A few years ago my family started drawing names for a Christmas gift exchange. The only rule was it had to be homemade. This is the one that I made this year and actually remembered to hit the Publish button!

I drew my sisters name and wanted to do something native american. The thunderbird is a widely used symbol found across many tribes that comes in a variety of forms and meanings. To us it means unlimited happiness.

I have heard that the Miamis used hickory for a number of things including arrows since the wood is sturdy and straight. Being Miami I figured that was as good as a reason as any and took a hickory 'short' off the shelf and went to work.

The board was rough sawn and needed to be planed first. To get past some of the pitting I had to make quite a few passes which mean a lot of sawdust. It was about halfway through this process that my template blew off the table and landed on the sawdust pile. Of course I had to stop work to snap a photo. 

Did I mention that I made a lot of sawdust?

I tried my hand at carving the wood with some limited success. If I make a second attempt at wood carving I'll choose a softer wood for sure. 

To keep the rest of the process easy I wiped on a couple coats of tung oil, wrapped it up and delivered it just in time for Christmas!

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