Today I spent the morning teaching 7th & 8th graders how to carve a relief scene into a board. Stefani Timmerman, the art teacher from Thomas C. Cario Middle School in Mt. Pleasant, invited me out to get her students started on a carving project.
Fortunately one of the parents thought to bring leather gloves because if they weren’t wearing them, I’m pretty confident they would have needed quite a few bandaids.
It was really fascinating seeing these young people just dive right in to carving – there is no fear, nothing tentative. Once they figured out how to hold the chisels and mallet, there was no stopping them. They really caught on well with the whole concept of overlapping elements and layering.
What is funny is that normally I am very particular in getting the gouges really sharp. Well, I dug out some gouges – (v-chisels especially) that I haven’t seen in years, and some needed some real help in getting them sharp. I didn’t have a chance to sharpen them, but I brought them anyway. Bill Cox (my 95 year old apprentice) assisted me with the teaching and he also brough several of his own gouges for them to use. Well, if you have enough determination, and enough mallet power, the v-chisels WILL cut wood. No matter what shape they are in. Do NOT try this at home!