Archive for July 2015

July/August 2015 WOM

Welcome to Woodcarver Online Magazine Volume 19 Issue 3

2014 Artistry in Wood – Dayton Carvers Guild

2014 Artistry in Wood, Award winning carvings.

2014 Artistry in Wood, Best in Group K

1st Place – Group K

Kangaroo and Joey

Diane Harto, Mantua, OH

Hello, Friends in Carving

We are pleased to welcome Gene Webb Enterprises as the newest sponsor of Woodcarver Online Magazine and   Gene offers instruction and videos, supplies, tools and materials, as well as finished carvings.   Gene is running a special right now for WOM/ readers:  20% discount on any orders $75.00 and over untill the end of May. Use the coupon code online or for phone-in orders. Coupon code is SAVEBIG.   Click on the graphic in the Sponsor sidebar to visit his website.

In this issue:

  • Artistry In Wood 2014 Show Report and Winners Photo Gallery
  • Susan Alexander’s Let’s Talk Carving #9
  • Steve Kulp’s Small Carving Holder
  • Ol’ Don’s Drawing Table: Surf Seeker
  • Pete LeClair: Stubby
  • Events, Happenings and Goings-On Updated

Coming up in Part II, in August:

  • Susan Alexander’s Let’s Talk Carving #10
  • Book Reviews!
  • Notes From The Net 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.




Photo by Marc Featherly at IWC ’14

Matt Kelley


2014 Artistry in Wood Show Report

Artistry In Wood – A Show of Shows

By Don Mertz

Since 1981 the Dayton, Ohio Artistry in Wood show has gained the acclaim of being “A Show of Shows” in that each year it continues to be the show to visit and experience for the first time over and over again.  The 2014 edition hosted approximately 5,400 visitors who viewed over 225 exhibitors’ displays and visited numerous vendors of tools, supplies, wood and books for all who appreciate the creative works of art in the medium of wood.

First time visitors were in awe at the size of the exposition hall, aesthetically laid out with carpeted walkways and curtained aisles that led to rows of exhibitors, with each one offering unique and beautiful wooden art that captured the appreciation of admiring eyes and hopeful shoppers.  Many visitors discovered that one day was not long enough to take in all the wonders of creative inspiration.  Returning for the second day became an adventure of discovery of a new eye catcher that was overlooked the first day.

One first time visitor who represents the sentiments of many first timers commented on the show through Facebook saying: The wife and I attended the show for the first time. It was Amazing!! The variety of work was overwhelming to a “newbie” like me. Everything from carved Popsicle sticks to a life sized fisherman reeling in a bass! All the exhibitors we talked to were more than willing to share their expertise, great bunch of folks, and with all the vendors in one spot it was like Christmas. (I spent too much!!)

Another good show, was a comment often repeated along with sentiments that the show gets better and better.  So whether it was first time visitors or long time return visitors the sentiments were all complimentary.

Why Artistry in Wood is considered the Show of Shows can be answered in a variety of ways. First is the reputation of providing the best venue for exhibitors to display and sell their art as well as entering woodcarvings and woodworking projects in competition that has a full range of categories and classes judged by knowledgeable and respected judges.

Woodcarving judges included:

  • Josh Guge, Gilberts, IL
  • Rick Harney, Normal, IL
  • John Engler, Battlefield, MO.

All together, they judged 327 carving entries.

The top carving winners were:

  • Best of Show – Charley Phillips, Newark, TX
  • 2nd Best of Show, Sandy Czajka, Troy, OH
  • 3rd Best of Show – Dylan Goodson, AL.

Woodworking judges were:

  • Roger Hornung, Germantown, OH,
  • Lary Sanders, Springfield, OH
  • Jim McCann, Brookville, OH

They judged 86 woodworking entries, and the top woodworking projects were:

  • Best of Show – Jay Kinsinger, Cedarvillle, OH
  • 2nd Best, Deborah Anderson, Carbon, IN
  • 3rd Best, Mark Waninger Jamestown, IN.

Read More→

2014 Artistry In Wood Photo Galleries

Artistry In Wood 2014 Photo Galleries

Photography by Marc Featherly

To visit the Gallery pages, click the links below, or the Galleries link in the menu bar to the left.

Artistry in Wood 2014 Carving Winners – click HERE

Artistry in Wood 2014 Woodworking Winners – click HERE

2014 Artistry in Wood Casual Photosclick HERE

Susan Alexander’s “Let’s Talk Carving” Issue 9

Susan bio shot  Carving Found Wood



A carving friend, John Carriere from Darwin, Australia, emailed me that he recently had completed carving his “found wood.” When I imagine drift wood, it isn’t anywhere close to the 90 lbs., 15’ length of John’s found wood.

Of course, I had lots of questions; the first of many being what “shore” was he walking along when he discovered it. I knew you’d be interested in all of John’s answers and his terrific photos of this massive carving.

Darwin is at the top end of Australia so the shore here would be the Timor Sea being part of the Indian Ocean. The eastern part of Australia is where the Pacific Ocean is and Darwin is close to the western part. I don’t know where this tree floated from but it did not appear to have been rooted here. Indonesia is north of Darwin so there is a possibility it came from there.

I have finally finished the large carving. The photo does not do it justice as a lot of carvings, within the carving, do not show up very well. As it is drift wood, there was a bit of rot in some places.

(Click the photo for a larger view – use your web browser “Back” button to return)

Back of the root.


