J.P. Uranker
Master Woodcarver

Martha's Vineyard, MA

Studio: 508-693-5871
Cell: 508-939-1447


This web site showcases the quality woodcarving of Joseph Paul Uranker, Martha’s Vineyard’s Master Woodcarver. J.P. specializes in handcarved dovetailed sea chests, eagles, quarterboards, boat hooks, knot work and handsomely decorative folk art to enjoy both inside & outside your home or business.

My handcarved heirlooms are rich in history, detail and design. The deep, deliberate curves and lines left by my chisels are a statement to the quality and craftsmanship that go into each piece carved

Click through this site to view beautifully hand-carved woodwork.


Newest video! And final presentation, for "JENNY B"
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3 months ago

Newest video! And final presentation, for "FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA" My hope is to make to viewing more enjoyable for all to follow, I hope you agree.
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6 months ago

FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA (20 photos) ... See MoreSee Less

For an artist the highest praise is when a patron enjoys your creativity to seek you out and commission you to do another creation for thei...

9 months ago

For an artist the highest praise is when a patron enjoys your creativity to seek you out 
and commission you to do another creation for their enjoyment. I recently did a handcarved Sea Chest for a patron from California, he was visiting Cape Cod and took the boat over to visit me in my studio. When he and his wife’s visit they saw “GOD IS OUR REFUGE & STRENGTH” waiting to fly home to it’s new home.  Well both enjoyed her so much that they have commissioned me to do one for them with a slight difference with the motto  to say “ FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA” .  So she will be different from her sister, and I will be adding additional depth to the top wing area and make her unique is some other areas that I saw after she was finished. 
    One of the habits or let me say values that way passed on to me from my Depression era parents is that you don’t throw anything that you can possible use again of some more. So you will notice the small pieces of Mahogany that I am using that I have save from previous carvings. So let the journey begin, I will post more as she comes life.
  I have added some pictures with her in her reduced size she now weighs 35lbs vs her original 80 lbs. All the feathers & Flags are laid in and ready for the carving and shaping to start. The layers of the head are cut out and ready to made whole, she will continue to lose some weight as she progresses at chip at a time as the journey continues.
  The process or let's say her progress is now taking shape. The roughing out is very important and more time is spent analyzing her as I remove the areas not needed. FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA will have a more fuller body than her sister and Mother had she will be more or have a more proud and fuller head also. The head will be carved so beak on her will be pointing up or out from her body. Well that all for now, back to carving.
 Well did you ever have an itch that you just had to scratch and it was so good after you did? I kept on looking at “ FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA”  and want to see how the head would appear once I started to get her into shape. So I scratched away some or lets say I scratched a  lot on wood and attached the head to the body and shaped the head so she will have that proud look that I want to have with her. So just a fast up date and now I will take some time and have her talk to me on how I should go from here.
  She is starting to take some more shape and form from her original block appearance and developing a flow. Her wings are going to be more forward and coming out towards the viewer and that will effect the banners later, as I will need to add more of a flow and dip to them. Her development will slow down some now as I do more analyzing as I carve so she keeps her balance on both sides.
  It has been a while since I last posted any pictures on the progress of “ FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA”.  She is becoming more fully dimensional both front and back, the flag ends are getting showing more of the flow of a folded flag. The front has more reduction in the flag, shield, and the flag standards ends are coming along. As you will see the wings have become more proud and flowing, she will be more sweeping than her sister and mother.Her head area is coming along nicely, it will have a fuller and higher or again a more proud or pointed beak area. Well more to come as she comes more to life.
    The details are coming out as she looses more weight, and she slims down. The front and the back are taking shape with the American flag is really starting to come to life with all the folds and under cutting. As always the wings and feather are becoming more pronounced and have a more sweeping flow and they will have a sweeping ends flowing up. Her head has a more sweeping flow and becoming thinner as the feathers are also getting more form and detail along with the back side of her head, the back will have a same details as her front. The points of the flag poles along with tassels are also taking shape, it's a flip, flop time of for the carving so she  keeps the proper balance doing so much carving in her front then flipping her over to do the same the back.. Well enough for now more to come soon.
 Developing her head both front and back, as you will or can see the she now has vision on both sides of her head. Even though most will not see her from this angle or point of view I want her to have the fullness that you get when you do a complete carving, you add more depth or lets say dimensionality when create a complete carving. Developing the feathers and adding a swooping or a flowing downward from top to the flag. More thinning of the feathers and added detail as she progresses on her journey.
    More progress on “ FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA”  you will see her back area being developed and defined. I know you will probably never see it all but it does add to the dimensionality of the carving. The tassel on the ends of the flag poles would be good example of this, her mother was created with a flat side to the tassels and body overall and does not come out to greet you but leaves you with a promise of more to come. As you will see the top of the wings and head have been enhanced with a polymer filler, I removed more than I wanted to so I am now adding it back to give her more of a pronounced top feather area. Along with the American flag end coming to life along with her claws I think that covers everything for right now.
 I needed to add some more pictures and video before I get too far along so the carving process can be followed more easily. This is a slow process and I need to do a lot of flipping and flopping of the eagle so to have the tassels keep a natural appearance and flow. Simple things which this is not should be kept simple, complex things which is what this is should be possible.
  Again I needed to add some more pictures and video before I get too far along so the carving process can be followed more easily. Again this is a slow process and I needed to do a lot of flipping and flopping of the eagle so to have the tassels keep a natural appearance and flow. The TASSELS are all formed and taking shape,more depth and form to come. The claws are coming to life with the joint detail developing nicely. 
   More pictures on our progress with all the details now coming alive with all the rough spots being eliminated. You will see some blue filler that enhances some areas and it will be part of the permanent makeup. She's now going be to installed for a while on my studio wall for some observation and looking for the mistakes or added details.
 The DEVIL is in the details, and the process of drawing and in some instances re drawing the feather can be more than frustrating, but well worth the time. I have laid in the long and small feathers on her and primed the entire carving both front and back.   This will raise the wood and make the hic ups and need added details more visible on the carving. The next step will be to re carve the entire eagle adding more depth and sharpness to the all the feather, this adds to the her final appearance and will enhance the presentation when I do the Gold Leafing. Now onto the a lot of sanding and re carving.  I will also be adding videos to give you all a running commentary on what on my carving process.

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