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.