Archive for February 2012

January/February 2012 WOM

Wel­come to Issue 1 of Year 16 of Wood­carv­er Online Mag­a­zine.

Our Front Page pho­to this issue is:

Opera Man, by Ryan Olsen, 2011 CCA Best in Show

Opera Man, by Ryan Olsen

Opera Man by Ryan Olsen

2011 Nation­al Car­i­ca­ture Carv­ing Com­pe­ti­tion

Best of Show and 1st Place, Sin­gle Human Fig­ure 10″ and Over

Hel­lo carv­ing friends -

The CCA Nation­al Car­i­ca­ture Carv­ing Com­pe­ti­tion always pro­duces a num­ber of great carv­ings, and the 2011 Com­pe­ti­tion was no excep­tion. You can see more pho­tos of Ryan Olsen’s Best of Show win­ner and lots more in the gallery in this issue of WOM.

Big changes are in the works for Wood­carv­er Online Mag­a­zine and the Carvers’ Com­pan­ion web sites. Sug­ges­tions for addi­tions and changes are always wel­come. More infor­ma­tion in the months ahead.

If you are a Face­book mem­ber, take time to vis­it the Carvers’ Companion/Woodcarver List Face­book group page. This pro­vides a place on FB for carvers to post carv­ing pho­tos and to chat about carv­ing; it also serves as a com­pan­ion to the Wood­carv­er List­serv. Come on by for a vis­it!  Click the link in the menu bar or on Face­book search for “Wood­carv­er List”

In the Jan/Feb 2012 issue:

  • 2011 CCA Car­i­ca­ture Carv­ing Com­pe­ti­tion Gallery
  • A vis­it from The Hap­py Hat­ter by “Ol’ Don” Burgdorf
  • Pete LeClair’s Axel
  • Pre­view of Alex Bis­so on Find­ing and Col­lect­ing Cot­ton­wood Bark
  • Books reviews from Mike Bloomquist

Call For Front Page Carv­ing Pho­tos: We’re always look­ing for great pho­tos of great carv­ings for the front page of WOM. If you’d like your pho­to to be con­sid­ered, send it on in. Please include the back sto­ry, mate­r­i­al and fin­ish info, size, etc. Send to womed­i­tor AT

Arti­cles and sug­ges­tions for arti­cles are always wel­come. Feel free to send sug­ges­tions and requests using the con­tact form on the About page. For infor­ma­tion on sub­mit­ting arti­cles for pub­li­ca­tion, also vis­it the About page.

WOM Editor Matt Kelley

WOM Edi­tor Matt Kel­ley

Carve On!

Matt Kel­ley, Edi­tor

From Pete LeClair

Pete LeClair’s Axel

Pete LeClair’s project this issue fea­tures Alex :



Alex Pat­tern

Pete LeClair is a well-known carv­er and teacher, author of three carv­ing books and a mem­ber of the Car­i­ca­ture Carvers of Amer­i­ca. You may learn more about Pete at his page on the CCA web site. Be sure to tour the rest of the CCA pages when you have a moment. In addi­tion, you may email Pete at pet­ele­clair AT Pho­tos copy­right 2001 — 2012 by Pete LeClair.

This pat­tern may be copied for indi­vid­ual use only; repro­duc­tion for resale is pro­hib­it­ed with­out express writ­ten per­mis­sion.


Review: Us Carvers

Us Carvers

by Ger­ry Holz­man

Review by Mike Bloomquist

Cover of Us CarversFirst off, an apol­o­gy to my read­ers (all three of you) for my sparse con­tri­bu­tions to WOM over the past cou­ple of years.  I’ve been recent­ly tempt­ed aside by oth­er activ­i­ties.  Hope­ful­ly my writ­ing and wood­carv­ing hasn’t suf­fered for it.  Any­way, I hope this is a treat for you here on my return.  This book, Us Carvers,  by Ger­ry Holz­man, was a bit hard to acquire, but, in the end well worth the effort.   At Artistry In Wood about three years ago a fel­low wood­carv­er dropped off a pho­to­copied ad from Chip Chats announc­ing this book and describ­ing it as an account of the auth or’s cor­re­spon­dence and friend­ship with the wood­carv­er Gino Masero.  Not to snub the author, but it was his friend’s name that imme­di­ate­ly caught my inter­est.  In a pre­vi­ous review writ­ten for the book Ele­ments of Wood­carv­ing authored by Chris Pye, two of the final chap­ters were ded­i­cat­ed to carvers who had great­ly influ­enced the author.  Gino Masero was one of them.  Unfor­tu­nate­ly I did snub Mr. Pye in that review, because the one carv­ings in  Ele­ments that was not­ed specif­i­cal­ly was a soul­ful piece of St. Fran­cis of Assisi play­ing the vio­lin (actu­al­ly two sticks).  I was eager for anoth­er view of the wood sculp­tor Masero.

