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R.L. Blair
Sculptor, Wood Sculpture

bears sealife eagles spirit wall contact
 

Disney® Sculpture

You may not recognize the name, but chances are you have probably seen some of the extraordinary wood carvings produced by R.L. Blair.  In fact, it has been estimated that more than 30 million people view his work each year. That's because R.L. Blair is the premier woodcarver for Disney, with his work scattered throughout all of the Disney-owned theme parks. From whimsical woodland creatures to trademarked animated movie characters to chipper chipmunks and big goofy bears, R.L. Blair's carvings captivate both young and old.

"I've been working with Disney since the mid-1980s, but you won't see my name anywhere. They want people to think that Tinker Bell made it or something," he laughs.  "After all, it is the Magic Kingdom."  R.L. says that he enjoys this anonymity. It is enough for him just to know that in some small way his work has had an impact on the giant theme parks and has helped create the "Disney Magic."

-An excerpt from the book "Art of Chainsaw Carving" by Fox Chapel Publishing.

    Since 1986 R.L. Blair has created over 150 detailed wood sculptures for Walt Disney® Imagineering; here are just a few he created for Disneyland®, Disney® World, Tokyo Disney®, Disneyland® Paris, California Disney® Adventure, and most recently Hong Kong Disneyland®. The first woodsculpture R.L. carved for Disney® was Brer Bear Fox and Rabbit in 1986, located in Splash Mountain Disneyland®.

Brer Bear Sculpture

 

Disney® Brer Bear Fox and Rabbit Sculpture

10 feet tall - Redwood

R.L. carved three Brer Bear Fox and Rabbit Sculptures, pictured here is the first, completed in 1986, located in Disneyland®.  The other two are located in Walt Disney World®, and Tokyo Disney®.
 




 
Rabbit Sculpture

 

Disney® Brer Rabbit Relief Art

approx. 24" tall; 18" wide

R.L. also carved two more relief wood carvings, Brer Bear and Brer Fox.
 

Eagle Sculpture

 

Perched Eagle Sculpture
An R.L. Blair original design

Redwood

Located in Disneyland® Splash Mountain.

Although most of the carvings R.L. carves for Disney are Disney's copyrighted designs, some are R.L.'s design, this eagle is R.L.'s.   There is one very similar on the Perched Eagle page.



 
Buffalo Sculpture Life Size


 

Buffalo Sculpture
An R.L. Blair original design

Life size
Three-dimensional
Redwood

Located in Disneyland ® at a complex of three shops called Bonanza Outfitters, Silver Spur Supplies, and the American Buffalo Hat Company.

“Photo courtesy of MousePlanet.com”

Fishing Bear


 

Fishin' Bear
An R.L. Blair original design

Located in Disneyland®

Life size
Three-dimensional
Redwood

This fishing bear carving is wearing blue jean overalls, a fishing hat with lures attached, has a corn cob pipe, and his fishing pole.



Old Fashioned Baseball Players Life Size Figures

 

Old Fashioned Baseball Players - Life Size Figures
An R.L. Blair original design


Life size
Three-dimensional
Redwood

R.L. carved two sets of these Baseball players, one set for Disneyland® Paris and the other for Disney World®. Located at Casey's Corner.

In addition to the second set of Baseball players, he also carved an old fashioned male golfer, a football player, and a female tennis player.  If we remember right, they all went to Disney® World.

Mermaid Figurehead

Mermaid Figurehead
An R.L. Blair original design

Life size
Three-dimensional
Redwood

Located in Disneyland® Paris, also hand painted by R.L.

This is R.L.'s design, so it can be requested. To see the side and back of this wood carving check out the Mermaid Figurehead page.

This wood carving has an antique crackle finish applied to her scales to give her a distressed look.  Since this sculpture was commissioned by Disney®, R.L. had to discreetly hide her breasts. Along with this figurehead R.L. also did an Indian woman figurehead. and a large Pelican and Macaw. They went in a Pirate theme location, and although R.L. crackled the finish, we were told that after the figureheads arrived they were made to look even more distressed.

 
Carved Wooden Beaver


 

Sign Beaver
An R.L. Blair original design

Located in Disneyland®

Life size
Three-dimensional
Redwood

Carved Bears

 

Disneyland®, R.L. and Two Bears Save a Tree

This wood carving R.L. carved on the Disneyland® Splash Mountain premises.

A tree was badly damaged by construction work and rather than cut the tree down, early in the morning before Disneyland® opened R.L. carved the tree into a tree stump with two bears.

Backpacker Bear - Snowboarder Bear Backpacker Bear

Disney® Backpacker Bear and Snowboarder Bear

approx. 7 feet tall - Three-dimensional - Redwood

Rushin' River Outfitters, in California Disney® Adventure

Except for the paint, everything is carved wood, including the ropes. R.L. carved square knots in the ropes that surround the sleeping bag, and buckles in the backpack, the dial in the compass the bear is holding and is painted gold. There is a bear paw carved into the bears belt buckle, both bears were hand painted by R.L.

R.L. says the carving the jingle bells on the walking stick may have been the hardest part of the whole carving.

Beaver and Dragonfly Sculpture

 

Disney® Mythological Beliefs Sculptures

R.L. carved 8 story telling wood sculptures, I have included 4. Located in California Disney® Adventure. They are based on the stories that tell the mythological beliefs of different tribes.

Disney® Beaver and Dragonfly

approx. 7 feet tall
Three-dimensional
Redwood

California Disney® Adventure

R.L. says the hardest part of this wood carving was carving the sticks the beaver is sitting on. They need to stack correctly.

Turtle and Sun Sculpture

 

Disney® Turtle and Sun Sculpture

approx. 7 feet tall
Three-dimensional
Redwood

California Disney® Adventure
Mole with Flute Sculpture

 

Disney® Mole with Flute and Flame

approx. 7 feet tall
Three-dimensional
Redwood

California Disney® Adventure

Bull Fish Sculpture

 

Disney® Bull Fish swallows a Coyote

approx. 7 feet tall
Three-dimensional
Redwood

California Disney® Adventure

Bear Sculpture


 

Disney® Brother Bear Sculpture

14 feet tall
Three-dimensional
Redwood
 

2003, California Disney® Adventure

During the making of Brother Bear R.L. lost 10 pounds, and the Brother Bear log lost about 1500 pounds.

Tiki Totem Woodcarving


 

Carved Tiki Totem
An R.L. Blair original design


"Celebrating 50 Years of Magical Memories Auction" on July 15, 2005

AUCTION LOT #29

 This rare piece was hand-carved from the salvaged trunk of a jacaranda tree from the courtyard of Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room.

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(512) 945-9956 | rl.blair@yahoo.com | All work, photos, and designs, copyright © 2005-2013 R.L. Blair