Shown below are two versions of the same Texas relief carving. The image on the left is a finished product with obvious cracking/checking in the mesquite wood. The image on the right also is a finished product, but I filled the cracks with turquoise-colored sawdust. One carving, two dramatic results.
Wood Filling
Additional Information
Acknowledgments
All website content Copyright © 2010 Kenneth Rex Holubec. All rights reserved.
All photographs on this website were taken by Ken Holubec.
Photos: Copyright © 2010 Kenneth Rex Holubec. All rights reserved.

My thanks to William Braud and Winona Schroeter for help in constructing and maintaining this website.

I am grateful for R. L. Blair's chainsaw carving guidance and friendship.

I recommend a visit to R. L. Blair's wood sculpture website.
I finish my carvings with a minimum of two coats of either a spar urethane sealant or a penetrating oil base wood stain with UV protection. However, this will not completely stop the cracking/checking as the wood dries over a period of time, especially if the carving is left outdoors. Cracking or checking in the wood is a natural process. Many people feel, as do I, that this adds to the character and beauty of the carving.
Wood Finishing

This page provides additional information about my carvings, along with a few photos of the environment in which I do this work.