Archive for March 2017

March-April 2017 WOM

Welcome to Woodcarver Online Magazine


Adi­na Huck­ins — West Fork, AR

AIW 2016 

Hel­lo, Friends in Carv­ing -

Wel­come to March-April edi­tion of Wood­carv­er Online Mag­a­zine.  This issue con­tains the pho­to gal­leries from the Day­ton Carvers Guild Artistry In Wood 2016.  There are some won­der­ful carv­ings in the gal­leries; be sure to take time to check them out.  Please remem­ber that all the win­ners images are click­able to dis­play a much larg­er ver­sion of the pho­tos, so you can real­ly look at the details.

In this issue:

  • Pho­to Gallery - Artistry In Wood 2016 
  • Pete LeClair: Har­grove
  • Ol’ Don’s Draw­ing Table: Carve-A-Troll
  • Notes From The ‘Net: Pho­tograph­ing Carv­ings 
  • 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.  Please sup­port our spon­sors (includ­ing the Carver­sCom­pan­ion Cafe­Press Shop, where you can find lots of gifts for the carv­er in your life); just click any of the links in the right menu bar.



Pho­to by Marc Feath­er­ly at IWC ’14

Matt Kel­ley


Artistry in Wood 2016 — Show Report


By Don Mertz

Pho­tos by Marc Featherly

Since the first event in 1981, Artistry in Wood has been com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing the best wood­carv­ing and wood­work­ing show for the ben­e­fit of exhibitors, ven­dors and vis­i­tors who come to see some of the best expres­sion of wood­en art as well as being able to pur­chase works of art from the wood­carv­ing and wood­work­ing crafts­man and artist.

Every year the Artistry in Wood stays true to this orig­i­nal com­mit­ment by sharp­en­ing and fine tun­ing the show so that it con­tin­ues to be THE show exhibitors and vis­i­tors will want to attend time after time.  Each year the qual­i­ty of com­pe­ti­tion entries improve as does the growth of ven­dors and eclec­tic mix of artis­tic expres­sions relat­ed to wood along with a steady growth in the size of the show.

The orga­niz­ers of the event were placed between a rock and hard place when the show loca­tion for the pri­or four­teen years was sud­den­ly closed, and had find a com­pa­ra­ble sized show venue in a dif­fer­ent loca­tion and show date (due to sched­ul­ing lim­its at the new loca­tion).  Despite that, Artistry in Wood dou­bled its efforts to stay true to its orig­i­nal commitment.

So com­mit­ted are the event orga­niz­ers to pro­vid­ing the BEST Show pos­si­ble for all con­cerned that ihe adver­tis­ing bud­get was increased from $19,427.00 for 2015 to $30,225 for 2016 to assure all con­cerned that “The Show Goes On.”  The show goes on to main­tain the high qual­i­ty of exhibitors, com­peti­tors, judges, demon­stra­tions, children’s activ­i­ties and vis­i­tors’ inter­ests for the show­ing and sell­ing of cher­ished works of art in the medi­um of wood.  And just as impor­tant, the show goes on so that Artistry in Wood can con­tin­ue the long tra­di­tion and com­mit­ment of giv­ing at least $5,000 to Unit­ed Reha­bil­i­ta­tion Ser­vices of Day­ton and $500 to Part­ners Against Crime charities.

The only venue that was large enough to accom­mo­date a show the size that Artistry in Wood has grown to be with a con­ve­nient loca­tion with­in the radius of Day­ton, Cincin­nati and Colum­bus, Ohio was the Roberts Cen­tre near Wilm­ing­ton, OH.  The only date avail­able for 2016 was for Labor Day week­end.  The Artistry in Wood com­mit­tee real­ized that a change of loca­tion as well as date change from tra­di­tion­al date of pre­vi­ous shows and espe­cial­ly com­pet­ing with major hol­i­day activ­i­ties, a Renais­sance Fes­ti­val and coun­ty fair would have an impact on reg­u­lar exhibitors’ par­tic­i­pa­tion as well as vis­i­tors to the show.  But “The Show Goes On” in order to make the tran­si­tion to a new site and a new date for the 2017 and fol­low­ing years’ show dates.  In 2017 the Artistry in Wood show will be Octo­ber 14 and 15 and the sec­ond week­end in Octo­ber in sub­se­quent years in order to get back to a reg­u­lar sched­ule for loca­tion and date for the show.