To see the rest of this review click HERE.

Review: First Projects for Woodcavers

First Projects For Woodcarvers Cover

First Projects for Woodcarvers 

First Christmas Projects for Woodcarvers

by Lar­ry Green and Mike Alt­man

Review by Mike Bloomquist

These two books are old friends off mine and I haven’t carved a sin­gle project from either of them.  What’s even more strange is one of them, First Christ­mas Projects for Wood­carvers I just pur­chased from the Wood­craft Shop at the Artistry in Wood show last Novem­ber.  Pret­ty sim­ple rid­dles real­ly.  I’ve had them with me for many of my wood carv­ing class­es espe­cial­ly where begin­ners were expect­ed.  You see, I don’t like to force any par­tic­u­lar pat­tern on stu­dents if it can be helped, espe­cial­ly those who are new to the art.  So begin­ners are offered as wide a selec­tion of pat­terns as pos­si­ble. As for Christ­mas Projects begin­ning a recent pur­chase, I bought a copy from “Big Dog” to replace one I’d lost track of.  Some­day, whomev­er I loaned it to will turn up with it and I’ll prob­a­bly let them have it as a gift.  It’s hap­pened like that before.

OK, these to have been around for a bit. First Projects for Wood­carvers was pub­lished in 1996 and it’s com­pan­ion the fol­low­ing year.  First off, these books have more authors than just the two list­ed on the cov­er.  Lar­ry Green is the pri­ma­ry author (I believe) and Mike Alt­man is an illus­tra­tor.  One of the fin­er points of these books is the illus­tra­tions and car­i­ca­tures of the authors, so Mike deserves to be list­ed.  Then there’s some fine pho­tog­ra­phy by Steve Smith and con­sul­tants Tom Brown (CCA mem­ber) and Mac Prof­fit (own­er of Smoky Moun­tain Wood­carver’s Sup­ply).

First Christmas Projects cover

To see the rest of this review click HERE.

From Ol’ Don’s Drawing Board

From “Ol’ Don” Drawing Table

Ol’ Don” Burgdorf con­tin­ues his reg­u­lar series of pat­terns for WOM with the Hap­py Hat­ter.

To print the pat­tern, click here; the pat­tern will open in a new win­dow, and should print on 8.5 x 11 paper. For Print­ing Hints, click here.

Ol’ Don” Burgdorf is a carv­er and artist from Hohen­wald, TN. Don’s fea­ture “Doo­dles ‘n Notes for Carvin’ Folks” appears reg­u­lar­ly in Chip Chats, and his pat­terns are now found in each issue of WOM and Carv­ing Mag­a­zine. He has sev­er­al pat­tern port­fo­lios on a vari­ety of sub­jects avail­able for down­load from his web­site. For infor­ma­tion about the port­fo­lios and oth­er cus­tom ser­vices Don pro­vides carvers, click here. Some of Don’s “Chat­ter­ing Chip­pers” pat­terns can also be seen at the Wood­carver’s Porch pat­tern page.

Ol’ Don now has rough­outs avail­able for some of his pat­terns. You are invit­ed to vis­it Ol’ Don’s home page, or email him at ol’­don AT

Copy­right 2011–2012 “Ol’ Don” Burgdorf. This Pat­tern may be copied for indi­vid­ual use; repro­duc­tion for resale is pro­hib­it­ed with­out express writ­ten per­mis­sion.


Preview: Finding and Collecting Cottonwood Bark

Editor’s Note

Ear­li­er in this issue of WOM I men­tioned that we would start a series of arti­cles about find­ing and col­lect­ing cot­ton­wood bark, writ­ten by Alex Bis­so. As it turns out, doing a prop­er job of edit­ing all the mate­r­i­al and pho­tos that Alex pro­vid­ed is tak­ing more time then expect­ed, so the offi­cial kick­off of the series will be in the March/April issue of WOM. As a taste of what is to come, how­ev­er, here is a small pre­view:

