Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Carving Friends

St. NicholasJim Hecker, my friend and woodcarver from Minnesota carved a St. Nicholas for a dear lady and tells a story of the common carving journey any carver can make while creating a new subject to be carved. That journey begins with a challenge to carve a subject that is new to the carver. The challenge turns into a creative opportunity to carve an interpretation of the subject by using one’s creative imagination to plan the carving process. Creative imagination guides the carver to learn by doing and to design while carving the imagined mental picture of the subject. Jim chose to carve two of the same subject at the same time as a way to learn from the first one and take what was learned to refine the second carving. The final part of the carving journey comes with the recipient of the carving being very appreciative and the carver rewarded with the experience of learning on the carving journey. The photographs and Jim’s account of his journey indicates that he learned a carving lesson to pass on to us as we follow the wood chips of his inspiration to carve our own journey.

Saint Nicholas 2014 ~ I n August, a 94 year old woman in our local care center asked me to carve a Saint Nicholas figure for her to give to her grandson Nick, who was born on St. Nicholas Day, December 6. She had made the same request a year earlier, and I had looked up some images and carved a simple St. Nicholas for her. This time she provided me with a greeting card picture of Saint Nicholas and said she would like one to look like that. I told her I didn’t think I would be able to carve a figure that was just like the picture, but I would be willing to see what I could do

St. Nicholas            St. Nicholas            St. NicholasSt. Nicholas            St. Nicholas            St. Nicholas

A 1 ¾ x 2 ¼ x 4 ½ in Basswood block gave me the size I wanted to work with. I carved two figures together, so that if I tried something on one that didn’t work, I could do something different on the other. With the picture as a reference, I drew a few lines on the blocks, sawed out the basic shapes, and started whittling. I used a small V-tool to texture the hair and beards and resorted to a small U-gouge for the openings in the sleeves. All the rest of the carving was done with knives. I painted on bare wood with acrylics thinned with water and applied a coat of paste finishing wax. I am very pleased with both of the carvings and I’m glad I made one for myself. The photos tell the story of this carving journey.

St. Nicholas          St. NicholasSt. Nicholas            St. Nicholas              St. Nicholas

When I delivered Saint Nicholas, the woman was delighted and had a great time showing him off to her fellow residents before giving him to her grandson.  It was very gratifying for me to be able to make a dear elderly lady so happy using a chunk of basswood and a knife.

Thank you Jim, for guiding us towards another carving adventure in the journey of a carving lifetime.

This entry was posted on Friday, January 16th, 2015 at 3:45 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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