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Carving Caricature Figures from Scratch

by W. "Pete" LeClair

Reviewed by Matt Kelley


If you are a fan of caricature carver and teacher Pete LeClair, then you have waited a long time for him to write another book. Pete's projects in recent issues of WOM have helped bridge the gap, but you've had a wait for LeClair's second book.

Well, wait no more! Put down your tattered, worn and well-thumbed copy of Carving Caricature Heads and Faces and get your copy of Carving Caricature Figures from Scratch, from Schiffer Books (via your local or mail-order/web woodcarving supply house.)

This 80 page book is similar to Pete's first book, in that he takes you step-by-step through the carving and painting of one figure, then concludes the book with a gallery of carved from scratch figures.

You will find the step-by-step instruction and photos clear and understandable. There's no band-saw work in this book. Pete starts with laying out the block, roughing out the figure with handtools, moves on to carving the head and then the body. The tutorial concludes with a short course on painting and finishing using the LeClair method. A newbie carver should be able to follow along, and even experienced carvers will learn a thing or two.

For example, Pete starts the book with a safety note, including an explanation of why he always wears a glove on his holding hand and a thumb guard on his carving hand.

To preview the style of carving you'll find in the book, check out Calhoun in this issue of WOM.

The figures in the gallery are vintage LeClair - fun, interesting faces with toothy grins that will bring a grin to your face. Carving Caricature Figures from Scratch is a "must have" for your carving book shelf.