Notes From the
By Mike Bloomquist, with Doug Evans
and Loren Woodard
Email Mike at m.bloomquistATverizonDOTnet or visit his web, Wooden Dreams
Spring is here! Yipeee! To bad
I haven't got half the carving projects done that I promised myself to
finish this Winter. Ah well... sleep is highly overrated.
We had a new term created on The List last January. It's the word
"dripple". The general consensus is that the word refers to list
activity that isn't diectly related to woodcarving technique.
Regardless of the fact that dripple doesn't lend itself directly to
NFTN material, it seems to be essential to the woodcarving family that
a good list becomes. Anyhow, time for you to take a break from
the yard work or Spring cleaning and read some good Notes from the
In Search of Woodspirits
Steve Lankerd Sr. asks....
Happy New Year to All....
I was wondering if there are any "How to carve wood spirit walking
sticks" tutorials out there. I thought I had a few saved in my favorites
but have no idea where they went.
Now a little discussion on how to get a
lovespoon to hold still while you carve it... Hello Steve,
Then Yours Truly stuck his two cents
I have attached an address to Smokey Mountian Wood Carvers, they have a
book available on carving spirits and it is a great book. Hope this
Bill Brockman; TN
Greg Wilkerson has one at his place...
Can't go wrong at Sue's place (L.S. Irish)...
Links to three other instructional pages are at the bottom of this
intro... and her book is awesome too (see my review on WOM http://carverscompanion.com/Ezine/Vol9Issue2/Bloomquist/MBloomquist2.html
My favorite video is one I bought from Lee Evans, the resident wood
carver at Dollywood. I know that doesn't help much, but maybe a
woodcarver near Pidgeon Forge could snag you a copy.
Another tip that's gonna be kind of useless, but it used to be "out
there" (as in on-the-Web), is John Jellies' Dusty Mustache site, but
that's been off-line for a while now. Anybody have the scoop on why? (Note from your humble Editor - Dr. John's Dusty Mustache site is well and alive at http://web.mac.com/dustymustache)
Skylar Johnson has a decent book and study cast for carving wood
spirits and Big Dog carries 'em. Yes! Finally... another tip that'll do
some good <G>.
Keep on Carvin'
I have a small tutorial on one of my websites that might be useful to
if you want to take a look at it, here is the link.
Good luck to you, woodspirits are always alot of fun to carve.
The Prrroper Way to Hold a
Dave Winders asks....
I started woodcarving about 8 or 9 months
ago. I'm very fortunate in that I attend a weekly (term time)
group and have been given lots of advice and asistance by other members
of the group. I've carved a number of low relief items, and
enjoyed it very much. With my wedding anniversary approaching I
decided to carve a lovespoon. I received advice from 2 or 3
members of my group that I should figure out a way of clamping or
securing the piece as I was not working safely holding it on the bench
with my left hand whilst using gouges with the right hand - I was
wearing a glove, but at times my left hand was in front of the blade.
Would appreciate any comments on this.
Steve Klein answers...
Susan Irish adds....
Clamp it to the bench and carve out the bowl on the spoon first.
That way it will not rock on you when you do the gouging for the
bowl. I do not know if this is the best way, but it works for me.
Any other ideas out there?
Woodbutcher seconds Susan's motion
Personally I don't secure or clamp a love spoon carving. As the entire
work is usually fairly small, 12" long or less, I find that I need to
rotate the wood so often that any type of clamping becomes frustrating.
As a relief carver I often work with a folded heavy terry cloth towel
in my lap. It both grabs the wood because of the fibers and I use it as
protection for my holding hand while I work. The towel also catches the
chips so that I don't end up with a nasty little pile of wood at my
feet after an evening of carving. I can also use my thighs and knees as
mini-braces for any cut.
I have never learned the fine art of wearing a carving glove. As a
relief carver my cuts are made away from me and from my holding hand.
The towel does though give that added protection. I can change the
position of the spoon instantly, continue carving and never get myself
into a corner where I am making an unsafe cut.
Just my opinion.
Carving Patterns Online
Designs Online Since 1997!
Classic Carving Patterns By L.S.Irish
(You'll notice I left
this last message in Janspeak. If necessary, translations are
available... keep on corvin' <G> - MikeB.)
You have such a way with words Susan
And I agree with you fully
Small stuf is NOT meand to be clamped
And YES I do not wear a carving glove either
(only when I do a show for the Wood Carvers Ill magazine )LOL
MTCW, I think they're both right. When starting out with a flat
lovespoon blank, I clamp it down and use a knuckle gouge to hog out as
much of the concave part of the bowl as possible. Then the rest
of the project is hand held... WITH a glove... and yes SkinCarp... in
my case that would be do-as-I-say-and-not-as-I-do. Sometimes
these voices in my head are VERY annoying (but often correct).
Ivan Whillock adds...
carvers, here's a hold down system for carving spoons: When you band
saw the spoon blanks, try to keep the main scrap pieces intact so that
you can use them as clamp guards and hold downs in securing the spoon
to the bench. The scraps will automatically fit the spoon shape, both
of the bowl and the handle. Use the handle scrap wood to hold the spoon
when you're working on the bowl, and then the bowl shape when you're
carving the handle.
I'll put an example of the technique into the next Carving Magazine--if
the editor accepts it.
Check out my updated website.
Ivan Whillock Studio
Visit my Picture Trail album at
OK, Gang, that's all for this
issue. Keep them edges keen,
the chips piled high, and remember... even in larger quantities,
dripple is non-fattening.
time and check out the wood carving lists on the Internet. There
is a lot of knowledge free for the asking on all of the list serves.
For information regarding the various email
lists for woodcarvers, visit The Carvers' Companion
Files, or click the links below.
Woodcarver's List - Woodcarving Fun - Knotholes List - Fishcarving2
Editor's Note: Disclaimers
- Endorsements of products mentioned by contributors to this
article should not be construed as endorsements by either the editor of
this article or Woodcarver Online Magazine, unless
specifically so noted.
- Advice and opinions expressed in this article are those of the
original poster named therein; when in doubt seek additional
- Woodcarving and shop work are potentially hazardous activities
and should be undertaken only with safety a constant and primary
consideration. Electrical, mechanical and other modifications in your
work area should always comply with local and state codes and