Last year I had the wonderful opportunity to carve a half-size creche scene for Mepkin Abbey in Moncks Corner, SC
It was carved in Paulownia wood – a very lightweight, but strong wood.
Mepkin Abbey has a yearly Creche festival where they collect 40+ Creche scenes from around the world – mostly hand made. If you ever have an opportunity to see the festival, it is really quite beautiful.
The carving was a real challenge because I only had about a month to complete all 3 figures. Grinders removed most of it. And then I used an electric carver to get closer to the final shape. Then I hand-carved the final details. I really enjoyed the challenge of the whole project. Since I do not carve figures much, that added to the adventure.
Here is a link to a recent newspaper article.