Notes From the 'Net
By Mike Bloomquist, with Doug Evans and Loren Woodard
Email Mike at m.bloomquistATverizonDOTnet or visit his web, Wooden Dreams Woodcarving


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 Net...

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.

Best Regards,

Bill Brockman answers...

Hello Steve,

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 helps.


Bill Brockman; TN

Then Yours Truly stuck his two cents worth in....


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'
-Mike B.->

Greg Wilkerson has one at his place...

Hi Steve,

I have a small tutorial on one of my websites that might be useful to you,
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.


Now a little discussion on how to get a lovespoon to hold still while you carve it...

The Prrroper Way to Hold a Spoon

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...

Hi David,
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?


Susan Irish adds....


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.

Susan Irish

Carving Patterns Online
Designs Online Since 1997!
Classic Carving Patterns By L.S.Irish

Woodbutcher seconds Susan's motion with....

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
Woodbutcher Jan

(You'll notice I left this last message in Janspeak.  If necessary, translations are available... keep on corvin' <G> - MikeB.)

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...

Bench 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. 

Keep on Carvin'
-Mike Bloomquist->

Please take some 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 Resource Files, or click the links below.


Woodcarver's List - Woodcarving Fun - Knotholes List - Fishcarving2 List


Editor's Note: Disclaimers and Cautions