Archive for Uncategorized

Finding and Collecting Cottonwood Bark — Revisited

Back in 2012/13, Alex Bis­so drew upon his many years of find­ing and col­lect­ing cot­ton­wood bark and authored a five part series aimed at those who might want to try find­ing and col­lect­ing cot­ton­wood bark on their own.  With Spring FINALLY arriv­ing here in the US, this seemed a good time to revis­it those arti­cles.  If you want to try your hand at gath­er­ing your own bark, you will find invalu­able infor­ma­tion in these arti­cles.  (Please note that Alex is no longer active­ly col­lect­ing and sell­ing cot­ton­wood bark).

Part I — Obtain­ing Legal Access to Prop­er­ty and Per­mis­sion to Col­lect — click HERE

Part 2 — The Bone Hunt — or What To Look For — click HERE

Part 3 — Tools for Col­lect­ing and Clean­ing Bark — click HERE

Part 4 — Bark Clean­ing and Stor­age — click HERE

Part 5 — Mis­cel­la­neous Haz­ards and Relat­ed Com­ments — click HERE


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