Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Carving Projects, Tutorials

The WOOD BEE CARVER  carves continuously in the journey of woodcarving to continue to learn and sharpen the craft of carving various subjects.  Each carving project is in essence a “Study Carving” whereby lessons are learned through the innovations of designs and the stretching of ability through challenging innovations.  Such carving projects become the subject for an instructional posting on this blog as well as a Go-By for a carving class.  Even though the subjects may have been carved previously, yet each time a similar subject is carved it becomes a new carving with slight tweaking of design, pose or feature.  Thus no two carvings are exactly alike as each takes on its own personality and characteristic.

Each of the carvings in this posting is a “Study Carving” through observing each photograph looking for particular aspects to be incorporated in future carvings.


Each carving is carved out of an inch and half square  block of basswood six inches tall. Photos show both the figures as carved in bare wood and as painted carvings.  There are no add-ons or glue-ons as the challenge is to learn to carve the entire subject out of one piece of wood.  Outfit equipment and accessories attempt to add some interest to the subject without being exact or photographically accurate.  For example, the civil war soldier has a canteen, necessary bag, belt and rifle to enhance his uniform but does not include the cartridge box or other items of the complete uniform.  The Sea Captain is carrying a rolled up map and the railroad man is carrying a lantern. The cowboy is wearing enough of a western outfit to indicate he is a cowboy.  There is just enough of a “suggestion” of these outfit accessories to make it interesting without being museum accurate.


The first thing studied in a carving is the face and then the eyes follow the pose and posture of the subject.  Next the hands are studied to see what story they are telling by what they are holding or how they are placed in the overall pose.  Next the eyes follow the lines of the flow of the clothing that add a sense of movement to the study carving. The goal is to carve so that there is “movement to the design lines” with the only straight lines being where a straight line is required.


Additionally it should be noted that each carving is an “interpretation” of the subject that attempts to tell a story in and of itself.  Each is carved in the Whittle-Carving  style of using only a knife to carve each subject in its entirety which creates a style unique in its own way.  As a “Study Carving” each one serves as a visual study Go-By for any who would like to carve a similar subject in their own style and method.


In the LEARNING PATH , the WOOD BEE CARVER  teaches the method, the how-to and learning steps while it is the student who carves the style.  Each carver carves in their own style. Go-Bys are simply reference study pieces from which a student is guided in the carving of their own interpretation of the project.

Visual studies are beneficial but the best study is to carve a subject of interest because it is in the carving that one learns and the more one carves the better one carves.  The WOOD BEE CARVER says, “Would be carvers would be carvers if they would carve wood,”  so “he or she who carves learns the better lesson.”


This entry was posted on Sunday, June 17th, 2012 at 4:53 pm and is filed under Carving Projects, Tutorials. 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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