Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Survivor Students

Leiper's Fork Class

Twelve students gathered together on June 20, 2014 to begin a three day class in Whittle-Carving at Leiper’s Fork, TN in the carving studio of Vic Hood. The students pictured above are (left to right – first row) Ray Rost, Vic Hood, Don Burgdorf, Tim Wright (second row)Gene Graham, Don Dunlap, Clem Kirsch, Rick Hardin, Clark Kirsch, Sandie Burgdorf, Buzz Friedli and Carson Salyer.

The class centered on the A, B, C’s of Face Carving using only a knife.  Various exercises began the first day of learning the basic slicing cuts to carve notched troughs, three cut triangular openings and slice and roll cuts to shape a block of basswood in opening up the basic landmarks of the human face.

Leiper's Fork ClassOne exercise consisted of shaping an inch and half tall by inch square block of basswood into the facial proportions of a face with angles and planes of the face for each of the three proportional area of the face.  The Rule of Three of Facial Proportions were followed with the three divisions of the length of the face being Hairline to Eyebrows; Eyebrows to Bottom of Nose; and Bottom of Nose to Bottom of Chin. The width of the face is two thirds wide while the length of face is three thirds.  Within  this good foundation of proper form of face carved, the details of the eyes, nose, mouth and ears can be carved.

The next exercise consisted of carving a thin rectangular block into an oval into which the major landmarks of the face were opened up with the aid of utilizing the various slicing cuts used in carving a practice flower in relief. The practice face carved in the oval was a relief face to continue to learn facial carving in various formats.

Lieper's Fork ClassLeiper's Fork ClassLeiper's Fork ClassLeiper's Fork Class

All of the first day exercises prepared each student for the actual carving of faces in a variety of formats. The second day students carved a face using a basswood hen egg using the instructors carved go-by examples as a guide for their own project.  The instructor carved on an egg with each student to demonstrate the progressive steps for their own individual project.  The third day the project was to carve a bust or shelf squatter out of a three inch tall by inch and half square block of basswood or a five or six inch tall full figure using a go-by provided by instructor as an example with the guidance of the instructor’s demonstrations for each student in one-to-one sessions.  (Readers of this blog may want to read the postings under the heading BEE HIVE in the box to the right of this posting which contain the instructional material covered in the class.)

The relaxed camaraderie  of friendly conversations and fun loving  humor aided in the learning process even though the carving activity was intense because of learning to carve only with a knife.  Each student learned a new appreciation for being able to see in one’s imagination a face taking shape within a block of wood as well as appreciating that one can carve an entire carving using only a knife. The “slice and roll” cutting action and “one cut is not a cut to end all cuts”  were emphasized throughout the three days as each student experienced “would be carvers would be carvers if they would carve wood.” 

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 26th, 2014 at 1:53 pm 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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