Archive for January 2015

January/February 2015 WOM

Welcome to Woodcarver Online Magazine Volume 19 Issue 1

2014 International Woodcarvers Congress. Award winning carvings.

2014 Inter­na­tion­al Wood­carvers Congress

Cross Hob­bledby John C Sharp, Min­er­al Point, WI 

Best of Show;   1st in Group K, Group — Exhibits of two or more Sub­jects, Human and/or Ani­mal;  1st in Class 901 — Com­bin­ing real­isitc humans and/or ani­mals in a scene, all finishes

 More and larg­er views in the IWC ’14 Gallery

Hel­lo, Friends in Carv­ing -

Wel­come to the first issue of  Wood­carv­er Online Mag­a­zine for 2015. our 19th year of publication. 

In this issue:

2014 AWC Win­ner’s Gallery

Susan Alexan­der’s Let’s Talk Carv­ing #3

Per­ry A. Reynolds on  Carv­ing Out Your Opportunities

Ol’ Don’s Draw­ing Table: Beans ‘n Biskits

Pete LeClair: LaValle

Notes From The Net

Events, Hap­pen­ings and Goings-On Updat­ed


As always, we wel­come your feed­back, ideas for arti­cles, etc.  Please use the con­tact form on the About page in the menu bar above.


WOM Editor Matt Kelley

WOM Edi­tor Matt Kelley


Matt Kel­ley


IWC 2014 Winner Galleries

2014 International Woodcarvers Congress. Award winning carvings.

Cross Hob­bled”, John C Sharp’s Best of Show Win­ner in AWC 2014

Assem­bling the pho­to gallery for the Inter­na­tion­al Wood­carv­er Con­gress Win­ners is a mix of labor and won­der;  it is, quite frankly, the great­est amount of work of any sin­gle arti­cle in WOM, and yet I know I’m going to see a lot of won­der­ful carv­ings as I edit the gal­leries.  The 2014 IWC Gallery was no excep­tion, start­ing with John C. Sharpe’s Best of Show win­ner.   This edi­tion has some 296 pho­tos (twice that num­ber if you count the thumb­nails) includ­ing some of the best carv­ings you will see any­where.  In the win­ner gal­leries you’ll find 169 of pho­tog­ra­ph­er Marc Feath­er­ly’s excel­lent stu­dio pho­tos of the win­ners at IWC 2014, includ­ing more pho­tos of the Best of Show winner.

In addi­tion to the gallery of the prize-win­ning carv­ings, you’ll also find Mar­c’s can­did pho­tos from the Class­es, Award Ban­quet, the Judges cri­tique ses­sion, the Show floor, and oth­er pho­tos around and about dur­ing Congress.

As always, the pho­tos in the win­ner’s gallery are click­able, and will take you to much larg­er ver­sions of these great carv­ings.  (Much larg­er then you’ll see in any paper pub­li­ca­tion.)  The large pho­tos will afford you the oppor­tu­ni­ty to real­ly look at the win­ners in detail.

To vis­it the gal­leries, in the menu bar above click on WOM, then on The Gal­leries menu item, or click HERE.   Enjoy!

Susan Alexander’s Let’s Talk Carving Issue #3

Susan bio shot      Do They All Look Alike?


Please refer to and fol­low all man­u­fac­tur­ers’ direc­tions.

Do your wiz­ards, house and wood spir­its all have the same expres­sion on their face? Do they look as if they are relat­ed to each oth­er and have the same blood line, but not in a good way? Do you need some­thing to spark your imag­i­na­tion to find new and dif­fer­ent faces to carve? Oh do I have a TV Show for you!

First, a caveat: I don’t watch scary movies. I don’t like scary movies, but for the last three years, I’ve been watch­ing Face Off on the SyFy Chan­nel sim­ply because I am amazed at how artists can cre­ate “char­ac­ters” which is exact­ly what we do when we carve faces.

Face Off is a com­pe­ti­tion series that explores the work of spe­cial-effects make­up artists. You can go to to see some of their work from past episodes, but it is best to watch full episodes (also avail­able on their web­site) because it takes you through the artists’ (the series begins with approx­i­mate­ly 10 dif­fer­ent artists) thought process­es, sketch­es, clay mod­els, col­or choic­es, wardrobes, and reviews. Admit­ted­ly, you prob­a­bly would not carve 90% of the crea­tures the artists cre­ate, but watch­ing the cre­ative process is mes­mer­iz­ing, espe­cial­ly when they decide to cre­ate “nature” crea­tures. This is where our wood spir­its, house spir­its and wiz­ards appear – even a few gnomes and dwarfs.

The judges, Ve Neill, Glenn Het­rick and Neville Page are spe­cial-effects mas­ters who have worked on movies such as Star Trek, Pirates of the Caribbean, Beetle­juice, Mrs. Doubt­fire (Ve Neill did Robin Williams’ make­up), Buffy, X‑Files, The Amaz­ing Spi­der-Man, Plan­et of the Apes, The Incred­i­ble Hulk, The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe, and togeth­er have won Acad­e­my Awards and Emmys. When the judges point out the com­peti­tors’ errors, we are all giv­en the oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn from them. The judges also dis­cuss why cer­tain artists fail, which often includes bal­ance and pro­por­tion – some­thing we all use in our carving.

