Three years ago I posted on the amazing skull art of Robert Nichols, a deer hunter from Oklahoma. I told Robert that I thought his work was awesome, incredible really. I figured he had carved, engraved and painted professionally for years. Robert wrote me back:
Hey Mike: Thanks for the compliment on my engravings! This is a new hobby for me. We got snowed in for a couple days last November. My wife had been telling me I should try something like this for a while, so she convinced me to do it. I had a small shed antler and figured, “Why not?”
You asked what tools I use. I’m using a 15-year-old dremel…I just picked it up and hit the ground running.
I was astounded by that and told Robert so. But then I hadn’t seen any more of his outstanding work until these pictures popped up on social. Definitely Robert’s style and as good as ever.
I emailed him and asked why the 3-year break in skull engraving?
Well, turns out Robert suffered a work injury, complications set in and many surgeries followed. He suffered nerve damage, including to one of his hands. “I was off work for 2 years and couldn’t do much of anything,” he told me. “It took a toll both physically and mentally.”
I’m happy to report that Robert is recovering and back to engraving skulls. He has offered to carve and paint a skull for me if I’d send him one. It will go out the door this week and I can’t wait to see it! I also hope to get out there sometime and shoot a BIG DEER TV segment with Robert.
Glad to see you back at it man, you have a gift!