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Mary's Small Flower Relief

A few weeks ago I was asked by my woodcarving club to give a talk and demonstration on relief carving. I decided I wanted to do something fairly simple so I could demonstrate the different techniques and tools used in creating a relief. I chose Mary's flower relief. I carved half of it at home and carved most of the rest of it as part of the demonstration. Since most of our members tend to be knife carvers very few have used mallet and gouge to create something. The talk was well received and I have at least one person interested in trying to carve a relief.

Since the cost of tools can be prohibitive in getting started I purchased a set of Schaff tools on Amazon and donated them to the club so now if someone wants to give mallet tools a try they are available.

Anyway, it was fun for me. After the talk I finished the carving at home and gave it a coat of poly and paste wax. I tend to be an obsessive sander but I decided to not sand this one too much. I'm working on a fairly complicated carving right now and carving this little flower was fun and a nice break.

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That's a nice little demonstration project Jim. Now that you have had a chance to try out those Schaaf tools, what did you and the other club members think of them? I saw that they are going to be expanding on their original set with a seven piece set and a four piece fishtail set soon.

Jim, Way to spread the word! I remember being a part of a carving club very early on and really wanting to learn to carve decorative pieces and everyone there wanted to steer me towards small figure carving. For whatever reason, it just didn't fit with me (not to say there is anything wrong with that kind of carving - it just wasn't what I wanted to carve). So there may be those few people in your club who discover relief carving as their passion, and without seeing it demonstrated, how will they know??

Mary - We have a fairly large club but there's only two of use who carve with gouge and mallet. The other one is a lady who carves and restores full-size carousel horses. People seem to be interested in the work I'm doing but no one has yet to be interested enough to give it a try. Part of it could be the tool investment which is why I donated a set of tools to the club.

Michael - The Schaaf tools have been sharpened and ready to go but as of yet no one has given them a try. I do have two people who say they are interested and I'm photocopying a flower pattern for one of them to use so we'll see.  There's a nice article about the Schaaf tools in this month's Woodcarving Illustrated.