Sonny Umpad’s Carvings


These images are all taken from ten inches of carving Sonny did for me on one stick years ago.  He carved thousands of items in his career, an astonishing body of work that included sticks, training knives, handles on real weapons and more.  Anything he got his hands on became a functional work of art, and always with a fit and feel that was better than original.


Two faces

Two faces again

Two faces, another look

One of Two faces

Tribal face

Tribal face, closer

Tribal and confused faces

Totemic face

Totemic face, closer



Tribal 1

Tribal 2

Tribal 3

Tribal 4

Tribal 5

Tribal 6

Tribal 7

Sonny and a wall of weapons in his home

Sonny’s first USA stick from his mom

Handmade training blades

Carved inlaid handle, live blade

Wood daga collection

Detail of handle

Detail of two handles

Detail of three handles

Wooden kris

Several blade shapes

Single blade shape


This next knife was carved for me out of a block of delrin that I gave to Sonny around 1994.  After he finished, he said plastic was too tough and that he’d never do that again.  I used to bring it to classes but then it disappeared about 1-1/2 years ago.  Exactly two weeks after he passed away, I just randomly dug into the bottom of a box buried in a closet, and there was the knife on the bottom!

Black knife 1

Black knife – opposite side

Black knife – detail guard and blade

Black knife – guard detail other side

Black knife – detail top of handle

Black knife – detail butt of handle



Sonny’s Memorial Page