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A six month organized learning effort

I m looking to approach the next six Months of carving in a somewhat intensive effort. As I have mentioned before, I have had scattered carving experiences over the past 25 years  and I have now have joined this group as a premium member.

I know there are some specific numbered beginner lessons and some 18 steps. There  are also 50 plus lessons on scattered projects designated at the beginner level. I am planning to spend 20+hours a week between now and the May 22nd beginners class at Port Townsend School of Woodworking.

Do you have any suggested organized approach for my planned 500+ hours of carving between now and end of May?

All inputs are welcome. Thanks.



Hi Chuck,

Sounds like a fun challenge!

I think the first thing to do is decide what direction you want to go. Are you interested in period furniture details? Flower and leaf carving? Animal and face carving? Deep relief or shallow relief? You can customize these different topics by going to the Lesson Library to see the various topics.

I have wanted to put together a recommended order of projects, but it is SO subjective. With the many different types of projects, this is very difficult. One recommended list may not be the same from one person to the next.

Go through the basic lessons that you are interested in, and maybe throw in some intermediate level lessons just to spice things up a bit (and challenge youself). Once your confidence builds, pick an advanced level that you are interested in, and give it a try. Stretch yourself, as that's the best way to learn.

Make mistakes, start over, fix the mistakes, make some more mistakes, but above all - have fun! What we might consider mistakes are really just design modifications 🙂


Quote from MaryMay on December 4, 2017, 9:08 am

I have wanted to put together a recommended order of projects, but it is SO subjective. With the many different types of projects, this is very difficult.

Reviving this old discussion...Mary, did such a list ever come about? I can imagine it might not be possible. I've taken your 2 day intro to relief carving and am aiming for doing the carving for a Philadelphia longcase clock. You have some lessons showing carving a gooseneck moulding, rosettes, and flame finials, so I was looking through the forums for ideas of which lessons to bridge me between the 2-day intro and those lessons. The clock also has a cartouche, which I'm trying not to think about, and applied acanthus ornamentation. I have a lot to learn, but luckily all of these carvings, except for the gooseneck, are tenoned on or applied to the casework, so I can do these again and again until I've learned and, in the meanwhile, the casework will all be done.