Carving Woodspirits: Beyond The Basics
By Susan L. Hendrix and Paul “PJ” Peery
Carving Woodspirits: Beyond The Basis was conceived with a fairly lofty goal in mind — to bridge the gap between the newbie carver and the intermediate carver. Susan Hendrix notes her hope the book will provide a more expansive method for carving woodspirits, explain why more experienced carvers use a particular tool or method, and will help readers gain a greater understanding of facial anatomy. Hendrix also mentions that her methods are only one of many ways to arrive at a finished carving and encourages students to try different tools and methods, and to never stop learning
Carving Woodspirits is a 64 page spiral-bound softcover book with glossy cover and good quality paper.
- About The Authors
- Author’s Note
- Instructional Overview
- Introduction: Facial Proportions
- Carving Woodspirits
Hendrix wisely doesn’t spend a whole lot of book space on topics such as safety, sharpening, and supplies & materials. and in fact disposes of the first seven topics in eight pages. Hopefully the somewhat experienced beginner carver has some familiarity with the hazards, materials and tools, but if not, the brief discussion should serve.
The introduction to facial proportions provides a concise overview of the standard proportions of the face, from both frontal and profile views. While brief, this overview likely exceeds the level of information found in many beginner carving books.
The real meat of the volume begins on page 10 with the step-by-step instructions for carving a wood spirit. Here you will find 121 detailed steps and progress shots that take you from a rounded piece of wood to a finished woodspirit. Each step includes at least one detailed photo or sketch, with additional useful tips scattered throughout the steps. The text and photos are large and easy to read, so no eye strain using this book. Most pages have three steps and accompanying photos. Some photos are larger than others, based upon the view needed for the particular step.
This is by far one of the most detailed treatments of wood spirit carving that I have encountered.
After the 53 pages of step-by-step instruction, the reader will find 7 pages of patterns and a 3 page gallery of finished carvings.
The book concludes with a page of what her students have come to call Susan-isims; useful little quick gems learned over twenty-five years of carving, such as “Put your knife down BEFORE you scratch your nose,” and “By learning the various methods you will eventually develop your own carving style.”
Are there nits to pick with this book? Actually, darn few. I would have liked to see a bit better lighting on a few of the photos, but generally speaking the lighting and quality was good. Some might think the introductory material was a bit lightly covered, but I an comfortable with that in exchange for more and better detail in the actual carving process.
If you are a newbie carving looking to upgrade your skill level, or a more experience carver looking for another method of woodspirit carving, then you should certainly consider adding this book to your collection. Carving Woodspirit: Beyond The Basics is available for $17.95 plus shipping from wasatchwoodcarver.com. (Click HERE)