You should be able to print the pattern below. If not, let me know. Sunday I will be heading to Marc Adams School of Woodworking in Indianapolis to teach a class August 4 – 8 on relief carving. I believe there are still a few spaces available. There are also a few spots available for the beginning carving class I will be teaching at Lie-Nielsen in Maine August 22 & 23. I am actually going to get into my workshop today and carve! What a strange concept. I have been so busy with travelling, teaching, video editing, paperwork, taxes (yes, I just finished last year’s taxes) and other distractions, that I haven’t done much carving for the last 2 months. So I am going to take a deep breath, clamp down a piece of wood… and carve… I’m not even sure what I will carve, but I’m just going to see what happens. I have pieces I should work on – commissions and such – but today I just need one of those days where I disappear into carving an unplanned design of… something… I’ll let you know how it goes.
I am currently working on carving the details for a reproduction fireplace surround. The style is a traditional Charleston design and has 2 small vertically positioned sunburst designs on either side of a large horizontally shaped one.
I have finished one of the side sunbursts and have just added the video lesson to my online school. The wood I carved this in is poplar. It’s not my favorite wood to carve because it can be kind of spongy and stringy, but since this is going to be painted, this is what the builder chose.
This design is a little unique in that the “rays” on the design are carved down to a corner, rather than a curve – at least on the 2 smaller side ones. This creates a nice, sharp shadow. The large center horizontally positioned one has more rounded and hollowed shaped rays.
The grain pattern turned out to be quite nice, so it is a shame to paint it…
Shawn Graham, of San Marco, Texas had a dream of opening a school focusing on traditional woodworking skills – Wortheffort Woodworking. He used to be an Industrial Art’s teacher (if that’s what they are called these days – those that are left), so he has a heart for young people. He has had a passion to share the creative knowledge of woodworking to young and old to discover that joy and accomplishment of making something with your own hands.
The school has been open for over a year, but Shawn has discovered the struggles that come along with starting a new venture – mostly financial, proper and convenient location, and the ability to get the word out.
The current school located in San Marco has closed, but he is wanting to open again within the next few months at a location in Austin, TX – much more centrally located so he can focus on the local population and also homeschoolers in the area.
Please check out his website to learn more about his dream – and if you feel so inclined, please do what you can to help get the word out about his school or contribute to his fundraising efforts to relocate in Austin.
Thanks so much for your support!
Popular Woodworking Magazine is revving up its online classes. I have recently participated in adding a class on “Fan Carving” which will go live towards the end of July. This design is that simple, yet elegant pattern that is often seen in highboys, chairs, and I have often had requests to carve this on fireplace mantels.
This class shows how to lay out the design, how to carve the curved edge decoration, and how to round over the individual fan segments – focusing on carving in the correct grain direction. Quite often, these are carved where the center of the fan slopes deeper, but this lesson shows the process of carving the design into a flat board – which actually gives you a lot more flexibility of where you can put this. It also requires minimal wood preparation.
Once you learn the technique of carving this fan, you can adjust the design by adding more segments, carving it deeper, changing the size, etc. The options are endless!
I got to see a lot of friends from the woodworking world, and also met some new ones. I enjoyed fabulous lobster that just melted in your mouth, and was entertained by a talk by Peter Follansbee about his adventures with “green wood”. He is a great presenter – and also does some amazing woodwork and 17th century carving. I spent a lot of my time at the show (when I should have been carving myself) watching him shape wood with tools a LOT larger than I use.
Bob Van Dyke of Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking was also there. I will be teaching a class there November 7 – 9. Bring any carving project you are working on and we’ll figure it out! Spaces are still available.
There are also a few spots still available for the beginning carving class I am teaching at Lie-Nielsen August 23 & 24. I am reserving great weather for that weekend – 70 and no humidity!
Last week I taught a beginning woodcarving class at a school I have not taught at before – The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in beautiful Rockport, Maine. This school has a wonderful atmosphere of creativity and the students did a great job carving acanthus leaves, camellia flowers and even a Tudor rose! And the setting is simply pristine. Here are some highlights:
I had an opportunity to escape the 100 degree temperatures with 90% humidity in Charleston, SC and actually leave the windows open at night to feel a cool breeze (what was that strange feeling?) I really can’t get enough of the Maine climate and beauty.
So… next month I will be coming back again to teach another beginning class at Lie-Nielsen August 23 & 24. Then the following week I will be filming an intermediate woodcarving DVD (the beginning carving DVD should be out soon, so keep your eyes open for that).
I also had the pleasure of finally meeting Chris Pye, who will be teaching an advanced carving class at the school for the next 2 weeks. It’s a small world out there when it comes to woodcarving, and I knew I would meet him along the teaching “circuit” somewhere. He has written several woodcarving instruction books and also has an online school. I could consider him “competition”, but ultimately if our end-goal is to teach this art that we both love, then whatever we do and however we do it will lead to sharing this wonderful art.