Posted by: woodbeecarver   in BEE Buzz


The motto of the WOOD BEE CARVER  “Would be carvers would be carvers if they would carve wood,” was coined in the mid 1970’s to imply that wood carvers are always learning.  Carving is learned primarily by carving with the experience that the more one carves the better one carves.  Simply thinking about carving, reading carving magazines, carving books or watching instructional videos while day dreaming about carving is not the same as actually using a cutting tool to shape a piece of wood.  It is that familiar experience of using the cutting tool slicing through the wood in the carving process that becomes the best learning experience.

Learning to carve is an ongoing process that grows with each time one carves.  The growth in learning by doing is enhanced the more often one carves.  One who carves every day will grow in learning more than carving only once a week or once a month or the next carving seminar.  If one is not familiar with the various cuts the cutting tool can do in shaping a block on wood, then one struggles with making any cuts.  That struggle is handcuffed by being afraid of making a wrong cut because one has not yet learned the various cuts that can be made.  That struggle becomes more difficult from the lack of practice of shaping the wood by impeding the ability to see or imagine a cut before it is made.  Looking and studying a completed carving either as a model go by or a photo of a carving without imaging how the cuts were made to shape the carving will confuse the occasional carver.  Practice, practice, practice is only advised because it works and if one practices doing nothing one gets pretty good at doing nothing.  On the other hand, if one carves more, one learns and becomes a better carver in that kind of practice.

A good form of practice is to do a twenty  minute a day work-out of taking a piece of wood and a carving tool and for twenty minutes see what all that tool can do in shaping that piece of wood.  Two things will happen in this work out with the first being that the carver will discover many functions of the carving tool while developing hand and eye coordination in the process.  The second thing that can happen is that those twenty minutes will expand into a few hours of carving activity that will follow a creative idea that grew out of the twenty minute warm up to carving. Once again it is that “learning by doing” that takes over.

The WOOD BEE CARVER    often says there are no mistakes in carving, only learning experiences. Mistakes occur when one knows what to do and does not do it, but while one is learning what to do, then the doing experiences what does work and what does not work as one improves in the learning process.  Woodcarving is an ongoing learning process as there will always be new things to learn with each new carving process.

The WOOD BEE CARVER  follows his “Old Carver’s Law “ Leave no wood uncarved,” in which scraps of wood make for excellent material for serendipitous and exploratory learning/practice carving projects.

The beginning of a new year is a somber reminder that time marches on in the old adage that says, “today is the oldest you have ever been, yet the youngest you will ever be, so make the best of this day.”   Do not lament that one should have started carving earlier in life but rather start now to carve more often. As this Old Carver often says, “Keep carving and carving will keep you carving.”  HAPPY CARVEFUL NEW YEAR!!!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 1st, 2014 at 8:05 am and is filed under BEE Buzz. 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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