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