Survivor Students 2008

   Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Survivor Students

The WOOD BEE CARVER occasionally will teach a class on his style of “Whittle-Carving” or carving only with a knife. Two recent classes were conducted in which students survived a class in “Whittle Folk Art” by whittling away time.


FRANKENMUTH CARVING GUILDMembers of the Frankenmuth Michigan Carvers Guild who participated in a Whittle-Carving class at their club house on April 23, 24 and 25 were: Ed Kopka, Jim LaPan, Kurt Sherwood, Ron Nielson, Ed Sowulewski, Bob Thurston, Diane Reed, Jim Grohoski, Tony Simone, Raleigh Draper and LeRoy Dunn.

CROSS POINTE CENTRE WOODCRAFT CLASSClass participant at the Cross Pointe Centre Woodcraft Store in Centerville (Dayton, Ohio) on Saturday, May 10, 2008 were: Don Potter, Cliff Reeder, Rick Eskins, Mike Hayek, Steve Cotton, Chris Pyles, Rita Carey, Gil Wendt, Mark Sipe and Rick Bishop.


Besides learning to carve only with a knife the students learned a new appreciation for “whittle-carving” by discovering the significance of practicing the slicing cut by allowing the cutting edge of the knife shape the wood with a slicing action.

They learned that making notch cuts of two slicing angled cuts that meet at the bottom of each cut makes for a cleaner opening up of a block of wood while shaping the wood to the basic form of the object being carved. The key lesson to learn is to carve the subject first to the basic form and once the form is to shape, then and only then can the detail carving be utilized to produce desired results. “Form follows function” means that form is carved first and then “Detail follows form,” to acknowledge that details only look right when they are applied to the proper form.

Learning a new skill and a different way of carving is not always as easy as it sounds, but when the carver realizes that carving is “more the journey than the destination,” and that there are no mistakes in the carving process, only learning experiences, then is when the carver has learned a basic lesson about carving. “Whittle-Carving is the trial and error method of learning by doing” which is another way to express the WOOD BEE CARVER’S philosophy: “Would be carvers would be carvers if they would carve wood.”

Students are jokingly referred to as “survivors” because each shared the the common experience all carvers experience from time to time that is stated as: Carving is agony and ecstasy; but ecstasy always follow agony.” Learning something new, trying a new project or even learning to “slice with the cutting edge,” can be agony at first, but then it can also turn into an ecstasy of discovery and accomplishment. In any event, the students in both classes enjoyed the fellowship of fellow carvers in the atmosphere of learning something new.

This entry was posted on Saturday, May 10th, 2008 at 8:51 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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