• From Shannon Rogers on Carving a Classical Rosette - Episode 1

    Great project Mary. I love the tutorial on drawing. Starting from a template and s photo are such different situations and I appreciate the info. I have only ever done one of these from a turned blank so watching this was a treat.

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    2012/11/26 at 12:55 am
  • From Mike Mathes on Sharpening a Curved Gouge - Beginner Lesson #4


    Can you recommend some good basic sharpening stones?


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    2012/11/22 at 10:13 am
  • From Bob Easton on Carving a Classical Rosette - Episode 1

    What a beautiful rosette! Thanks for showing us.

    Spending the time teaching drawing and encouraging us to draw is very helpful. I get a much better appreciation for a shape if I have to draw it first.

    Thanks also for the extra lighting. It really helps with the darker wood.

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    2012/11/21 at 12:24 pm
  • From Steve Cofield on Carving the Convex Newport Shell - Episode 1

    Hi Mary, I'm getting ready to begin carving this Newport shell in black walnut. I've never carved walnut before. Any tips or things to look out for before I begin? Your course was great, thank you.

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    2012/11/18 at 3:12 pm
    • From Mary May on Carving the Convex Newport Shell - Episode 1

      Hi Steve,
      See the amount I use the mallet with the mahogany? You will probably use it more with the walnut. However, walnut is really a beautiful crisp wood to carve. If it is possible to leave the almost burnished gouge marks on walnut it is wonderful. However, for this Newport shell, sanding is usually needed to finish it up. I'm sure it will be beautiful! Make sure your walnut has a nice straight grain. Because the grain in walnut is so much more visible, it is sometimes easier to visually figure out the grain direction.
      Have fun! I'd love to see photos of the finished piece.

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      2012/11/18 at 4:20 pm
  • From Jim Maas on Carving a Turned Capital - Episode 1

    Hello Mary,
    I love all of your videos and teaching. Did you glue-up the wood blocks which was turned to make the blank which you carved? I'm curious if you have any advice to share about wood selection and gluing up the wood to make the blank, such as orientation of the grain, etc. Also, I noticed that while carving, a cut must proceed from one wood block into another (blocks glued together). For example, the seam between two glued blocks is in the middle of a leaf. How do you make successful cuts when presented with the change in grain and/or hardness between the two blocks? Or...am I worried about a challenge that really isn;t a big deal? Thank-you in advance for your answer.
    Jim Maas in Seattle.

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    2012/11/10 at 12:35 am
    • From Mary May on Carving a Turned Capital - Episode 1

      Hi Jim,
      So often the furniture maker that I am working for prepares the wood, so I often do not have to deal with issues of gluing up the blocks myself. However sometimes this is a good thing, and sometimes not. There have been times where I receive a glued up block where that area where the wood is joined caused the grain to completely switch directions. That is when I wish I would have done it myself. If you find yourself in this situation, the best way to deal with this is to work on the technique of cutting across the grain. It's the only way to do it. Going in one direction with the grain is fine - run into the join - and your going against the grain. Stop at that join and cut straight across the grain in a slicing motion. Even when you are not dealing with glued up pieces of wood, you will run across this where the grain decided to take a different direction. Again, stop and cut across the grain. It is probably the most valuable cut that I have discovered - it gets me out of a lot of those places where it otherwise would be impossible to clean out.

      Hope this helps!

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      2012/11/10 at 10:54 am