Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Carving Projects


Mahogany Indian bust was carved out of one and three quarter inch square by two and half inch tall block of very old mahogany given to me by a carving friend from Michigan.  It was carved using traditional carving tools with knife carving used only for detail work.  It was finished using Howard Feed-N-Wax which brought out the natural beauty of old mahogany.

Carvings of Native Americans have always been an interest for me both in admiring the art of other carvers and learning the art of carving Native Americans from notable instructors.  Either through their books , through their instruction  or casual observation I have learned  various aspects of what is involved in carving Native American subjects from these mentors.

The real learning, however, is the actual carving the subject trying to incorporate what has been learned from these mentors.   The combination of all these influences mixed in the sub-consciousness of creativity guides the carver to learn while doing.  The goal is to develop one’s own style that has been refined, nurtured and inspired by all that one has learned from others.  While each of the mentors have contributed much  to this learning,  yet few carvers are able to duplicate an exact copy of a mentor’s art.  It is in the learning by doing that a carver incorporates the best of other carving mentors to be used by the personality of the carver to become one’s own style.

Mahogany Indian was such a learning experience.  In fact, every new carving project is a learning experience.  As I often say, “The more one carves the better one carves.” This is true because we learn by doing  and by doing we incorporate what we have learned from others to become our own learning experience.  I practice my philosophy, “Would be carvers would be carvers if they would carve wood,” every time I carve.  Every time I carve it is a journey, a journey of learning each step of the way, each chip removed, each slicing cut and each struggling with how to make the image in the mind become the reality in the carved block of wood.

It is with appreciation as well as admiration I mention some of the carvers who in one way or another have inspired and guided my learning to carve the subject of Native Americans. The following have mentored me in Native American carving art:  Harold Enlow, Stu Martin,  John Burke, Vic Hood, Terry Brasher, George Vaughn,  Jeff Phares, Terry Kramer, Gary Falin, Rex Branson, Lynn Doughty and a host of anonymous carvers whose work has been admired over the years.  Thank you one and all for contributing to my education still occuring every time I carve.

This entry was posted on Sunday, February 7th, 2010 at 4:04 pm and is filed under Carving Projects. 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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