Archive for May 2016

May-June 2016 WOM


Welcome to Woodcarver Online Magazine Volume 20 Issue 3



Detail — Cof­fee Table

Scott Zuzi­ak, Lazy Riv­er Stu­dio

Hel­lo, Friends in Carv­ing -

Wel­come to the third issue in the 20th year of Wood­carv­er Online Mag­a­zine.  We have a nice assort­ment of arti­cles for you this issue.

Reminder:  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

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 some class­es avail­able.  Click the IWC ban­ner to the right for more infor­ma­tion.

In this issue:

  • 50 Years of Carv­ings — New Eng­land Wood Carvers
  • Pho­to Gallery - Scott Zuzi­ak Com­mis­sion Cof­fee Table
  • Ol’ Don’s Draw­ing Table: Fun In The Sun
  • Pete LeClair: Chuck­ie
  •  Sell­ing Fin­ished Work by Lora S. Irish
  • Cougar, Deer and Griz­zly Pat­terns by Lora S. Irish
  • Update to Events, Hap­pen­ings and Goings-On

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


50 Years of Carvers

50 Years of Carvers

New Eng­land Wood­carvers, Inc

50 Years of CarversCarv­ing clubs, unfor­tu­nate­ly, come and go, ebbing and flow­ing with changes in mem­ber­ship and pass­ing of time.  The New Eng­land Wood­carvers is a hap­py excep­tion.  Found­ed in 1965, the club cel­e­brat­ed 50 years in 2015.

One of the projects select­ed to cel­e­brate the 50th anniver­sary was cre­ation of the book 50 Years of Carvers.  The effort was spear­head­ed by edi­tors Jer­ry Grimes, Kei­th Old­field and Joe Mar­shall with help from many oth­ers.   The hard­cov­er book, print­ed in col­or on slick paper, is also a cel­e­bra­tion of the many diverse styles of carv­ing and carvers in the club.  It fea­tures over 109 carvers and their work spread over 228 pages. and includes a lot of names with which you will be famil­iar, rang­ing from Paul Ward (on the cov­er) to long-time WOM con­trib­u­tor Pete LeClair.  Inter­est­ing­ly, the chap­ters are by sub­ject area, so indi­vid­ual carvers often end up in mul­ti­ple chap­ters.

The book is avail­able for pur­chase at a cost of $30 for NEWC mem­bers and $35 for non-mem­bers.  If inter­est­ed, con­tact Jer­ry Grimes via email at or vis tele­phone at 978–660-0625

Scott Zuziak Custom Table

Commission Coffee Table Carved By Scott Zuziak

Chica­go area carv­er Scott Zuzi­ak recent­ly deliv­er this stun­ning cus­tom carved cof­fee table to a delight­ed cus­tomer in Asheville, TN.  Sol­id oak with glass insert.


To see more pho­tos of Scott’s project, click Slide Show below, or click indi­vid­ual pho­tos.

Zuziak01Scott Zuzi­ak is the own­er of Lazy Riv­er Stu­dio, and spe­cial­izes in hand-made signs and rus­tic fur­ni­ture, includ­ing cus­tom signs for home, cot­tage or busi­ness, and cus­tom bench­es, cof­fee tables, bed head­boards and foot­boards, jew­el­ry box­es and pic­ture frames.  See more of Scott’s work at

From Pete LeClair — Chuckie

Pete LeClair

Pete LeClair’s Projects

Pete LeClair’s Chuckie



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.

Selling Finished Work

Selling Finished Work

By Lora S. Irish

I had a ques­tion post­ed to me on one of my mes­sage boards.  The per­son was ask­ing how to sell their fin­ished works (pyrog­ra­phy) and whether to pur­sue art gallery space or craft show space. Per­haps oth­ers will add ideas to this dis­cus­sion on the Wood­carv­er List Face­book group.

In my expe­ri­ence arts and crafts shows often do way bet­ter for carvers and burn­ers than art gal­leries when you are look­ing for sales for your work.

Art gal­leries have lim­it­ed space for work in their brick and mor­tar store fronts, there is only so much room espe­cial­ly for 3-D dis­play. This means that as a carver/pyrographers your chances of get­ting space are extreme­ly lim­it­ed and if you do win space the num­ber of items they can show for you is lim­it­ed.

