SURVIVOR STUDENTS – Lake of the Ozarks

   Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Survivor Students

Pictured to the left are the Survivor Students of the Whittle-Carving Class taught in Camdenton, MO (Lake of the Ozarks region) August 3-5, 2012.  Included in the photo are Jim Wilson, Ray Fisk, Wally Norman, Jim Long, Brad Welch, Bonita Richards, Carolyn Curtis, Tom Wyrink, John Sejod, Barry Gentile, Tom Leaset, Marilyn Peck, Ken Gossage and Bud Murray.

Students learned in the knife carving class the basics for using a knife in a slicing action to make notch cuts and three cut triangular cuts to open up a block of wood for additional cuts to shape the project to its basic form.  These cuts fall into the mantra that “one cut is not a cut to end all cuts,” but only an opening so that additional cuts can be made.  To accomplish these lessons a three version face study stick was carved as the beginning project to not only practice the slicing cuts but also to learn about the Rule of Three of Facial Proportions.

A second carving exercise consisted of shaping a rectangular block into an oval shape and then into a half of a hen egg shape.


On the back side a circle was drawn with a dot in the center of the circle.  Then a diamond shape was drawn around the dot following with a line drawn for the points of the diamond to the circle which was followed with a line between the points of the diamond drawn to the circle.  A wagon wheel design emerged.  Where the spokes of the wagon wheel met the circle a small triangle was drawn.   Notch cuts, which uses as much of the cutting edge of the blade as possible as two slicing cuts at an angle to each creates a trough or ditch are used for the four lines of the diamond shape and the eight spokes of the wagon wheel.  Three cut triangular cuts are used on each of the eight triangles where the spokes meet the circle. Notch cuts were next used to connect the triangles giving the appearance of a flower with its center and petals.  A stop cut was sliced in the ditch of each spoke followed by an angled cut towards and following the stop cut to create a stair step effect of each petal feathered under each other.  All this little exercise does is to mimic the basic cuts used in the Whittle-Carving Style of carving only with a knife.

On the oval side of the practice piece a vertical center line was drawn followed with a horizontal line across the eyebrow area and a “V” drawn indicating the bottom of nose.  These basic lines guide in making notch cuts  at the eyebrows and bottom of nose to open up those areas to receive additional cuts to shape a face out of a flat surface.  Into the practice face, eyes, nose nostrils, smile lines, mouth mound and mouth were carved as steps for learning.

Each student chose a project to carve from the variety of go-by examples.  Some chose to carve a basswood hen egg into a head and face, some chose to carve a bust while others chose to carve a full figured project.  Emphasis was placed on learning the how-to method rather than copying the go-by example as to style with the goal being to learn the lessons rather than try to have a finished carving by the end of the three day seminar.  The lessons of the how-to methods are the goal of the class so that each student can continue to learn on their own through their future carving projects.

Under the box to the right of this posting entitled “BEE HIVE” are visible and printable versions of what was taught in the class for further study.  The key to learning carving lessons is to carve as often as possible because the “more one carves the better one carves.”  Every carving project is a learning experience that first of all seeks to learn rather than carve a “perfect” carving.  It is not how good the carving is, but what was learned while carving that project and as time and experience go by carvings will improve and while never “perfect” yet trophies of what was accomplished.  “Woodcarving is the journey more than the destination,” since it is the act of carving that is the most fun rather than the finished carving which only sits there.  It is the act of carving that makes us all “survivor students” who survive to carve another day and another carving project.

This entry was posted on Monday, December 10th, 2012 at 10:06 am and is filed under Survivor Students. 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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