If you have been interested in a minor diversion from wood carving and wanted to try carving sweet potatoes or yams, up until now your only choice for a reference was Tom Wolfe’s 1998 paperback, The Yam Yankee. Now, finally, there is a second book available — Twisted Taters — Straight Talk For The Sweet Potato Carver, Crafter & Hobbyist, by Steve DuBridge.
DuBridge started carving ‘taters about 14 years ago, and over the years has developed techniques and tips that he now passes on to other would-be tater-heads in his new book.
The book includes the following:
- An Introduction
- The Aviator
- Bald Guy
- Indian Chief
- Medieval Peasant
- Drying Your Tater-head
- Free-up Details
- Setting The Eyes and Teeth
- Project Gallery
Scattered throughout are various tips on carving and preserving tater carvings.
So do we need another book on tater carving? Well, if you are looking for a lot of useful tips, some reasonably good step-by-step instructions and a nice photo gallery, then this book might be just what you are looking for. (Examples from the photo gallery may be found at the end of this article.)
One of the most useful bits of knowledge is DuBridge’s alternative method for quickly drying a tater-head. It is innovative and promises quicker, more reliable drying.
One of his other hints suggests a method for dealing with grub infestation. My own singular attempt at tater carving turned out well enough, although it took a long time to dry. It lasted nicely until the following spring, when it became infested with what were most likely grain moths. Had I had this book at that time, I would have known how to deal with the moth larva, instead of chucking the carving into the trash as I did.
If I were to pick a nit about this book, it would be that the step-by-step photos could be improved if taken with better lighting and a neutral background. This is more a stylistic preference then anything else; the existing photos do the job regardless.
The book, at 34 pages, is available from the Lulu Marketplace at a cost of $24.95. Click HERE to visit the Lulu website.