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.