About a week ago I was in Manchester, CT at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking (one week before the cold!) teaching a carving class. This class was sort of a unique one in that everyone came with a different project they wanted to work on.
There were 2 beginning carvers, so they worked on some of the basic carving projects that I start many beginners on – the donut, the camellia flower, and the scallop shell – in basswood. Those three projects cover so many techniques that are necessary when first starting to carve.
Other projects that students brought in to work on – a large Art Nouveau mirror, a fan carving on a front of a drawer, a Celtic knot design picture frame, a shell on the knee of a cabriole leg, a large acanthus leaf, a very tiny relief carving of an elephant scene, and an acanthus leaf on a turning.
It was so much fun helping people through some really challenging projects. The most amazing thing was that most of the students happened to choose very difficult wood to carve in – cherry seemed to be the most popular, then there was red oak, pine and mahogany. It has been years since I carved that much in cherry. It is a difficult wood to carve, but you can get some amazing detail and crisp carvings. It just requires some physical effort, control of the tools, and patience.
I am now home until early February. It will seem strange to not be preparing for a trip to some far away location to teach. I think I’ll carve…