Front of the Root


I found the trunk on the shore during a lunchtime walk about three years ago. Most of the tree was there, about 15 feet long. The flare or skirt at the bottom that helped to support the tree was what drew my attention to it. It was about a yard wide and tapered up like a triangle. It was too tempting so I came back on the week end with a saw and a dolly. I cut out the tree and other unwanted parts. The part I wanted was very heavy, about 90 pounds and I had to tumble it up a bank of about 8 feet. I got it on the dolly and wheeled it to my car. I was in the process of getting a hernia trying to tumble it into the trunk when a jogger came by and offered to help. I graciously accepted it and we got it in the car. When I got home, I had to carefully tumble it out of the car. I then blasted it with the garden hose and got most of the mud and mold off of it. The rot in some areas got softer but remained.

I left it outside for about a year as I wasn’t sure what I wanted to carve on it, but it lent itself to being a mountain. It got rained on for a wet season of harsh tropical storms which additionally cleaned it but progressed the rot. Some sections of it were hollow so rain got in there.



I carried out more pruning which reduced its weight considerably and brought it into my workshop. I was still unsure of what to carve on it until I received my copy of the May-June 2014 issue of Chip Chats Magazine. The carving of a mountain scape by Dylan Goodson gave me the idea of doing something similar. I copied the house on his carving but the rest of the carving is from my imagination.



I did a lot of homework on off cut pieces of wood to practice carving flowers, vines, shrubs, trees, etc. before carving these on the blank. It took from mid February to mid May, about 350 hours to complete it.



I have attached additional photos showing more detail of the individual carvings. There is also a photo of the back so you will have a better idea of what I had to contend with. So it stands by itself as the base of it is like a third of an upside down cone. I worked around and included some of the rot in some of the individual carvings. I made liberal use of plastic wood when required. It took the stain quite well and is hard to notice. There is a round area under the house which was rotten. There was nothing I could do with it other than to carve an imitation boulder in pine and glue it in.



I carved some of it as it stood and laid if flat on my workmate bench for most of the carving. My edged tools were used for most of the carvings. The exception was the stone work on the house where I used a Dremmel with a small bit. I didn’t sand between the carvings in order to maintain a rough surface similar to grass, weeds etc on the surface of a mountain. The trees were sanded to 180 grit but then roughed up with a v tool to simulate bark. I have it on a wood box in my workshop. The box is about 3 feet off the floor which is a good height for a line of sight to it.

The finish is Cabot oil based stain and varnish (satin tint) followed by carnauba wax applied with a shoe polishing brush. It was then polished with a combination of a shoe brush and a tight fibre polishing cloth used to polish limousines. It’s a hard wax to polish and your arms are considering claiming a divorce from your body, but the finished surface is worth it.

John Carriere

 My daughter, Tanya, has helped me with these photos. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to let me know.

Take care, John

John, I doubt many of us will ever find, much less have the opportunity to drag home 90 lbs. of Indonesia drift wood. Thank you so much for sharing the information and photos of your massive carving project. What a great carving adventure!

Until next month, gen­tle reader, may your wood be plen­ti­ful and your tools stay sharp. Take care, carve lots, and always remem­ber to smile.




Small Carving Work Holder

Small Carving Work Holder

By Steve Kulp

In response to a question on a Facebook group from Richard Sanchez about work holders for smaller carvings.  Steve Kulp shared his design for a small work holder utilizing baluster screws and scrap wood.  This is a good method to hold smaller work and prevent injury!  Following is an expanded and more detailed version of his comments:

General Dimensions and Hardware

General Dimensions and Hardware

General Dimensions and Hardware. Note: don’t drill the 3/4 in. hole completely through the holder block, or flatten the hole sides. You’ll see why later.

How to locate 1/4 in hole in the end

How to locate 1/4 in hole in the end

End view showing how to locate 1/4 in hole. Note: after drilling 1/4 in. hole re-drill slightly larger for screw thread clearance , also make sure the hole is at least 3 1/2 in. deep for baluster screw clearance .

Drill pilot hole in work piece

Drill pilot hole in work piece

Drill pilot hole in bottom of work piece about 1 in. deep, first making sure that it will not interfere with the carving. After drilling the pilot hole run the Baluster screw into the carving , either by using double nuts on the threaded end , or pliers gripping in or about the middle of the Baluster screw .

Mounting workpiece on holder

Mounting workpiece on holder

Now we find out why we didn’t drill the 3/4in. hole through. ! drop a 1/4 in. nut into the 3/4 in hole and jiggle it around until it lays flat on the bottom side of the 3/4 in. hole , lined up with the end drilled 1/4 in hole.  Push the Baluster screw into the end hole till it butts against the nut.  Start the nut onto the Baluster screw by turning the carving until the nut is started . After the nut is started you should be able to turn the holder until the whole assembly tightens . And this is why we didn’t flatten the edges of the 3/4 hole , the rounded edges will hold the nut while you tighten it .

Mounted vertically in a bench vice

Mounted vertically in a bench vice

The assembly tightened and mounted vertically in a bench vice .

Using the side hole

Using the side hole

Using the other hole you can mount your carving with the holder horizontal in a bench vice .

Horizontal clamped to a bench or table

Horizontal clamped to a bench or table

Vertical holder clamped to a bench or table

Vertical holder clamped to a bench or table

You may visit Steve Kulp’s Facebook page to see more of his work by clicking HERE

From “Ol’ Don’s” Drawing Table

OlDonFrom “Ol’ Don” Drawing Table

“Ol’ Don” Burgdorf presents Surf Seeker

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 – Stubby

Pete LeClair

Pete LeClair’s Projects

Pete LeClair’s Stubby



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.