This project could be completed in many different types of wood. It should be a hardwood but harder (and more attractive) than basswood. Any of the furniture-grade hardwoods, such as cherry, mahogany, walnut, or others like these, would be good. Because the design is so simple, a figured wood or one with very visible grain should be avoided. The wood could be glued up to attain the required width but a single board is preferred.
If you have not carved in cottonwood bark, I heartily suggest that you give it a try. I love to carve it. For faces, I like a piece that is at least 3 inches thick and a minimum of 3 inches wide. You need to have larger pieces because you will lose part of the depth during the cleanup process.
Carving golf balls can be a fun way to use your woodcarving skills. The balls are easy to find and offer the artist an excellent carving material with no grain to worry about. I don't like to stray away from carving wood too often (for magazine content), but when I saw these wonderful faces by Dale, I just had to share them with our readers. Not all balls are created equal... you have to search for the correct ones with the solid core.
Carved wooden signs are often used to identify the owners of cabin and vacation homes, in some parts of the country - notably Nantucket Island, Massachusetts - individual houses are named or set off with a humorous title, always carved in wood. Pine is the most common material for such signs because of its weather-resistant properties.
Donna founded the 'World Wide Wood Working Women' group for all women interested in improving their skills. They meet monthly at the Austin Woodcraft store to share their accomplishments and to learn more about wood working from local experts.