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"Ol' Don" Burgdorf's

Pattern Portfolio Collections On CD

Reviewed By Matt Kelley

"Ol' Don" Burgdorf
has for a number of years contributed patterns to Chip Chats and Woodcarver Online Magazine. Several years ago Ol' Don began offering a series of hard copy pattern portfolios, and recently went high tech by converting his portfolios to CD. The two volumes currently available provide over 140 patterns on two CD's.

These are not just collections of patterns, however, for along with the patterns you will find instruction, helps and hints, and a bit of humor. There are twenty sheets in each portfolios, including a color sample sheet highlighting some of the patterns. The patterns range from those easy enough for the novice, to some that will challenge the more accomplished carver. The more complex figures include views from the front, side, 3/4 view, and top view, which is relatively uncommon in other pattern books.

You will find these collections perhaps a bit different than other caricature patterns you may have encountered elsewhere. Ol' Don's unique style falls in the middle ground between typical realistic carvings and pure caricature. While this occasionally presents judges some problems at shows ("Is this carving realistic or caricature?"), the patterns should present no obstacle for the user; you can easily tweak any of the patterns to be more realistic or more caricature-like.


A Look At The CD's

Portfolio Collection One consists of five portfolios:


Portfolio Collection Two also consists of five portfolios:

Another load of Santas

A clutch of comic clowns

A gang of the good, the bad and those uglier than sin

More girls, some good and some bad

Some active animals


Tips and Hints Everywhere:

Interspersed among the patterns are a wide variety of good and useful tips and hints. Here are a few you'll find useful:

In the Vixen portfolio, for instance, are discussions about carvings hands and another about different hairdos:

Along with the above, you'll find information on carvings eyes, laying out heads, proportions for youngsters, woman's mouths, and the profile differences between men and woman.

Another very useful set of hints, particularly for the newer carver, may be found in one of the Santa portfolios, where Ol' Don provides a three page spread on laying out and carving a variety of Santas in a basswood egg. In addition, another sheets provides a variety of different expressions for Santa carvings.

In the sports portfolio, a nice set of golf ball carving patterns is included, along with the active sports figures.

"A Bag of Bottle Stoppers" includes an interesting discussion on creating a caricature of someone you know. (Ol' Don is currently working on a new portfolio addressing this specific topic.)

These of just some of the tips and hints you'll find in the portfolio collections.

In Conclusion:

The Rating:

Given the quality and volume of the patterns, along with the wide variety of tips and hints, I rate these CD's a good to excellent value, even at $35 a pop.

For that reason "Ol' Don" Burgdorf's Pattern Portfolio Collections One and Two on CD receive four thumbs up.

To purchase the CD's visit Ol' Don's web site at artofdon.com