Iron wood faces


In Zimbabwe, where the sun beats down, Wood is precious, not to be wasted. It's gathered up before it's burned, To be carved into art, instead of tasted.

Local faces come to life, In the skilled hands of the carver. Their beauty captured, without strife, To be admired forever and ever.

From the hardest wood, with chisel and mallet, A masterpiece is born, for all to see. It's more than art, it's a way of life, In Zimbabwe, where nature and people meet.

The fire may be denied its fuel, But the art that comes from it is truly cool. In Zimbabwe, a land of creativity, Firewood is transformed into art with sensitivity.



Ironwood is a popular material used in Shona sculpture from Zimbabwe, known for its durability and rich, dark color. Many artists in the region use this material to create unique pieces, often depicting faces, animals, and abstract forms. The "Ironwood faces" sculpture is a beautiful example of this, saved from firewood and carved by unknown artists. Learn more about the art of Shona sculpture and the use of ironwood in our website.

Where these sculpture came from:

On my way to Mutare, I came across two Zimbabwean Sculptors who were showing their wares on the side of the road (see photo).  I stopped as was my habit and found 8 extremely unusual sculptors of faces carved on iron wood.  The wood it seemed had been used partly to make a fire as it was slightly charcoaled.  I picked up a piece and was tremendously surprised by the weight of the wood.  It looks much lighter than it is. We had to exhibit these wonderful pieces in Mapiti.

 Artists unknown!   The pieces stand about 50 to 70cm.

Marvel at the beauty and see the carving by clicking here on Instagram and if you liked the last one click here to see another post