Bill and I had a sometimes business carving "genuine" Tiki gods, and other countercultural junk. This we accomplished mostly with a Dremel tool and routers. One of us had to find cheap wood for these projects, and scrounging was my specialty.
I found the wood sitting in the shorts at my favorite hardwood dealer. It was very dark, heavy, and dense. It was mahogany but so dark and heavy that I felt that it was a wayward piece of Dominican and not Honduran. It was just what I wanted. I was interested in, one with a distinctive font ( Barnhard Modern) and to give it both a center and ends that undulate. The result was pleasing. At shows, people run their hands over the banner as a sensual experience, precisely what I wanted.
The scent of place ties me to the memory of it. Walking into my shop and smelling varnish and linseed oil transports me to boat shops and boatyards where I've worked. Without a moment of transport, I've returned, even if it was long ago.
You might have a hancing piece in any place that needed a graceful transition.
Salvaged from the Titanic, this carved panel still looks like the woodcarver finished yesterday despite having spent most of a century in the darkness of the North Atlantic.
Boundless inspiration. It's not always available. That's why art books and museums are so valuable.
There is no definitive book on halibut schooners. It's hard to define a "type" there is so much variation. Some are transom sterned, but others like the one I've carved are canoe sterned. All had moderate deadrise ( not flat bottomed), and tended to be plumb stemmed, but not always. See the problem?
Pine is a worthwhile wood for carving: It's readily available in a variety of species; many times, it will be the economical choice of wood, and with sharp tools can yield a rewarding carving experience.
Sometimes you have to close your eyes to see.