Take time to watch one Face Off episode. Don’t be turned off if they are doing zom­bies or skele­tons. Over­look the sub­ject mat­ter and lis­ten to the judges. We can all pick up a few point­ers, and you will def­i­nite­ly find new expres­sions for your carvings.



Last month, I did a shout-out for fel­low carv­er, Rich Neely, who asked for tips, videos or books on carv­ing a female face.

Short­ly there­after, the cav­al­ry (con­sist­ing of “Ol’ Don” Burgdorf and Don Mertz) arrived full of edu­ca­tion­al infor­ma­tion. I’ve down­loaded a few pic­tures so you have an idea of their offer­ings. I love Ol’ Don’s warning.

Read More→

Carving Out Your Opportunities

Carving Out Your Opportunities

By Per­ry A Reynolds

As we con­tin­ue our pas­sion for wood carv­ing many of us may desire to explore addi­tion­al oppor­tu­ni­ties in wood carv­ing relat­ed activ­i­ties. Many, if not most, even­tu­al­ly choose to begin sell­ing their work. This choice can be for many rea­sons. From sim­ply seek­ing addi­tion­al income to sup­port our carv­ing habit, to reduc­ing our abun­dance of carv­ings or may be to even­tu­al­ly seek wood­carv­ing as a full time occu­pa­tion. Even if a per­son is not an accom­plished wood carv­er there are still plen­ty of oppor­tu­ni­ties that exist for the artis­tic, cre­ative or ener­getic indi­vid­ual that wants to par­tic­i­pate in carv­ing as an vehi­cle for addi­tion­al opportunity.
Lets take a look at var­i­ous oppor­tu­ni­ties that a carv­er or artist may choose to explore. Bro­ken down into clear­ly defined aspects and cat­e­gories of carv­ing, the fol­low­ing ideas are sim­ply basic choices.

All wood carv­ings can be divid­ed into two basic aspects: Abstract and Real­ism. Many carv­ings also bridge these two cat­e­gories. One good exam­ple is car­i­ca­ture carv­ings. Though we can eas­i­ly rec­og­nize them as a human, ani­mal or oth­er fig­ures they are abstract inter­pre­ta­tions of those entities.

Types of Carvings

A brief descrip­tion of the types of most com­mon­ly found wood carv­ings include:

Dec­o­ra­tive Carving

This can come in many forms but for the sake of time and space this can be best defined as carv­ings meant to be placed on a shelf, dis­played on a pedestal or hung on a wall, tree, door or oth­er place of dis­play for visu­al enjoy­ment. The vast major­i­ty of wood­carv­ings fall into this category.

Func­tion­al Carving

Things meant to be used in dai­ly life. Spoons, Bowls, Jew­el­ry, Hunt­ing Decoys, Dis­play Shelves, Fur­nish­ings and oth­er carv­ings that are pro­vide not only beau­ty but also function.

Archi­tec­tur­al Carving

This aspect incor­po­rates both dec­o­ra­tive and func­tion­al. Exam­ples include Fixed Fur­nish­ings, Door and Win­dow Mold­ings, Doors, Man­tles, Cab­i­netry, Stair­case Com­po­nents, Sig­nage or any oth­er carv­ing that pro­vides dec­o­ra­tive func­tion and except for move­able sig­nage is usu­al­ly a fixed enti­ty that becomes an inte­gral com­po­nent of a home or a com­mer­cial building.

As a carv­er, artist, crafter or any oth­er occu­pa­tion in which a per­son choos­es to par­tic­i­pate for prof­it it is imper­a­tive to struc­ture your prod­ucts or ser­vices so that they will make mon­ey. Here is a basic for­mu­la if you are seek­ing to mar­ket your work as well as sur­vive in the carv­ing relat­ed busi­ness (or any busi­ness).  Mate­r­i­al + Labor + Over­head = Cost.  Cost + Markup = Sales Price. If you under­cut your labor you walk back­wards. Over­head encom­pass­es the indi­rect costs such as sup­plies, trans­port­ing the prod­ucts, pack­ag­ing, adver­tis­ing, busi­ness cards, entry fees, dis­plays, etc… It is also imper­a­tive to add a prof­it (of what­ev­er per­cent­age you choose). Dis­re­gard­ing any of these fac­tors is a recipe for fail­ure. If you are inter­est­ing in mar­ket­ing your work as a prof­itable hob­by and you adhere to those sim­ple for­mu­las then as your cus­tomer base grows you will be afford­ed far more opportunities!

