Archive for Uncategorized

National Museum of Woodcarving Auction

As many of you may know, Dale Schaffer, the owner of the National Museum of Woodcarving in Custer, South Dakota has closed the museum.  Assets of the Museum will be auctioned off in an absolute auction, utilizing the Online Only auction format.  Bidding will be open Tuesday, March 7 though March 13, 2017, ending at 5:00 PM.

The auction will include selling of the entire collection of Dr. Harley Niblack, one of the original animators of Disneyland, and much more.

The Niblack collection of over 150 carvings and original art pieces represent the life work of Dr. Harley Niblack (1894-1966), originally a chiropractor from Denver.  His love was woodcarving to which he dedicated over 70,000 hours creating miniature & life size figures, miniature steam engines, paintings, furniture and more.  Dr. Niblack may be best remembered for his pioneering work in animation.  Three of the animated scenes offered were once displayed at the Smithsonian Institute, and from 1954-55 he helped design and build the animation at Disneyland.

This auction features 25+ Niblack carved scenes, primarily satirical depictions of life in the old west and of the medical profession, most of which are mechanically animated.  Also included are 85+ individual wood carvings including a duplicate of a carving of Will Rodgers, given to President Eisenhower, selling with a signed letter from the President thanking Dr. Niblack for the carving.  Also selling, a unique set of hand carved and leather upholstered furniture used personally by Dr. Niblack.  This collection also includes many original paintings, lamps, mechanical steam engines, model phones and more!

Over 75 other carvings and artwork from notable artists including 20+ Kirt Curtis wildlife carvings, 2 art antler lamps by Tony Ramer, and many others.  Many quality pieces depict wildlife, nature scenes, bikers, ANRI figurines and more.

Finally, also to be sold are the entire remaining gift & souvenir inventory, t-shirts, display cases, office & retail related, home furnishings, tools, shop related and so much more!

The National Museum of Woodcarvings has been an ever popular Black Hills of SD attraction for 40+ years.  Mr Schaffer is retiring and offering this spectacular collection at Absolute “Online Auction”, without reserve!  This is a rare opportunity to purchase truly one of a kind, museum quality Americana woodcarvings, pioneer animation and much more! 

Please note Terms & Conditions:  Absolute Auction, selling in 550+ individual lots, to the highest bidders without minimum or reserve bid.  The “online only” auction method will be utilized; see details at Online bidding opens Tuesday, March 7 at 6:00 am through Monday, March 13 at 5:00 pm MST, featuring the “soft close” feature, with 3 items per minute closing.  Selling “As-Is, Where-Is” without warranty of any kind.  There is no buyer premium of any kind, however a 3% credit card swipe fee applies.  Onsite settlement on Tuesday, March 14.  Removal at buyers risk & expense, within 14 days of the auction or by arrangement.  Shipping service available at Buyers cost.  See complete terms, conditions, inspection dates and details at

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

Carving a 1930s Street Scene – The Book

Carving a 1930s Street Scene, A New Book by the Caricature Carvers of America

Bob Travis, Randy Landen, Sandy Smith and Jack A. & Carole Williams


Twenty-nine active and emeritus members of the Caricature Carvers of America are pleased to present a photographic excursion down a typical 1930s street, complete with caricature renditions of 11 period buildings and over 100 caricature woodcarvings.  Street vendors, ladies, firemen, cops, bank robbers, dogs, an old cowboy from a bygone era, a hobo sleeping on a bench, and many other relics from the past are represented in this scene.  From a garage at one end of the street, to a three-story building under construction at the other end, this scene represents downtown America during the Great Depression. This book comes complete with  detailed instructions for carving a fireman, plus painting and finishing tips and techniques offered by CCA members.  Helpful tips on designing caricature carvings through sketching, clay models, mannequins, and Internet searches are provided, along with patterns for many of the carvings in the scene.

The idea for a 1930s street scene as the CCA’s next book project was discussed as early as 2010.  In late 2011, at our annual meeting in Boise, ID, we decided to move forward with the venture.  At an impromptu meeting and group discussion on a street scene, it became apparent there was strong interest in the idea.  Within a few minutes people were volunteering to create a variety of specific buildings.  Our secretary began a list, and in a short time 11 buildings were claimed by members.  Some buildings were constructed by one member, others by groups of two or more. Those not working on buildings carved figures and ancillary pieces to fill out the specific scenes.

We’re frequently asked, “How do you coordinate a project of this magnitude?”  The simple answer is, “We don’t.”  Most of us are separated by great distances and don’t have an opportunity to work together during the year.  We agree on a theme, set the scale, return home and work individually on the project until the next annual meeting.  In this case, those not working on specific buildings had the advantage of knowing what structures would be included in the project, and could carve figures and accessories specifically designed for a given building or scene.  Finally, we scheduled a work day in conjunction with our annual meeting to set up the project.  Members brought their contributions and we spent the day finalizing the placement of the figures and buildings.  After several hours of arranging, rearranging, and then rearranging again, the project was finished.  We took reference photos, made some notes, and called it a day.

For additional information, including how to order this book visit the CCA website at or click HERE

Welcome Klingspor’s Woodworking Shop

Please welcome Klingspor’s Woodworking Shop to the family of sponsors of the Carvers’ Companion and Woodcarver Online Magazine.  Please show your support by visiting their website – just click the logo in the sponsor sidebar to the right.

Carver On!

Matt Kelley

CCA 1930’s Street Scene Project

The Caricature Carvers of America’s (CCA) latest project is an original 1930’s street scene, complete with eleven period buildings and over 100 caricature carvings.  The project will be on display on one occasion only at Artistry in Wood, November 9-10, 2013 in Dayton, Ohio.  CCA has been kind enough to share some great photos of the project with us; you’ll find links to the gallery below.

Each individual building and accompanying figures is currently for sale.  These are all original, one-of-a-kind caricature carvings by the Caricature Carvers of America members, and will be the subject of a new book project by Schiffer Publishing, due out in November 2013.  Individual buildings and accompanying pieces may be reserved now, subject to a non-refundable deposit of 20%.  Purchasers may not take possession of buildings or accompanying figures prior to the conclusion of the Dayton Show on Sunday November 10, 2013 at 5:00 p.m.

Purchasers may pick up their projects in person at the conclusion of the Dayton Show, or arrange with the CCA member responsible for the individual buildings for shipping.  Shipping and insurance are the responsibility of the purchaser, and all carvings must be insured for the purchase price.

The CCA is also selling their previous project, the CCA Train, as a single item.   For more information about purchasing a building from the street scene or the train, visit the CCA web site at

Now the best part –  Jack A. Williams’ photos of the street scene and the train.  To visit the galleries, visit the Galleries page by clicking the WOM link at the top of the page, then the Galleries item, or click HERE to visit the Street Scene or HERE to visit the Train Project