Even though there was the expect­ed decrease in atten­dance and exhibitors, yet in the final analy­sis the eval­u­a­tion by vis­i­tors, exhibitors, com­peti­tors and ven­dors was very pos­i­tive. The Roberts Cen­tre show room is beau­ti­ful­ly appoint­ed with superb light­ing with more than ade­quate and con­ve­nient free park­ing and with easy access right off Inter­state 71 at Exit 50.  Roberts Cen­tre is locat­ed with­in a fifty-mile radius from Colum­bus, Cincin­nati and Day­ton. Vis­i­tors were very com­pli­men­ta­ry of the venue, qual­i­ty of wood­carv­ing and wood­work­ing art on dis­play and the added fea­tures of demon­stra­tions, orna­ment carv­ing con­test, raf­fle of qual­i­ty prizes, silent auc­tion of donat­ed wood­en art.  Although some­what small­er than usu­al, the qual­i­ty of the show lived up to its rep­u­ta­tion.  Many first time vis­i­tors joined their voic­es of appre­ci­a­tion with the long time attenders. 

The 2016 show was a bridge from what the show has become to what it will con­tin­ue to become in 2017 and beyond at Roberts Cen­tre the sec­ond week­end of October.

High­lights of the show begin with the com­pe­ti­tion. 278 wood­carv­ing entries were judged by Janet Cordell, Wayne Bar­ton and Al Ful­ford judged 278 wood­carv­ing entries.  Wood­carv­ing Best of Show hon­ors were award­ed as follows:

  • Steve Bak­er — Best of Show
  • Ter­ry Brash­er — Sec­ond Best
  • Har­ry Lim­ings — Third Best

Six­ty wood work­ing entries were judged by Roger Hor­nung, Jim McCann and Lar­ry Sanders who award­ed Wood Work­ing Best of Show to:

  • Bar­ry Todd — Best of Show
  • Scott Hamil­ton — Sec­ond Best 
  • Richard Avram — Third Best. 

Read More→

2016 Artistry In Wood Photo Galleries

Artistry In Wood 2016 Photo Galleries

Pho­tog­ra­phy by Marc Featherly

To vis­it the Gallery pages, click the links below, or the Gal­leries link in the menu bar to the left.

Artistry in Wood 2016 Carv­ing Win­ners — click HERE

Artistry in Wood 2016 Wood­work­ing Win­ners - click HERE



From “Ol’ Don’s” Drawing Table

OlDonFrom “Ol’ Don” Drawing Table

Ol’ Don” Burgdorf presents Carve-a-Troll

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 2011–2017 “Ol’ Don” Burgdorf. This Pat­tern may be copied for indi­vid­ual use; repro­duc­tion for resale is pro­hib­it­ed with­out express writ­ten permission.

From Pete LeClair — Hargrove


Pete LeClair

Pete LeClair’s Projects

Pete LeClair’s Hargrove


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 — 2017 by Pete LeClair.

This pat­tern may be copied for indi­vid­ual use only; repro­duc­tion for resale is pro­hib­it­ed with­out express writ­ten permission.

Notes From The ‘Net

Notes From The ‘Net

Ques­tions and Answers About Carv­ing Gath­ered From Pop­u­lar Carv­ing Groups

 Edit­ed by Matt Kelley


I was weed­ing through some old files recent­ly and ran across this ques­tion and series of com­ments that appeared in the orig­i­nal Wood­carv­er List mail group back in March 2009,  Although 8 years old, the infor­ma­tion is still quite useful.

On Taking Photos Of Carvings

Alex Bis­so posed the fol­low­ing question:

I have a recur­ring prob­lem with get­ting good pho­tos of carv­ings.  My stan­dard method of tri­al and error with the light­ing, inside and out­side works some­times but not con­sis­tent­ly.  On my last fish for exam­ple, I took one pho­to (after a cou­ple of tries) using a piece of light blue foam from an old camp­ing bedroll and the col­or and con­trast came out very well.  How­ev­er, when I tried to set up with a cloth maroon cloth back­ground to take more pho­tos, it looked good but my cam­era did not like it at all.  The pho­tos were either too dark or too bright and glarey and the col­ors did not look true.  There must be a way to set up for pho­tos that pro­vides a good back­ground and light­ing for true col­or with­out glare.  Can any­one sug­gest some­thing sim­ple and reli­able that might work. 

