MYRON COMPTON – A Carving Friend

   Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Carving Friends

 Myron Compton  of Pekin, Indiana, is pictured with his winning carving with a Lynn Doughty  original carving of Quigley Down Under.  Lynn conducted in 2010 an on-line carving contest in the Old West Challenge to carve Quigley Down Under.  Myron won the contest in which he received Lynn’s original.

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 carving without having met one another in real life.  I became a friend of Myron Compton long before we ever met.  It happened by way of viewing some of his carvings as he had posted them on the Wood Carving Illustrated website Forum. Viewing those carvings as well as reading some of his comments about carving struck up an acquaintance without actually meeting.  We did meet a few years ago when Myron and his wife visited the Artistry in Wood Show in Dayton, Ohio and right away there was a reunion of kindred spirits.

It is time now to introduce a carving friend to all who visit this site through pictures of his carving along with his own words about his journey of carving. Such a visit is intended to encourage visitors to carve more and extend their personality through their own carvings to make more carving friends.  Let Myron become your friend through his words and carving interpretations depicted in the photographs.


Myron has carved a caricature likeness of Lynn Doughty smoking a corn cob pipe depicted in the first two photos above.  Next photo is a cowboy pulling a tree followed by two photos of a caricature of Monte Walsh in the Lynn Doughty style of caricature.


Now, in Myron’s own words, he says:   The little truck is carved from basswood and was used for our 2012 Christmas card. I try to use one of our carvings each year for our Xmas card. The little truck is only about 5” tall, 8” front to back.  The next picture is a little cowboy 4” tall that I carved to go with the little truck. The next carving “cowboy and banjo” was done as a donation to our family reunion to raise monies for the supplies needed for the reunion.


The first  picture above  is me at my old workbench (my favorite place). The workbench was given to me by a friend that was dying of cancer. He wanted me to have his old workbench. It was made by an old German friend of his when the two of them worked together at the workshop of Ford Mo. Co. in Detroit.  I cherish that bench.  The next picture is  of a knife that I made using a straight razor blade. The next picture is the beginnings for the Merle Haggard Carving followed by a close up of the carved oak flooring.


My latest project is of my favorite entertainer. The Okie From Muskogee “Mr. Merle Haggard”.  This project turned out about 13” tall. I really feel that this has been my most challenging project. Getting the stance just the way that I wanted it and getting the arms positioned to look as natural as I could. I wanted to do old Merle proud here. I have always wanted to do a carving of one of my favorite entertainers, “The Mighty Mr. Merle Haggard”.   Merle uses a Fender Telecaster and I tried to make this one look similar.  Overall Merle and base stands about 13” tall.  Merle is Carved from basswood. The base is White Oak. I tried to make the base resemble the famous circle on the Grand Ole Opry stage.  The microphone is also carved from basswood.  The Hag will turn 75 on April 6th. 2012.

Now for the rest of the story:    I have always been a woodworker. Growing up on a farm here in southern Indiana I spent a lot of time using my dad’s carpentry tools building things. Always did a little whittling but never really tried to carve something till early 1996. I had seen an advertisement in a woodworking catalog for a woodcarving book and knife for $20. I looked at my wife and said that “I think I would like to give this a try”. She said to go for it. I’m so glad that I did. Now I only wish I had started it 20 years earlier.  Winning the “Out West Challenge” back two years ago was exciting for me. It was the only carving contest that I have ever entered. One of the pictures you show is me with my winning trophy and my contest entry. This will be one of my biggest woodcarving highlights.

Most of my woodcarving training has come from books and internet woodcarving blogs. I was lucky to spend a day with Harold Enlow  in a training class. And about 4 years later I had a one day class with Gerald Sears.  Those were two very special days that I will never forget.

What I try to do is work in a little of my woodworking background into my carvings by adding a nice base. For me the base of your carving just sets it off. I believe the base is as important as the carving itself. I use mostly quarter sawn white oak that I darken using the “ammonia fuming process” rather then staining. It gives me an even color over the entire base. No light and dark areas. This fuming process is an old process used by Gustav Stickley for his furniture. About 15 minutes in my little chamber will turn that light color white oak to a beautiful dark color that really shows the grain rays. For more info on fuming you can Google search for “ammonia fuming white oak”.

We have sold a very few of our carvings. Mostly we will donate them to worthy fund raisers or give them as gifts. Many years ago I made wooden toys and sold them. It turned that hobby into more work than fun. I do not want that to happen with my woodcarving. I just carve what I want to carve and take as long as I want to finish it. I really feel you do a better job that way. I have worked all my life, my carving is my fun. I think I may need to start selling them in a few years or our house is going to be like a museum. Now at 60 years old, I have been working at the same plant for 40 years, it sure is good to get home and head to my little workshop in the basement and spend a couple of hours creating something.

Thank you Myron for telling us about your woodcarving  journey and thanks for being a woodcarving friend.





This entry was posted on Saturday, March 17th, 2012 at 3:49 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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