Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Vintage Views

Vintage Views are nostalgic views of early carving projects of a carving journey begun around 1975 as a budding hobby rekindling childhood memories of whittling as a playful activity of creative exercises of imagination.  Many of these early projects were done in a casual schedule of spontaneous inspiration in a slow methodical process of learning while doing by shaping a block of wood with a knife. Many have not been seen in public other than at “show and tell” at carving club meetings and reflect early attempts of doing the best one could do at the time with the level of skill and design reflective of growing with experience.

The projects depicted in this gallery represent carving projects that were carved between 1975 and 1985 and the Wood Bee Carver developed the motto: “Would be carvers would be carvers if they would carve wood.”.


These eight figures [3 to 4 inches tall by 3/4 inch wide] were carved early on the carving journey following a misunderstood explanation heard at a carving club meeting when a more experienced carver mentioned that some carvers were using the corner of the block while carving faces  to which this novice carried it to the extreme of carving the full length of the figure on the corner which made the width of body extremely thin.  Also note, these were carved before this carver understood the proper proportions as can be observed in the shortness of the legs from knees to bottom of feet.  These are good examples of the law: “Carving is a learn by doing process and the more one carves the better one will learn to carve better.”


This cowpoke was carved a few years later but still using the “carving on the corners” full figure motif with some improvement but still not as it should be and proportions of the between waist and bottom of feet still had not been learned as a guiding practice. “Practice does not make perfect but practice does make progress.”


Humor is often the theme in a carving project as seen in the rabbit and dog unaware of each other in this early attempt of animal carving using the Whittle-Carving style of knife carving with dog and rabbit carved out of cherry wood and mounted on an apple wood slab.

The Prospector [5 inch by 2 inch square basswood block mounted on walnut base] was carve a little later with the understanding of proportions at play as well a incorporating a sense of movement in the pose.

Rough Rider Teddy Roosevelt [8 inches by 3 inches by 2 inches basswood block on a walnut base] was Whittle-Carved with attempt to learn how to carve wrinkles following the photographic depiction.  Body proportion and pose attempted to create a natural look to a historic figure.  “Every carving project is a practice learning experience.” Some things learned becomes a negative example to be corrected and improved in the next project.



The Path Finder was carved out of a 5 inch by 1 & 1/4 inch basswood block and finished with Deft to maintain its natural color.


Old Whittler [9 inches by 3 inches by 2 inches basswood block] carved in the Whittle-Carved style of using only a knife was a time-study for proportions, pose and details that was submitted for competition (the shaving curl on the stick was broken in shipment and because it was declared as broken, it was not judged). Any carving done for competition is always of value because of the experience and creativity the carver invested in the carving process meaning it is never a wasted effort even if it is not judged.  In the end, every carving is done first and foremost for the shear joy of the creative process from which the artist has already won in the competition with one self and therein is the winning effort.


“The Sower”six inch tall figure mounted on a separate basswood base finished with Deft.

This entry was posted on Monday, March 18th, 2024 at 2:25 pm and is filed under Vintage Views. 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.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.