The WOOD BEE CARVER has always practiced “learning by doing” using the philosophy: “Would be carvers would be carvers if they would carve wood.” Within that philosophy is the awareness that “Woodcarving is more the journey than the destination,” which means that it is in doing the activity of carving that is more important that the completed carving.
On this “journey” one learns more by stretching one’s abilities and horizon by attempting different styles and types of carving. Every carving project is a learning experience and should never be concerned about not carving “perfectly.” The concern is to grow and develop one’s carving activity.
This “journey” includes reading and studying carving magazines and books, taking carving classes and experimenting by carving something new and different. It is also doing a “Twenty Minute Workout” of taking a piece of wood and any carving tool to experiment with what all that tool can do. It can also be called “whittling away time” which is not a waste of time, but a time of investing in discoveries. Such discoveries in these “Twenty Minute Workouts” become a part of the mind and hand coordination that results in an ease of carving from the heart.
The WOOD BEE CARVER is primarily a knife carver who continues to strive to be a “real carver” by carving with “real carving tools” like gouges, V tools, skews and chisels. So there is a learning curve negotiated only by trying something new and different from “whittle-carving” only with a knife.
If “Wood carving is more the journey than the destination,” then the “destination” of a completed carving is a signpost of where the carver is on the journey. A completed carving is a “diary entry” of what one experienced while doing that carving. Additional “entries in the carving diary” are made with each carving to show where one has been and where one is going on the “journey of carving.”
A “journey” the WOOD BEE CARVER makes every once in a while is into the wonderful world of “relief carving” by taking classes and experimenting with relief carving of one’s own design. Two such designs are of local landmarks that were carved in relief as commission projects.
When viewing the following photographs please note that these are “learning pieces” which are in no way “perfect” relief carvings. They are an attempt to learn by doing so they have fulfilled their purpose for this stage of the journey. They are posted here to be an encouragement to other “would be carvers” to attempt to do something new and different by stretching one’s ability and horizon.
These basswood plaques are one inch by twelve inches by sixteen inches. Each has been stained using boiled linseed oil and raw sienna artist oil paint with the frames stained with burnt umber and boiled linseed oil. Each one is a “signpost” and “diary entry” on the “journey of woodcarving.”