A gallery will charge up to 50% of the sale price of your work as their com­mis­sion. If they offer you a One Man show or Solo Show the costs of the adver­tis­ing and enter­tain­ment for the affair can also be charged against your sales.

Gal­leries work extreme­ly well for flat work as paint­ings, etch­ing or prints. Prints usu­al­ly have the pref­er­ence as they can be racked and are inex­pen­sive­ly priced for cus­tomer from between $50 to $250. Plus print sales sup­port the fram­ing busi­ness that most gal­leries have.

As an artist you can incur unex­pect­ed costs by work­ing through a gallery set­ting.  Often a gallery will require you to car­ry insur­ance on the full sell­ing price of your work to pro­tect them from pay­ing for the nat­ur­al dam­age, wear and tear that can hap­pen to your work while in their cus­tody.  Also you as the artist are finan­cial­ly respon­si­ble for any ship­ping costs to and from the gallery.

High end arts and craft shows on the oth­er hand are where an artist rents space for the affair and then set up their own small, portable shop front. Depend­ing on the show you might be rent­ing a space inside a large build­ing, a cer­tain size of grass plot or some­times a sec­tion of tent. Check to see if you need to pur­chase elec­tric­i­ty or not … if you need it. You will most like­ly need to fur­nish your store set­tings as tables, table cloths and chairs.

For me the biggest dif­fer­ence between a gallery and an arts/craft show is the atmos­phere. A gallery is qui­et, con­tem­pla­tive, one or two peo­ple at a time and ‘I’m con­sid­er­ing buy­ing’ place. A shows in noisy, bus­sel­ly, some­times hordes of peo­ple and ‘I have mon­ey in my pock­ets’ place .…

If I may be so bold as to throw out a few ideas for you to con­sid­er before your next show:

1. Cre­ate your ‘store front’ care­ful­ly and well before you go to any show.

Make it adjustable by using small­er table units (4′ sec­tions) that can be rearranged to fit any space.

Make it match. Go ahead and invest some mon­ey into a nice look­ing arrange­ment of match­ing fur­ni­ture pieces instead of going to the base­ment and grab­bing some saw hors­es and old ply­wood scraps. The first looks pro­fes­sion­al and prof­itable imply­ing that you have made enough sales to jus­ti­fy the set up. The lat­ter looks throw togeth­er and just cheap so to the cus­tomer you obvi­ous­ly are not a sell­ing artist.

Don’t use table cloths to “hide” struc­tur­al units. Use cloth to give accent and col­or to your pieces. Cloth works won­der­ful­ly as a visu­al divider between items or groups of items.

I once saw a set­up of shelves cre­at­ed with small step 5′ high step lad­ders. The lad­ders were paint­ed bright fire engine red with black trim for the met­al parts. Then white paint­ed boards were slid through the steps to cre­ate the shelv­ing. The craft ware could be set on the shelves, cer­tain pieces fea­tured on the step lad­ders top board or inside the A shape of the lad­der steps and more piece hung from the sides of the lad­ders. Easy to put up, take down and extreme­ly eye catch­ing.

2. Some things small and inex­pen­sive — some things medi­um and afford­able — some things expen­sive and impres­sive — at least three things out­ra­geous­ly priced and just in your face atten­tion grab­bers. As a pyro show artist I would include key rings with quick and easy designs and maybe ribbons/silk flow­ers on the key ring that any­one could afford. Next would be my ‘bread and but­ter’ price range with items that both art­sy and use­ful as your purs­es or as spoon hold­ers or let­ter box­es. Then I would show my ‘com­mis­sion’ area of work as burn­ings of a pet por­trait group along with the orig­i­nal pho­tos that I used. Final­ly I would show a few works that were priced just above my chok­ing lim­it as a framed and mat­ted 12″ x 24″ full col­or drag­on burn­ing or a full dec­o­rat­ed man’s leather vest.

(Chok­ing price is where I still have my fin­gers tight­ly gripped around the work but the mon­ey in your hands that you are wav­ing under my nose smells awful good.)

