bit slow.  The cold temperatures and working in a non-insulated environment has had its challenges.  Much of the background in the carving is near completion.  Much of the work over the next few days will be on the ship itself. 

 Here are a few "Teaser" pictures of the progress... I don't want to show too much here before the unveiling.  I am also working on a DVD on the process of making this carving... So... I hope you enjoy the following pictures...

More to come...

It is now the first week in February... It has been bone chilling cold and a bit difficult to work.  My hands cramp up all to easily and trying to keep the area I am working in warm has been a challenge.  I lease the home that we live in and work out of a make-shift studio in the garage which is not insulated or heated.  The use of a torpedo kerosene heater keeps a small area warm but then there are the fumes to deal with.  The garage door has to be kpt partially open for fresh air.  I am lucking to keep the area at about 27 to 30 degrees.  The carving is progressing nicely.  I have sent pictures ot one of the people involed with the ship and am awaiting thier response.  The picutres that I will be sharing from here on to the unveiling will be fewer.  I am getting prepared to do all the fine detailing on this carving that will bring it all to life.  Pictured below are shots of the newer details in the sails and the carving of the detail in the hull.  This is where I really get excited.  This is where my drawings come to life and the piece itself begs to be finished!  Each new detail brings an amount of realism.  If the pictures were taken in black and white... it would be hard to tell it was a carving and not a photograph of the real thing.


Above you see the back-carving of the mast, the drawn lines and shading where the wrinkles in the sails will be carved.  The following pictures are the detailing of the hull both bow and stern.

FRIENDS GOOD WILL  "CHEKOAU BOUND" Chicago Bound... Is now completed and ready to be unveiled in a special guest appearance at the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven, Michigan on Sunday, March 7, 2010 at 2:00pm.  Please see the "Appearances" tab for more details.  Here is just a "Teaser Picture" before unveiling.  Check back after March 7th for more detailed pictures and events of the day!




I was given a cut out block of wood that my dad purchased, evidentily from a family of a carver who passed away.  I am not sure if the individual had a figurehead in mind or if this was even a pattern out of some book.  So if it is a pattern, I am just carving what I personally see in this block.  What do I see?  A female Figurehead. I see the:                     "QUEEN OF HEARTS."  The drawing on the block of wood is my own. This will be a carving that will progress in my shop when other carvings become monotonous.  I like having more than one carving going at the same time for that very reason. 

At the left, THE QUEEN OF HEARTS starts to take form. At this point most of the carving has been done with knives.  Notice I am referencing original figureheads that were carved for ships in the 1800's.  I want the final feel to this to carry that feeling.  Most likely I will give this piece an antique weather beaten feeling.  Although this piece appears to be buxom, at this point wood is being left along  the neckline and that area for now to be able to achieve an overlaying material with intricate lace-work for the finished piece.




 A profile view.  Now laying out ruffled sleaves, this is a work in design and progress as I go.  Invisioning the hairstyle and beginning to incorporate the crown.


Check back often... to follow her progress.