Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Carving Friends

The value of participating in a carving class is multifaceted in that one learns not only from the instructor, but also from the camaraderie of fellow students and the act of carving the project.  Jim Hecker, a carving friend, recently participated in a carving class and has written a brief description of the class experience as well as photographs of his project of a Norwegian female figure. (click on each photo to enlarge.)

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JIM HECKER, in his own words describes BECKY LUSK CARVING CLASS

The Plymouth (MN) Woodcarvers Club sponsored a class in April with Becky Lusk, Vesterheim Gold Medalist Norwegian-American woodcarver from Coon Valley, Wisconsin. Thirteen carvers enjoyed two days of camaraderie while learning to carve Becky’s Norwegian style figures. Projects were available for all skill levels and included gnomes, fjord horses, Vikings, angels, various females and guys, elves, and trolls. She also had photo albums of her carvings to peruse for more ideas. Blanks/cutouts with patterns were offered for purchase and she had a completed carving of each figure for a go-by.  Becky made the rounds of the tables to patiently assist and guide each individual as needed.

 I chose the female figure Becky named “The Traveler” for my main project. I had not carved from someone else’s blank for a long time and was quickly reminded of the benefits and limitations of this approach. With a cutout, major wood removal has been accomplished with a band saw so you can quickly get to the refining and detail carving. At the same time, you are limited to the wood remaining so there is little opportunity to exercise your creativity with variations on the established form. Becky likes to use gouges and V-tools wherever she can, but I stuck with my knives. I did use a small V-tool on the backpack grooves and to outline the apron and the hole was made through the hand with a drill. Everything else was done with knives. So my figure, especially the face, has a somewhat different look than her original. I did the painting at home with water-thinned acrylics and a final finish of Watco Natural Danish Oil. All in all I was pleased with the final product. (If you want to learn more about Becky, simply do an internet search for Becky Lusk and you will find many links to photos and information about her and her carvings.)

T 10T 9After having read the class description and experience it may be beneficial to take another look at the photographs of “The Traveler” to allow a visual tutorial to study this unique Norwegian style of carving through the creativity of Jim Hecker.

Thanks to Jim Hecker for giving us a glimpse into the class experience. Every carver should be encouraged to participate in a carving class from time to time for the purpose of honing one’s skills, expanding one’s carving horizon, learn a thing or two that adds to the carving experience and enjoy the camaraderie of carving friends.  It is these class experiences that will encourage the best learning as each carver learns best by carving their own projects on their own time.  It is the carving done in between classes that really become the best learning experience because we learn by doing.  The more one carves the better one carves.


This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 14th, 2014 at 1:50 pm and is filed under Carving Friends. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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