Byron Kin­na­man was the first to reply:

Get a pho­to cube.  It’s a white nylon cube that dif­fus­es the light and elim­i­nates glare.  They usu­al­ly come with 4 col­ored back­grounds and come in dif­fer­ent sizes.  I bought mine on eBay.   Sim­ply search on eBay for “pho­to cube”  there’s lots to choose from.   The best thing for pho­tog­ra­phy since the inven­tion of film. 

Alex responded:

Thanks Byron — I will look into the pho­to cubes.  I will prob­a­bly still have ques­tions about lighting. 

Joe Dil­lett wrote:

I think Byron’s com­ment about the pho­to cube is good. Oth­er things that are help­ful is always use a tri­pod. I always put some­thing white in the pho­to, even if it’s in the cor­ner that will be cropped off, so the cam­era has some­thing to use it for white bal­ance. Shad­ows help define depth. I like using one light source, gen­er­al­ly from the side, to show shad­ows. Nat­ur­al out­door light seems to be ide­al how­ev­er indoors the day­light type of bulbs yield good results.    Joe Dillett

Mau­ra Coop­er added: 

As for pic­tures, I just bought a new Nikon and the dif­fer­ence in my pic­tures is amaz­ing.  I also thank god for dig­i­tal cam­eras.  I often take up to 20 pics of the same thing, chang­ing the light­ing, chang­ing posi­tions, chang­ing back­grounds. Then load all the pics into my pc and pick out the best one or two. 

Ron Ram­sey penned the following:

If you want a pro­fes­sion­al look­ing pho­to­graph on a bud­get, fol­low these instructions:
Set up a table or sawhors­es against a wall in a room where you will be able to block out all of the the light or to make the room dark at night. You want to be able to con­trol ALL of the light on your carv­ing.  Too much light in the wrong place will cause the col­ors to be washed out or the carv­ing to have too much glare in some areas.  This why it’s NOT RECOMMENDED TO TAKE PHOTOS OUTDOORS!

Go to a fram­ing store and buy a large piece of medi­um grey poster board.  Bend the poster board so that has a curve at the back and is ver­ti­cal against the wall at the top and hor­i­zon­tal against the table at the bot­tom.  Some thumb­tacks out­side the edge will help hold it in place.

Use a min­i­mum of two lights that have swiv­el bases and adjustable arms.  Use CFL bulbs.  Nat­ur­al light bulbs are bet­ter if you don’t plan on pro­cess­ing your pho­tos on pho­to soft­ware. The bulbs should not be more than the equiv­a­lent of 40 watts incan­des­cent.  The rea­son you need two or more lights is that you will need to direct the light from at least two direc­tions to fill the shad­ows.  You will still be able to get shad­ows to show the detail but there wont be areas that are lost in shad­ow.  Cov­er the light bulbs with semi-trans­par­ent trac­ing paper taped to the lamp­shades.  This is to dif­fuse and soft­en the light.  Pro­fes­sion­al pho­tog­ra­phers have spe­cial lights that work essen­tial­ly the same way.  Exper­i­ment with the adjust­ments of the lights.  Do not point the lights direct­ly at the carv­ing.  I some­times point the lights at the ceil­ing to reflect the light off of the white sheet rock.  The ide­al light­ing will be much dark­er to your eye than what appears cor­rect.  Some­times it appears too dark to take a pic­ture but don’t be fooled. 


If the pho­to appears too dark when you upload it, exper­i­ment with the bright­ness and contrast.
USE A TRIPOD!  Set the ISO at 200 or less, and the high­est res­o­lu­tion your cam­era allows.  Too high of an ISO will cause grainy pho­tos. Set the cam­era on man­u­al and don’t use the flash.  Use the timed release to release the shut­ter so there will be no move­ment.  You will be tak­ing the pho­to at a very slow shut­ter speed and any move­ment will cause blur.  Most dig­i­tal cam­eras will set the expo­sure for you. Use a 10 sec­ond time delay to allow the cam­era time to set­tle down after you push the button.

