Archive for March 2016

March/April 2016 WOM


Welcome to Woodcarver Online Magazine Volume 20 Issue 2


Lazy Day

James Butlin, Hilton, NY

2015 CCA National Caricature Carving Competition, Single Animal

Hello, Friends in Carving

Welcome to the second issue in the 20th year of Woodcarver Online Magazine.  This issue includes our annual photo gallery of the CCA 2015 Caricature Carving Competition winners.

For those of you who attend the Dayton Carvers Artistry In Wood event, if you haven’t heard, AIW will have a date and location change in 2016.  For more information click the link on the AIW entry on the Events, Happenings and Goings-On page

While making plans for the spring, don’t forget the 50th Annual International Woodcarvers Congress in June.  Entries for the competition may be mailed in or carried in.  There are still classes available, but some fill early.  Click the IWC banner to the right for more information.

In this issue:

  • Photo Gallery Caricature Carvers of America 2015 National Caricature Carving Competition Winners
  • Ol’ Don’s Drawing Table: Fries With That?
  • Pete LeClair: Cliffy
  •  Tools Sets  for Beginning Carvers by Susan Irish
  • Major Update to Events, Happenings and Goings-On
  • Call For Photos for future Celtic Art issue of WOM

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


CCA 2015 National Caricature Carving Competition

Dunham-Steve-2Each year in August the Caricature Carvers of America sponsor the National Caricature Carving Competition,  Judging takes place at the home of the Eastern Woodland Carvers Club in Converse IN. We are pleased to once again present a photo gallery of the Competition winners.  As always, photo galleries in WOM include large scale photos of the winners so that you can get a close-up view of the work.

To view the 2015 winners click HERE or click the WOM menu item to go the the Galleries page.

The 2016 National Competition will occur in Converse on Thursday, August 18, 2015.  Cash prizes are given to the three Best of Show winners, as well as first and second place in each group.   For more information, visit the CCA home page HERE.

Beginner Tool Sets

Beginner’s Tool Sets

By Lora S. Irish

I am a real believe in beginner’s carving tool sets for several reasons.  Usually we, Mike and I, suggest a basic five or six tool set for around $50 and a bench knife or chip knife as your first investment into carving.  So our beginners start with an investment of less than $100.

There are several forms of carving where one or two tools are really all you need to start our hobby as figure carving or whittling with a bench knife or high quality pocket style knife – chip carving where a chip knife and stab knife will do everything you need.  But those two tools – the bench knife/chip knife and stab knife – will not let you explore relief carving!

A basic beginner’s set with round gouges, chisels, skews and v-gouges will let a beginner try every style of carving. After you have settled into your favorite style of carving you may end up using just a few of the tools, so some may seem a waste of investment.  For some reason I have never gotten comfortable with the skew chisel?!? But having enough tool profiles at the start of your hobby gives you so much more variety in carving styles that I believe they are worth it.

I started with wood spirit walking sticks and a bench knife was all I really had to have.  Yet, somehow, I have ended up a relief carver and just a bench knife won’t get me very far into this form of carving.

With an inexpensive (notice I did not say a CHEAP craft store set) beginner’s set you have at hand the basic tools for any carving you might want to try.  As you develop you style, discover your favorite variation of carving then add high quality tools specifically for your type of carving.  But don’t throw that beginner’s set away as one day something might catch you attention and you will be delighted that you have them on hand.


This basic beginners carving set includes two sizes of round chisels, a skew chisel, a straight chisel, and a v-gouge.  Also shown are a long-bladed bench knife and a large chip carving knife for straight-edge cuts.


Sharpening stones, strops and rouge are an important part of any carver’s tool kit.  No matter how much a carving tool initially cost, it is no better than its cutting edge.  Shown here are a Japanese wet stone, ceramic stones, a profiled honing strop, leather strop, and a synthetic strop.  You can also obtain varying grits of emery cloth at your local hardware store for edge sharpening.


Many of the tools that will end up in your carving kit are basic household tools.  Scissors, ink pens, pencils, and graphite paper are used to transfer your pattern to the wood.  A T-square will help you properly set the pattern to the wood blank.  You will need sandpaper is several grits from 150- to 320-grit for preparing your wood and for smoothing out rough areas in the carving.  You will also need masking tape, dusting brushes, and an assortment of small riffle files.


For many carvings, whether you do 3-D work or relief carving, will require some means of securing the wood.  Shown here is a basic bench hook or bracing board that you can make out of scrap plywood.  The front edge of the board drops over the edge of your table.  The back corner brace allows you to push the cutting stroke into the corner without the wood moving from the pressure of the tools. (Plans for the bench hook may be found by clicking HERE).

Just my opinion.,

Designs Online Since 1997 by Lora S. Irish

LoraIrishLora S. Irish is a carver and designs projects and tutorials for carving, pyrography and related art.  Her line art patterns and drawings site, features line art designs created exclusively by Lora for craters and artisans.   Her blog, at, features many of pages of free projects and tutorials.



From Pete LeClair – Cliffy

Pete LeClair

Pete LeClair’s Projects

Pete LeClair’s Cliffy

Cliffy may be carved as a single piece, or the head and bust may be carved separately.  Patterns are included for both.






Cliffy-Full- Bust-pattern-A

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.

From “Ol’ Don’s” Drawing Table

OlDonFrom “Ol’ Don” Drawing Table

“Ol’ Don” Burgdorf presents Fries With That?


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.

Call for Photos – Celtic Art Carvings and Pyrography

Rusty Brown Rose 03

Rose By Rusty Brown

Plans are underway for a Celtic Art focused issue of WOM, likely to be published sometime in the mid-2016.   You are invited to submit photos of favorite Celtic-themed pieces you’ve carved or pyro’ed in the last several years.

Submissions should be sent to womeditorATcomcastDOTnet; alternately, you may send a link to a gallery such as Flickr that stores files at their original size.

Please include the following information with your high quality photos:

Title of Carving

Size (approx)



About the design:

  • From your own design?
  • Inspired by a design by or in . . .
  • Carved in a class led by . . .
  • From a rough out by . . .
  • From a pattern by . . .
  • Etc . . .

 Submissions due no later than the end of June 2016!


Questions, queries, posers? Send email to womeditorATcomcastDOTnet