Learning How To Do Wood Carving


Learning Wood Carving

If I caught your attention with the title of this article then the likelihood is high that my wood carving classes and workshops might be just the thing you are looking for. In the old days, if I can speak of them romantically as such, the cabinetmaker was an able woodcarver as well. Don't be overwhelmed, we are not talking about carving the Lincoln Memorial. We are talking about adding little colorful details that create a signature so that everyone knows from that moment on that it was done by you and your hands. Walk with me for a moment and let me share my perspective with you.

Most woodworking projects are geometrical in nature. Sure we add hardwoods, nice moldings, beautiful joints, carefully crafted doors and a superfine finish but what one really responds to is the overall design. Design is everything. What you start with on a sketchpad with a pencil ends up being a three dimensional shape with some minor adjustments as the process evolves in wood.

The most fundamental principle of design is contrast, where straight lines are complimented with curve lines. We live in a world of contrasts where opposites meet. Night-day, land-ocean, rough-smooth, men-women, and near-far are all a part of the environment around us. We respond to it like we respond to the beauty in a face. Working with woodcarving in this same way brings out the idea of contrast in your work and thus evokes a response in the observer. Woodcarving is totally built on curves, so it is a natural contrast to the straight lines of your woodworking projects. I went through an apprenticeship, taught by European masters and I am happy to share my knowledge and information with you. In fact, I get great satisfaction out of seeing someone light up with the same enthusiasm I have for woodcarving.

We will explore the types of wood best for woodcarving and the important steps in designing your ideas. We will look closely at sharpening, a critical aspect of a good woodcarving tool. We will explore how to handle the woodcarving tools and move through the different stages of carving, from roughing out to delicate detailing. You don't need to be a physical giant to handle carving tools: it is all in the technique. This is a hands-on class where you can learn, at your own pace, skills that will enhance your carving ability for years of success and enjoyment. My woodcarving classes and workshops will shift you from the feeling that you are approaching woodcarving with no clear direction or reference points, to the knowledge that you are beginning to acquire the skills and control akin to a professional woodcarver.

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