Giving life to wood – Wood sculpture

About the Artist


Alec took to carving very naturally. Using chisels and knives, the self-taught woodcarver transforms plain pieces of wood into breathtaking works of art. He specializes in highly detailed, startlingly realistic weathered faces with dancing smiles and eyes that pierce the soul.


What he does


Alec LaCasse, an unassuming seventeen-year-old from Leonard, Michigan, has displayed a propensity for art since early childhood. He began carving five years ago when a teacher offered him a beginner’s woodworking kit. “I remember sitting on the front porch to whittle a boot featured in a booklet,” Alec recalled. “Looking back, it was the first time I ever sat in one spot for three and a half hours without budging!” The Old Cheyenne and Christ with Crown of Thorns won first place and the Best of Show award, respectively, at the 2010 Frankenmuth Woodcarving Show. Additionally, Alec was a special guest at the Greater Lansing Wood Carvers, 18th Annual Wood Show in April 2011, which brought together more than sixty carvers from around the state. Recently, Alec also started teaching woodcarving workshops. His advice to new carvers? “Never become completely satisfied with your art, don’t beat yourself up, but always strive for better work. Create what is in your heart.” -Kathleen Ryan of Woodcarving Illustrated.

Why does he do this


Just a year after beginning to carve, Alec displayed his work at a small craft fair and sold out in the first half hour. “I had to go back home two more times that day to get additional carvings!” he said with a laugh. “That was the day I experienced for myself the joy of creating something that others enjoy.”

  • Wood sculptor
  • Painter
  • Woodcarving teacher
  • Guitar Player

Tools of the trade; Chip Carving Knife. The most basic wood carving tool. Chip carving knives consist of a blade that is about an inch and a half long, with a long handle designed for comfort, so it doesn’t hurt your hand. You can find chip carving knives for around $20. Good, high-quality ones sell for around $50. If you’re serious about your craft, it’s a valuable investment. A quality chip carving knife will be made of high carbon steel and will not wear out as quickly as a cheap one.