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Crass Carvings

Hand-carved and hand-burned artwork.

Crass Carvings are created from the thick bark of fallen Alaskan cottonwood trees, and only simple palm chisels are used to bring the creations to life.  The inspiration for each piece is drawn from anything and everywhere, ranging from the natural shape of the wood to references from Pop Culture.  Each carving is sealed with a natural finish which is a combination of mineral oil, beeswax, and carnauba wax to bring out the deep grain of the bark while avoiding harsh chemicals and smells.  Because each of the faces is hand-carved, each creation is unique and they tend to have their own unique personalities, as well.  They like a little conversation once in a while, just as long as you don’t mind them not talking back… most of the time.

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"A tree is our most intimate contact with nature."

George Nakashima

Crass Carving Artwork

Special Projects / Commissions


Y. B. Retail Sign


August Crass:

First and foremost, I am a stay at home dad who dove into woodworking to attempt to maintain my sanity.  I have always been fascinated by woodworking and creating things with my hands.  When my wife and I relocated to Alaska from Wisconsin in 2009, I discovered cottonwood bark carving at one of the local art markets.  After a little experimentation, I was hooked and Crass Carvings came to life.  In 2013, with two new daughters and amazing memories made, we relocated back to the Midwest and currently reside in Madison, WI. 

During the summer of 2016 a powerful thunderstorm blew an Ash tree onto our house.  In an attempt to make the best of a bad situation, I expanded Crass Carvings to include wood burned items to deal with my sudden windfall of branches and extra material.  These days, my wood burned items are sourced from salvaged branches in my neighborhood, either downed from storms or trimmed by my neighbors. 

Overall, I suppose I view my artwork as up-cycling wood that would otherwise become wood chips, compost, or kindling.  I guess I'm just trying to give Nature a second chance, one small piece at a time.

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