Excerpt from Finding and Collecting Cottonwood Bark

By Alex Bis­so

Very large trees

While not all very large trees have thick, wide bark and while some trees that are not very large in diam­e­ter do have thick bark, gen­er­al­ly very large trees are the ones most like­ly to have bark that is thick enough for carv­ing.  When­ev­er I am scan­ning a wood­ed area for bark pos­si­bil­i­ties, I am look­ing for some real­ly large trees – those that real­ly stand out from the rest – mon­archs of the area that announce that they have been there 100 years or more.  Areas with these real­ly giant trees are the best areas to look if you want to find some real­ly thick bark.  Even if I do not see any “bones” or dead trees from a dis­tance, if an area has a num­ber of cot­ton­woods that stand out as larg­er that most, it is def­i­nite­ly an area that I want to inves­ti­gate.  The worst that can hap­pen is that I could get to walk amongst some real­ly majes­tic old trees and not find any dead or fall­en ones and that is not too bad at all.

Giant Tree

Alex with a Monarch of the For­est

2011 CCA Competition

2011 Caricature Carvers of America Annual Competition and Seminar

By Bob Travis

The last week of August is the time for the CCA annu­al com­pe­ti­tion and sem­i­nar in Con­verse, IN. The com­pe­ti­tion is open to all car­i­ca­ture carvers except CCA mem­bers and their fam­i­lies. For 2011 there were 176 entries from through­out the US for the thir­teen cat­e­gories. The judg­ing was han­dled by CCA mem­bers Phil Bish­op, Vic­ki Bish­op, and Den­nis Thorn­ton. The qual­i­ty of the entries has improved every year since the incep­tion of the com­pe­ti­tion, and that trend cer­tain­ly con­tin­ued in 2011. In fact, the judges report­ed that because of the excep­tion­al qual­i­ty of the entries the judg­ing process required near­ly a day and a half to com­plete.

Best-of-show and a $300 prize was claimed by Ryan Olsen of Mel­ba, ID for his Opera Man. Top carvers typ­i­cal­ly devote con­sid­er­able time to research­ing their sub­ject mat­ter before begin­ning a carv­ing. Ryan fits the bill here as in addi­tion to being an excel­lent wood carv­er, he is also an extreme­ly tal­ent­ed opera singer. Sec­ond Best-of-Show and a $200 prize went to Vern Par­rish of Char­lotte, NC for On the Lev­el. Sandy Smith of Lake­view, AR won Third Best-of-Show and a $100 prize for Cere­al Killer.

Ryan Olsen and Sandy Smith received an addi­tion­al sur­prise; both have been select­ed as the newest mem­bers of the Car­i­ca­ture Carvers of Amer­i­ca. Con­grat­u­la­tions to Ryan and Sandy for their selec­tion.

First ($50) and sec­ond ($25) place win­ners from the 13 cat­e­gories were, respec­tive­ly:

  • Sin­gle Human fig­ure under 10″, Vern Par­rish and Rusty John­son.
  • Sin­gle Human Fig­ure 10″ and Over, Ryan Olsen and Roger Ste­gall.
  • Group Human, Steve Dun­ham and David Borg.
  • Sin­gle Ani­mal, David Borg and Richard Belch­er.
  • Group Ani­mal, David Borg and Robert Her­shey.
  • Group Mixed, Sandy Smith and Ward Makiel­s­ki.
  • San­ta, Steve Brown and Roger Ste­gall.
  • Relief, Bruce Fut­ter­er and Wern­er Bock.
  • Minia­ture, Doug Wil­son and Steve Brown.
  • Bot­tle Stop­per, Ron Dowdy First and Sec­ond (and Third).
  • Bust, Corey Hal­la­gan and Bart Wil­son.
  • Mis­cel­la­neous, Don Mor­ris and Bart Wil­son.
  • Rough Out, Edsel John­son and Ron Kin­canon.

Plans are under­way for our 2012 com­pe­ti­tion. We encour­age all car­i­ca­ture carvers to take part in this year­ly event. The dead­line for receiv­ing entries will be August 22. Details are post­ed on the CCA web site.

Imme­di­ate­ly fol­low­ing the 2011 com­pe­ti­tion the judges held the CCA annu­al three-day car­i­ca­ture carv­ing sem­i­nar. Thir­ty-nine stu­dents, in groups of 13, carved one day with each instruc­tor. The dates for the 2012 sem­i­nar are August 24–26. P.J, Driscoll, Steve Prescott, and Tom Wolfe will serve as the com­pe­ti­tion judges and sem­i­nar instruc­tors for 2012. As of this writ­ing we still have a few open­ings in the sem­i­nar. Please see our web site for sem­i­nar details includ­ing can­did pho­tos of the 2011 sem­i­nar.