Even though we've carved hundreds of similar features through the years I've never tired of slathering on the mud (fiberglass reinforced concrete), waiting for it to harden just right and then attacking it with our homemade tools to fashion it into a detailed tree. The process is pure magic each and every time. Here's the log after I had applied the soft mud. I had to imagine where the bark would end and where I would need extra thick concrete to carve deep details in. Then we wait - but not too long.
Once the concrete has begun to set we need to work quickly, starting to carve where we first applied the mud and then work at the same speed to carve in the details.
Another tree is ready to paint once it cures for the right amount of time. Stay tuned to see the finished project.