3. Don’t set a table between you and your cus­tomers. Keep an open area where you are invit­ing them into your stu­dio and shop area. A table becomes a visu­al bar­ri­er between you, them, and what you have to sell. It’s the biggest bar­ri­er for a cus­tomer to cross if they want to buy!!!!

Bring along anoth­er per­son so that you have one work­ing the sale and one watch­ing the wares, and take turns. Often my Michael is a far bet­ter sales per­son than I am as he can brag about his wife far bet­ter than I can.  So over the years he was our pri­ma­ry sales­man at any show.

4. When­ev­er pos­si­ble demon­strate at the shows. Set a small table at the side of your booth; in fact creep it out into the walk­ing path. Have sev­er­al pieces on the table in dif­fer­ent fin­ished stages. Let your cus­tomers see how much work goes into what they are going to buy.

Tell them about your­self, how you are a ‘trained artist’ or ‘self-taught’ artist and a lit­tle some­thing about why you chose burn­ing. Cus­tomers love to take home a sto­ry along with their pur­chased item.

5.  Cre­ate bright­ly col­ored match­ing long aprons!  You can get can­vas aprons at or that can be hand paint­ed.  Use acrylic paints and dec­o­rate the whosits out of them.  They don’t have to match for each per­son in the show booth but should have your name plas­tered bold­ly in the upper cen­ter sec­tion.

Why!  Because you want them to remem­ber your name. You want them to go home with some­thing more than “I saw this wood carv­er who does chain saw bears”. What you want is for them to go home and tell the sto­ry that they saw this chain saw carv­er named “Carvin’ Calvin”. Hav­ing your shop name or the name you carve under bold­ly paint­ed on your chest is instant adver­tis­ing and instant recog­ni­tion at the next show they go to.

Plus no show per­son wants to stand all day long in their own booth.  Every once in a while you will want to go for a walk, stretch your legs and check out the com­pe­ti­tion.  Why not adver­tise while you do it … :)

6.  Add some­thing smelly to your craft shop.  I know this one sounds fun­ny but smell is a major fac­tor in catch­ing people’s atten­tion and in get­ting them to remem­ber you!  I learned this one through my favorite quilt fab­ric shop.  The own­er had bowls and bowls of pot­pour­ri every­where in the shop.  Her store smelled like apples and cin­na­mon.  Lat­er when I would root through my quilt fab­ric and come across a piece I had pur­chased at her shop that fab­ric still smelled like apples and cin­na­mon … guess who’s store I thought of every time I went look­ing through my fab­ric!

As a carv­er at a show I would hide cedar chips through­out the store area.  They smell great and they have a com­mon­ly rec­og­nized wood smell.  As a pyro­g­ra­ph­er I prob­a­bly would use one of the musky incense smells, some­thing mas­cu­line and strong as san­dal­wood or a spice smell as nut­meg.

Smell sells … it’s sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly said to be one of the ways we decide who we will part­ner with as mates, so to me it’s fair game as a busi­ness own­er.

7. Remem­ber that most sales made through an arts and crafts show come after the show has closed, not dur­ing the show. So have lots of hand out, fliers and busi­ness cards ready with your name, busi­ness name, address, email, blog url, and phone num­ber clear­ly print­ed.

I remem­ber one of my first show­ings was a real flop, I think we made all of three sales that three day week­end. But the next week­end the phone rang off the hook with peo­ple would had picked up a busi­ness card at the show and want­ed to set up a com­mis­sion sale.

Stan­dard Dis­claimer:  This is just my expe­ri­ence, oth­ers may have a total­ly dif­fer­ent view.  Please take what you want and throw the rest away.,

Designs Online Since 1997 by L.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 “Ol’ Don’s” Drawing Table

OlDonFrom “Ol’ Don” Drawing Table

Ol’ Don” Burgdorf presents Fun In The Sun


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.

Patterns From Lora S. Irish

Patterns From Lora S. Irish

LSIrish-grizzly LSIrish-deer LSIrish-cougar


Pat­terns are for per­son­al use only, and may not be dupli­cat­ed for resale or sold with­out pri­or writ­ten per­mis­sion.,

2016 Designs Online Since 1997 by L.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.