I pre­fer to take under exposed pho­tos and then work with them with pho­to pro­cess­ing soft­ware.  This allows me to enhance the bright­ness and con­trast and adjust the col­ors and sat­u­ra­tion.  The com­put­er pro­cess­ing can take a bit of expe­ri­ence to mas­ter but it’s pos­si­ble to get qual­i­ty raw pho­tos with the pho­tog­ra­phy tech­niques I’ve out­lined above.  Take lots of pho­tos, upload them to the com­put­er and ana­lyze the weak­ness­es.  Adjust light­ing angle etc. and take lots more.  You will learn what works for you and what doesn’t 

Jeff Pretz  commented:

Very Help­ful for us who are learn­ing to take pic­tures of our carv­ings!  Thank you very much Ron! 

MikeG  added: 

Great idea to write down the set up, flash set­ting, posi­tion (flash, cam­era and sub­ject), type of lens and expo­sure num­ber on the paper, so you will know what going on between frames and lot eas­i­er to fig­ure out from tri­al and errors. Dig­i­tal cam­era are lot eas­i­er than 35 mm. Write down every­thing, no mat­ter what or why. With­out record, you waste more time. Good Luck (Great tip by Ron)

Loren Woodard wrote: 

For my pho­tographs I use a home made light tent.  Lynn Diel had an arti­cle in Carv­ing Mag­a­zine a few issues back that told how to make the light tent.  My best results have come with a light blue back­ground.  I use three lights.  My light tent is wrapped with a bed sheet.  I use a clamp-on light fix­ture on top with a stan­dard incan­des­cent bulb that shines through the top of the light tent and onto the light blue back board.  I then light the front with two light that have 13 watt day­light (flo­res­cent) bulbs in them.  I direct one light on each side of the carv­ing.  This set­up seems to work bet­ter for me than any oth­er method that I have tried.  I too had a ter­ri­ble time with light.  As a mat­ter of fact, I had an arti­cle turned down for a carv­ing mag­a­zine because of the pic­tures.  I’ve worked hard on the pho­tographs and the above worked bet­ter for me than anything. 
By all means, don’t use a bare flash. 

Byron Kin­na­man replied to a com­ment about nat­ur­al out­side light:

I agree that it’s hard to find a soft light day.  Pro­fes­sion­als use col­or cor­rect­ed lights and polar­ized fil­ters on the lights for direct light­ing. Many use umbrel­las for soft non-direct light.  The lights are still col­or cor­rect­ed.   I man­aged to find cou­ple 5000°K CFL lights.  From the pic­tures I don’t think they’re exact­ly 5000°K.  I’d like to find some 5900°K light with­out pay­ing an arm and leg for them.  I also use the pho­to cube which pro­vides a nice soft light.  I pre­fer to use 3 lights.   2 at approx­i­mate­ly 45° and one over­head slight­ly behind the sub­ject, some­times ref­er­eed to as a halo light.  With the halo light slight­ly behind, the sub­ject is sep­a­rat­ed from the back­ground and appears to float.  Many cat­a­logs use that technique.

I’m going to dis­agree with part of what you say.   Nat­ur­al dif­fused sun­light pro­duces the nicest pic­tures.  Note I said dis­used.  The col­ors on a cloudy day pop.  Direct sun­light is not good nor is direct light of any kind.  With sun­light you don’t have to fuss with col­or tem­per­a­ture set­tings. Some CFLs have a green cast to them and can be dif­fi­cult to deal with. I’ve had to mess with the col­or tem­per­a­ture set­ting using CFLs.

Ron Ram­sey concluded:

It’s true that cloudy days can work to get great pho­tos but you have to wait for the right day.  Where I live it’s not cloudy that often  and when it is, it’s usu­al­ly rain­ing or snow­ing.  With the indoor method you can take pho­tos on any day or night.   Col­or casts can be a prob­lem so it’s a good idea to get famil­iar with a soft­ware pro­gram that allows you to change the bright­ness, con­trast, sat­u­ra­tion and col­or hue.  The cloudy day method is a good option but I find I have
much more con­trol over the shad­ows and details by using lights.  That’s why pro­fes­sion­al pho­tog­ra­phers use a stu­dio to take pho­tos of art.  Nat­ur­al light can some­times oblit­er­ate fine details because it is com­ing from all direc­tions at once.  By using adjustable lights you can fine tune the look you want and cause the details to show up.

That’s it for this edi­tion of NFTN.    If you see a post on one of the FB groups or Mail List­servs that you think should be pre­served in NFTN, please use the form below to sub­mit your suggestion.

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