Read More→

From “Ol’ Don’s” Drawing Table

OlDonFrom “Ol’ Don” Draw­ing Table

 “Ol’ Don” Burgdorf presents Beans ‘n Biskits

image description

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 in past issues of Carv­ing Mag­a­zine. Some of Don’s “Chat­ter­ing Chip­pers” pat­terns can also be seen at the Wood­carver’s Porch pat­tern page.

Copy­right 2011–2015 “Ol’ Don” Burgdorf. This Pat­tern may be copied for indi­vid­ual use; repro­duc­tion for resale is pro­hib­it­ed with­out express writ­ten permission.

From Pete LeClair — LaValle

Pete LeClair

Pete LeClair’s Projects

Pete LeClair’s LaValle


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 — 2015 by Pete LeClair.

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

Notes From The ‘Net

Notes From The Net

Ques­tions and Answers About Carv­ing Gath­ered From Pop­u­lar Carv­ing Groups

 Edit­ed by Matt Kelley


Wel­come carv­ing friends to NFTN, ver­sion 2.0.   In this ongo­ing series we will gath­er the best ques­tions, answers and com­ments from the more active Face­book and mail list carv­ing groups, such as the Wood­carv­er List, Wood­carv­ing 101 — The Joy of Wood­carv­ing, and the Inter­na­tion­al Fish Carvers & Painters Asso­ci­a­tion, and present them here.

Enjoy, and Carve On!

Using colored pencils on carvings

On the Wood­carv­er List mail group, Jim Williams posed this question:

I want to try using col­ored pen­cils to put sub­tle col­ors on a wood­carv­ing.  Does any­one out there have any expe­ri­ence with this method?  Do I seal the wood first or seal after I use the pen­cils?  If I want a stain for the major­i­ty of the carv­ing can I apply a light stain and then use col­ored pen­cil for the high­lights and then seal the whole thing with a poly fin­ish?  All infor­ma­tion or sug­ges­tions are welcome.

Joe Dil­lett answered:

Hey Jim,

The answer to your ques­tion is to test on sam­ples. There are three basic types of col­ored pen­cils: wax, oil and water­col­or. Each will react dif­fer­ent­ly. Most papers has enough tooth to get an even col­or dis­tri­b­u­tion, how­ev­er wood is quite dif­fer­ent and dif­fi­cult to get an even coat. Even water­col­or pen­cil, which absorbs even on paper does not on wood. I have tried sev­er­al dif­fer­ent meth­ods of using col­or pen­cils for adding a lit­tle hint of col­or but was nev­er sat­is­fied with the results. Maybe some oth­ers here have found a tech­nique to achieve good results?

Pat Sher­man commented:

If you take odor­less paint thin­ner and dip your col­ored pen­cil in it first, you can put the col­or on wood pret­ty good.  Oil pas­tel sticks will also work.   Put the col­or on and then go over it with the paint thin­ner.  Melts it like paint.

Den­ny Bell added:

I have used col­ored pen­cils and cray­on pen­cils for high­light­ing some carv­ings.  The pen­cils were applied to the raw wood and coat­ed with a clear fin­ish with­out prob­lem.  Some carvers use the col­ored pen­cils then soft­en the col­or using a wet brush to blend the pen­ciled areas together.

Don­na Menke pro­vid­ed this answer:

Jim, I have used oil pen­cils to col­or wood burn­ings and they worked very well. They are soft­er than reg­u­lar col­ored pen­cils, although good qual­i­ty artist-grade col­ored pen­cils are OK.  You want the tooth of the wood to grab the pen­cil col­or, and bare sand­ed wood works very well. So I would seal afterwards.

Stain­ing first would pose no prob­lems at all. Just keep it light enough so that the pen­cil will show up.  Fin­ish­ing with poly for oil pen­cil is a prob­lem since the poly will dis­solve and smear the col­ors. I fixed this by seal­ing the design first with the poly and then wait­ing until it was dry before fin­ish­ing the whole thing.

From Gene Brem­mer:

A few years ago, I took a fish paint­ing class out in New Hamp­shire from a fish painter/taxidermist.   He main­ly puts out CD’s on fish paint­ing.   One of the ways we paint­ed larg­er areas of fish is to take a dry water­col­or pen­cil and lit­er­al­ly scrub over the side of the fish where we want­ed a col­or.   I do mean we did scrib­ble on the fish repro­duc­tion.   After that we took and wet a reg­u­lar paper tow­el with water and wrung the water out of the paper tow­el.   We squeezed it in all dif­fer­ent ways until the tow­el was only damp.  Then we went to the fish and dabbed over the col­or we had just scrib­bled on the fish.   It spread the col­or so very nice­ly over the fish.  If it takes the col­or off then you have used too much water.   But, you can put the col­or right back on and do it over.   Now this would prob­a­bly not work very well in tiny, del­i­cate areas unless using a small brush.    Give it a try and I am sure you will have lots of fun with it.

That’s it for this edi­tion of NFTN.    If you see a post on one of the FB groups or Mail List­servs that you think should be pre­served in NFTN, please use the form below to sub­mit your suggestion.

NFTN Suggestions

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