"Basswood is my wood of choice for carving with hand tools. It grows along creek banks like alder does here in Oregon, but in Wisconsin and the upper New England states, with cold winters for the tight grain. Also called linden wood and was used on carousel animals. I use milk paint on my carvings which was used in Shaker furniture. I sand the resulting dullish finish to reveal some of the wood beneath and to brighten the figure."