Woodcarving is an open door to friendships made and being made. A carving can be an extension of the personality of the carver, so much so that we can know the carver through their carvings without having met one another in real life. Such friendships also happen in a casual meeting at a woodcarving show or in a carving seminar. Such was the case when Karen Scalin came to the Artistry in Wood Show in Dayton, Ohio in November of 2012. Listening to her passion for carving opened the “carving friendship door” to receive two photos of her style of carving. Those two photos needed to be shared with the visitors of this blog along with reading her story as an encouragement to us all to grow our passion for wood carving. So here is Karen in her own words: Read the rest of this entry »
Rich, Holli and daughter Skylar Smithson are owners and manufacturers of Helvie Knives which includes their signature series. The carving of Cinderella utilized three Signature Knives in carving a ten inch tall Cinderella on a two and a quarter inch by four and a quarter inch base. Skylar especially likes the Princess characters of Disney creation and is the recipient of this carving to add to her collection as a three and half year old who loves wood carvings.
Every carving project is a learning experience in which the carver attempts to create the best features of a particular subject. Carving the female face is more of a challenge than doing a caricature of a male face because female features are soft while the male face has hard lines. So even though Skylar immediately recognized the carving as being Cinderella by saying “It is HER,” yet from this carver’s perspective the face is not as soft, feminine or as youthful as had been hoped. So it is back to trying again on the next feminine project to carve the face closer to as it should be. This is another example that carving is an every growing and learning experience with each carving being simply a “practice piece” from which to continue to do one’s best. Read the rest of this entry »
Pictured to the left are the Survivor Students of the Whittle-Carving Class taught in Camdenton, MO (Lake of the Ozarks region) August 3-5, 2012. Included in the photo are Jim Wilson, Ray Fisk, Wally Norman, Jim Long, Brad Welch, Bonita Richards, Carolyn Curtis, Tom Wyrink, John Sejod, Barry Gentile, Tom Leaset, Marilyn Peck, Ken Gossage and Bud Murray.
Students learned in the knife carving class the basics for using a knife in a slicing action to make notch cuts and three cut triangular cuts to open up a block of wood for additional cuts to shape the project to its basic form. These cuts fall into the mantra that “one cut is not a cut to end all cuts,” but only an opening so that additional cuts can be made. To accomplish these lessons a three version face study stick was carved as the beginning project to not only practice the slicing cuts but also to learn about the Rule of Three of Facial Proportions. Read the rest of this entry »
Bud Murray and his wife Carol live in Camdenton, MO where they both carve and Bud makes carving knives and carving tools. Shortly after he began carving over twenty years ago, Bud began to make his own knives. A carving friend in Georgia made one for him and then taught him how to makes knives. Like carving, making knives grows with experience and with experience grows quality. A Murray knife has gained a reputation as a quality carving knife over the years. Murray Knives and Carving Tools are made by a carver for carvers and it does not get any better than that.
For almost two years now Bud has been making knives for the WOOD BEE CARVER according to his blade design and pistol grip handle. These knives are designed for Whittle-Carving style of utilizing the slicing cut as often as possible.
Used planer blades from the lumber industry is what Bud uses for the shaping and sharping of the blades that are mounted in either Walnut or China Berry wooden handles custom shaped by Bud. The photos that follow show a portion of his basement work shop area where the knives are transformed from high carbon tool steel into a functional carving knife. Bud uses grinders for stock removal in the shaping of each blade and then moves on to other motorized tools to continue the sharpening process. Finally, he strops by hand the finished blade on a series of finish abrasive paper held flat in specially designed holding devices. A final buffing brings the knife to the next stage of testing for carve ability which completes the final process. The wooden handles are treated with tung oil and then waxed for durability. Read the rest of this entry »
The idea for carving a Madonna and Child in the shape of the letter “J” connected to letters “O and Y” to spell “JOY” came from an editorial cartoon drawn by Steve Breen in 2007. A cartoon does not always have to evoke humor as much as it captures one’s imagination in a thoughtful manner. Such was the case with Steve Breen’s cartoon that nagged and prodded the creative muse to become a wood carving. Read the rest of this entry »
Doc Holiday is a historic figure who was part of the Gunfight at the OK Corral of Western lore. Many stories and movies interpreted with artistic license the character of Doc Holiday and there is no definitive and accurate account of where fact ends and fiction begins. Carving a figure of Doc Holiday becomes the imagination of the carver through various depictions of the Western outfit. In this case Doc is wearing a long dark duster over his suit vest, string tie and trousers. He is carrying a double barreled shot gun in his right hand while the butt of a pistol peaks out of the edge of the left side of his duster. Read the rest of this entry »
Rich Smithson along with his wife Holli and daughter Skylar own and manufacture Helvie Knives. Besides making popular carving knives, Rich is also an artist who decorates many special edition knife handles with his wood burning creations. Read the rest of this entry »
“Never judge a book by its cover,” is a wise old saying that is often truer than fiction and yet it is the cover that invites a look inside the book. Steve Prescott was commissioned to develop a book cover for a collector friend, author Coleman Archer who has written a collection of short stories about western life in the Texas panhandle in the early 1900’s. Read the rest of this entry »