First Dance Sculpture




About: I like to make fun projects and document it all for my channel BCDesign on YouTube!

I was asked to create a commemorative piece for a couple who are getting married. I decided to make a sculpture of their first dance with their names and the wedding date woodburned onto the base.

Check out the video I made for my channel BCDesign Please thumbs up and sub if you like it!

Step 1: Picking the Wood and Drawing

  • I picked a nice piece of Jatoba wood I had in my shop as the wood to sculpt the couple from.
  • I wanted to sculpt the couple from one piece to signify the joining of the couple on their wedding day.
  • I decided on a silhouette type of style for the sculpture.
  • I drew a basic outline onto the block of wood to give me a guide line to aid in keeping the shape of the dancers as I remove material.

Step 2: Jigsaw Work

  • I only have basic tools in my workshop,I cut to the lines I had drawn using my jigsaw.
  • The best way to do this would be with a bandsaw but I don't have one so made do with the Jigsaw.
  • Jatoba is very hard,cutting this with the jigsaw was a long slow process for me.

Step 3: Removing Material With Mallet & Chisel

  • After making lots of relief cuts I used my mallet and chisel to remove chucks of wood
  • To remove the wood between the dancing couple I used a small drill press with some forstner bits.

Step 4: Rounding the Figures

  • I used an angle grinder with sanding flaps to round out the shapes of the couple.
  • The discs I used were 60 and 80 grit.
  • You will need to wear a good dust mask and eye protection while using the angle grinder and sanding flaps
  • If possible do this outside or in a well ventilated area if you have no dust extraction system.

Step 5: Making the Base

  • I used my Mitre Saw to cut a nice smooth face on a round ash blank I had.
  • This would be the sculptures base
  • I will woodburn the couples name an wedding date on the cut face.
  • I sanded the base to 800grit before woodburning.

Step 6: Woodburning/Pyrography

  • I printed out the inscription and used carbon paper to apply the lettering as a guide for woodburning
  • I used danish oil to seal the base when finished the lettering.

Step 7: Refining the Shape and Applying the Finish

  • I used a carving gouge to refine the shape of the arms, the females hairline and the legs to create areas of shadow to add depth the sculpture.
  • I spent a lot of time sanding this project by hand from 120 grit up to 800.
  • Next I applied a polyurethane spray finish
  • I added 6 coats of finish sanding between each coat

Step 8: Join Base & Sculpture & Youtube Video

  • I joined the base to the sculpture by drilling two holes for screws up through the bottom of the base.
  • I joined it this way so its easy to take apart in the future to refinish it.
  • I made a YouTube video of this scuplture for my channel BCDesign Please watch & subscribe!I hope you enjoy my Ible and video!

to see my other videos & channel look here!

Wedding Contest

Third Prize in the
Wedding Contest

Epilog Contest VII

Participated in the
Epilog Contest VII



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    11 Discussions


    3 years ago on Introduction

    This is absolutely beautiful. I am also really impressed with how clean and consistent your lettering is. You must have pretty steady hands.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    thank you!!I had lots of practice lettering some other wedding items and gifts I have made!!I use a very cheap woodburner I hope to get a better burner so to make more projects

    KanPo Studios

    3 years ago

    Very affective design.
    Carries the theme of togetherness. The contrast in the two species of wood is congruent.

    When I design by wood sculptures, I tend to stick with the traditional method of carving. Which means no flying sawdusts creating by power tools. Don't have the cash for a dust collection system. I really don't care for one. The only time I use power is for drilling the wasted space and the finishing minute details phase with a Dremel.

    Keep up the craft of wood carving.

    When you have some time check out the wood carvings of Chester Armstrong and Christopher White on the web. They are master of interpretive carvings. They are my gurus. That's the style I prefer to carve in.

    Check out by instructable : " Mother Hawk " in the interpretive style.

    Thanks BC for your beautiful artwork.

    1 reply
    BCDesignKanPo Studios

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    thank you for the kind comment!!I looked at your projects they are amazing!I have carving chisels and knives but find sharpening the tools very difficult especially the vtool so I will power carve more than hand carve.

    I am going to look at the work the men you mention above.I love looking at carvings.Your Mother Hawk is beautiful!

    Hi. this is an really nice idea! I Especially Liked the heart shape between the figures, that was described in the original drawing design. I was sorry it had disappeared in the final sculpture. : (

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Yes it was the original plan but a piece tore out and messed the heartshape up when drilling out the centre!it still is one of my favorite projects!thanks for the comment!