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Minnesota Hobbies: Caricature Carving - Using an Apple for Your Carving Project

Updated on September 29, 2016

Apple Carving by Shep Shapiro


Isadore "Shep" Shapiro

Since I have a yard that contains many established apple trees and only so many people who can come and get apples, I decided to research new possibilities for apple use. When my father passed away in 2012, I had to sort through his things and found an article written in the mid 1960s about a man who carved incredible caricatures using apples as his carving base.

He had been visiting his mother in the hospital and carved a face on an apple to pass the time. I googled the name in the article and found that he had passed away in 1993 at the age of 79. He was from Minnesota.

I went to eBay and found that today, some 45 plus years later, his apples are being sold on auctions. The workmanship is incredible. It's an apple. A dried and preserved apple.

The apples were marketed by Marshall Field & Co., C.D. Peacock & Co. and Alfred Dunhill as well as outlets in Amsterdam and Milan, Italy. They are still available, in 2015, on eBay.

What an incredible tribute!

See the Potential That I Have

Thousands of apples stay on my trees every fall.
Thousands of apples stay on my trees every fall. | Source

Attempt Number One - Carved Apple


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    • Teodora Gheorghe profile image

      Teodora Gheorghe 3 years ago

      Making apple sculptures is not only about talent, but also about a great sensitivity... seeing stories in the smallest details and bringing them to life. Great hub!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for sharing the apple carvings. They look interesting!

    • profile image

      fikri wildan 3 years ago

      that's cool . . .

    • firstcookbooklady profile image

      Char Milbrett 3 years ago from Minnesota

      Next I will work on an apple picker tool that uses a grabber that is wearing gloves with a trigger, so I can pick more from the ground. The trees are too big to shake the apples down and too brambly to climb decent. I have a small orchard, so perhaps farmers market next year instead of the lowly tomato, which everyone seems to sell.... I'll do apples.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Suggestion for your apple tree: Are there any groups such as girl scouts or boy scouts who might pick the apples and then be able to donate them to a local food pantry? That way they would not go to waste.

      Amazing carvings! I wonder what preserves those amazing carvings by Shep Shapiro? In the one photo it almost appears as though it has been lacquered.