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  ...more Fan-Carving
By Sally and David Nye
Reviewed by Mike Bloomquist


I procrastinate... no doubt about it, but sometimes... sometimes it pays dividends.  This time I got to meet up with the authors of this book and get some tid-bits and insights to pass along to my readers.  All three of you.  The first tid-bit is that this latest effort has an extreme international appeal.  The step-by-steps are more pictures and less text which seems to work well with the Europeans and their neighbors.  Several over-seas carvers have revived the fan carving art in their areas without being able to read the English text at all.  A pretty neat accomplishment for a how-to publication, and rather significant since these folks live closer to the roots of this folk art form, and yet had not seen it done before Sally and David's book.

Except for one section on the basic technique for cutting and weaving your basic fan most of this book is is new material or greatly expanded over their first book.  There is a wealth of new history that they have uncovered with research and travels they have made between the publications. 

New things I think you'll like: More photographs of historic examples of the fan carving art., a gallery of artisans from Slavic and Sacndinavian lands and their carvings, and many, many more projects that you can apply your fan carving skills to.  Many of them aren't birds.

Things I miss from the first book... only one thing really  There is no glossary of terms, especially the term for "whack".

What's inside:



One small nit-pick for Sally and David's second creation - the tool list is exclusively FlexCut.  I own and have used two of them and you can't go wrong. The plug is understandable since a couple of sources tell me that the 3" drawknife was designed by Flexcut, in collaboration with the Nyes, specifically for fan carving. However, a little discussion of what tools might work that are already in your tool roll would be a nice alternative. Then I have a caveat (warning?).  If you have no interest in whittling projects with a "history" this one is not for you.  This a very focused book, and if the fan style doesn't appeal to you there's not much else for you in this book. Then, finally, there's a recommendation.  If you haven't bought their first book, buy this one first.  It stands well on it's own and has everything you need.  Then, if you enjoy it, buy the first for the patterns you missed and to complete the set. 

This time the authors are good friends of mine and I'm very biased about this book, but not so much that I would steer you wrong.  For the subject, and for reviving a folk art form with significant history this is a five thumb production and the Nyes deserve all the success possible with it.  Oh, one more thing.  If, during your highway travels, you see a long, green van with a fan bird on the side pulling off at a rest-stop, make sure you stop and say "Hi".  Just be nice and wait 'till after they're leaving the restrooms.

To order a copy of Sally and David's book visit fancarversworld.com

Well fellow woodcarvers, 'till next time keep them edges keen, the chips piled high, and don't "fan" on these bird projects.

Keep on Carvin'
-Mike Bloomquist->

MikeBMike Bloomquist is a carver, carving teacher, and a regular contributor to WOM.

You may visit Mike's web site, Wooden Dreams Woodcarving HERE or email him at m.bloomquistATverizonDOTnet.