S H E R P E . C O M  
  Chip Carving by Howard Sherpe  
  Skjerpe Wood Carvings:  
Individually Hand-Crafted
by Howard M. Sherpe

Stave Church Carvings:

This relief carving design is from the Urnes Stave Church in Norway. Thecarving is done in Basswood and measures 24" long, 13" wide, by 3/4" deep.

If interested, contact me
to discuss price.


Tine Boxes:

Tine boxes were used for storage in Norway. These are made from Basswood.

The Tine Boxes are carved with Rosemale designs by Howard Sherpe.

PRICE: Contact me for pricing.

The Tine Boxes are made by Richard Ekern of Westby, Wisconsin. If you would like to order uncarved. unfinished Tine Boxes, contact Richard Ekern, 502 W. State Street Westby, WI 54667.
Phone: 608-634-3158


ach item on this page is done by hand with no use of power carving tools. I want to remain true to the old folk art tradition, so that I can retain the hand carved look of the folk art created by my ancestors from Norway. No two works are identical, as handcarving yields
no clones.

Once an item is purchased it can't be replaced by another identical copy off an assembly line. Each piece is signed on the back, H.M. Skjerpe. "Skjerpe" is the original Norwegian spelling of the Sherpe name.

Ale Bowls (ØLBOLLE)

Click on the Ale Bowl
to see more samples.

Ale Bowls carved from one block of wood and used as drinking vessels have an unbroken tradition in Norway from at least the late Middle Ages when they replaced horns for this purpose. A common feature of these early drinking vessels is two handles with animal heads that project out from the body in opposite directions. The earliest examples had elongated bodies and heads which were dragon-like, probably to ward off evil.

In the 18th century, the ale bowls underwent a domestication when the dragon heads, which had Pagan origins, gave way to heads of horses with necks that gracefully arch up. This shift to horse head handles may have seemed quite natural at the time because the horse had been associated with protection. An additional association was with fertility, which has led to speculation that the horses' presence on the bowls may relate to their prominence at weddings.

The ale bowl was often used at weddings by the bride and groom so they might share the ale from the same drinking vessel.

Contact me for price based on size and complexity of design.





Crosses with chip carved designs can be special ordered. The large basswood cross shown above is 23" x 16-1/2"x 3/4". It was carved as a memorial and now hangs in the Vermont Lutheran Church in Dane County, Wisconsin.
Celtic Cross: 7-1/2" x 4" x 3/4".

Click on cross to see larger version.

PRICES: Quoted upon request.


Ale Hens (ØLHØNES)

Click on the Ale Hens
to see more examples.

(Ølhøne): "¯lh¿ne," translated means "Ale-hen," and it played an important part in ancient Norwegian history and culture. The "Ølhøne" was a common Norwegian drinking vessel made out of wood and was used in the period from 1300 to 1850. They vary in size, shape and decoration. They were used for beer in connection with weddings, Christmas, burials and other religious occasions.

In ancient Norway, beer brewing was common on all farms, and beer was used on all occasions. The "Ølhøne" was a part of each and every family heritage, and was passed on to the next generation as "family treasures." The "Ølhøne" disappeared from common use in Norway when coffee came to Norway in the 1800's. The small, bird-shaped drinking vessel was placed in a large bowl filled with ale (beer). Some were painted, others were chip carved and left a natural wood color. It was a colorful feast for special occasions with all the ale hens (ølhønes) floating on the surface of the ale.

Most families couldn't afford to have enough drinking vessels for each guest, so they would share the ølhønes. They didn't worry about getting another person's germs, besides, the alcohol would kill most of the germs anyway!

These Ale Hens (Ølhønes) are hand carved out of a block of basswood, and decorated with chip carving. They vary slightly in side depending on design. Approximate size: 6" long, 3" high, 2-1/2" wide.

PRICE: Ale Hens are made to order and price will vary depending on complexity of design and size. Contact me if interested.


More Carvings:

Church Bench Art
Birkebeiner Carving
Fjord Horses
Mangle Boards
Norwegian spoons
Bread Boards



Contact Howard Skjerpe to discuss designs you want, based on the samples shown in this section.
Then a price and turn-around time can be determined for your order.

Contact Howard Sherpe




Lena & Ole's
Joke of the Week:

Everyone needs a little humor!

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