Monday, April 17, 2017

Club Project

     Since I have been down with shoulder surgery (rotator cuff), I have not been able to do any real, major carving. I can hold something in my hand and do light carving that does not involve the shoulder. Watching our club get involved in a small 4" Rufus style (Mike Shipley and Harold Enlow style) carving at the April carving club meeting, I was envious of the carving club members who were having a grand time being taught by Gene Fuller and Larry Crist, our resident instructors for this small project. 

     So I grabbed 2 of the blanks, and decided I would carve at home, if I could, and see what I could do. And if not, they would still be there when I was ready. These two are the ones I turned out. One is painted, and the other is not, but will be soon (post to come later). 





























































Anyway, it was not too hard to do. Not too much gripping, although I had to hold on to it so it did not slip out of my hands. How many times has that happened?

So, until I am released by the doctor, and feel comfortable, it will be a while until I am back to some serious, heavy carving, probably just in time for summer (I hope!). But for small projects of this type, I can muddle through in small measures, remembering not to pull the shoulder and not to strain too much. Boy, it's hell getting old!

Thanks for tuning in and listening! See you next time!



Monday, April 3, 2017

Wow! I did not realize it had been since November since I posted. Lots of things going on in our lives. 

We sold our old house (losing my shop in the meantime) and bought a newer one in a much nicer neighborhood. In addition to that, I have had to have shoulder surgery to repair a torn (split in half, actually) rotator cuff, as well as a torn bicep muscle. So my carving has gone by the wayside. I have been drawing, so I can get started on my new projects sometime in the near future. I will have a recovery time until at least the end of April. Then I have at least 3 months of therapy to get the proper strength and movement back in my shoulder. 

Anyway, I should be back up soon. In the meantime, I shall have to post some of my drawings or other things I am working on. Having 6 weeks off of work has given me a new and fresh perspective on retirement. I will honestly say, I can't wait until retirement. I will have plenty to do and not having to punch that old time clock day after day will be a blessing. My wife and I have some contemplation to do to make sure we are prepared, financially, for retirement, but both of us are excited to do this. Of course we have a few more years, but that gives us enough time to prepare for it and make sure we should be OK in terms of not having to be put in the poor house.

Talk to y'all later.

Friday, November 25, 2016

New crop of Santas

What with the move to our new house, and trying to sell our old house, it has been extremely busy lately. I did carve some Santas for the last class I had at Woodcraft (when finished, 20 in all), and I finally took a picture of them. Hopefully I can find good homes for them soon, so they can brighten someone's home.



I want to do some beginner/intermediate carving videos this year. I will have to start slowly and work my way up to some decent videos. I have some lofty goals for myself this year, and hope to get most of them done. We shall see. First, I have to stop injuring myself. I may have to have surgery on my left ring finger. The doctor believes I may have torn a ligament. But first I have to get the new carving room ready and set up. 

Stay tuned. I will post them on YouTube when I do a video.

Anyway, enjoy your holidays this year. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I can't believe how long it has been since I posted anything.

We moved to a new house (with all the work that takes) and are trying to sell our old one. That may take longer, although I hope not. I have not been carving as much as I want, but I have been doing some small things, such as Christmas ornaments and Scout leader bolo ties.

I taught a class at Woodcraft on Santa ornaments. It went well, and I really enjoyed the new carving students. It was a pleasure having Andrea and her husband Bruce, as well as Debbie, Fred, Rex, Lisa, Aly Sha, and a few other students in class. We laughed and joked and learned a little about each other as well as learning how to carve. Carving a face is always difficult, but we kept it fairly simple and I think everyone did a good job. It will be fun when we get to paint them. That's when you always see the carving really take on a life of its own.

The picture below is not one of ours, but it is similar so you get the idea.

                                     Image result for santa carved christmas ornaments
 
Anyway, let's get back to carving (but first emptying the packing boxes). Have a great day. Thanks for listening.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Time to sell a few things

     Carvings are beginning to pile up around my place, so I have decided to sell a few things. I have a few things on ebay and some on Etsy. Check them out if you are interested., or spread the word for others who may want to buy a carving or two. These are some bolo ties that I have been carving for quite some time. I sell them, and sometimes give them away, to some of my local Scouting partners. I have given some away to all our troop leaders (Troop 49, in Boise), and have occasionally given some to kids or to Order of the Arrow (OA) members. They are fun to make and fun to sell/give away. I will have some more at the OA Fall Fellowship in August. The other two carvings below are a few I had carved earlier: a fat cowboy and a cowboy bust.
     I hope you enjoy them. I certainly have. Stay tuned; I have almost 200 carvings, and need to make room for some more. If there is anything you want in particular, let me know. Look back over my carvings over the past years, and put your name on some if you want them.
     Thanks!








Monday, June 13, 2016

Days drag (sometimes) but the weeks, months and years fly past!

     I realized today that I had not posted any updates lately. I have been so busy with the end of the school year that I have not had the time. Anyway here is what's been happenin' around the place.
     I taught a small class at Woodcraft on no-see-'um gnomes. They were a bunch of fun doing. I loved doing them in the flat plane style (thanks Harley Refsal!).


     I have also been carving a number of Boy Scout bolo ties in a variety of styles, such as cowboys, scoutmasters, Indians, military, etc. 
     We just returned from the Tri-Cities Woodcarving Rendezvous, in Kennewick, Washington. We had a great time renewing friendships with some of the nicest folks you will ever meet. We took classes, laughed, won a few raffles, and bought some supplies. I bought quite a bit of cottonwood bark (now I have to carve it), my wife won a raffle of a NW Native American plate embellished with whales by Jerry Johnson. The motel we stayed at  was pretty run-down and will be taken off the list of places to stay in Kennewick, but otherwise we had a great time. Eat at the Hills Restaurant (right off US395 and Kennewick Avenue) if you get the chance. The steak was well done, as was the meatloaf, and breakfast was very good. We loved it and will definitely eat there again.
     Next up is getting ready for the Caricature Carvers of America competition in August. Let's hope I can get my entries done in time and done well. Wish me luck!
     Talk to you later!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

National treasure(s)

I use the plural in the title, since I am talking about the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina, and Harley Refsal. It is a school that teaches the old skills, such as weaving, knitting, woodworking, woodcarving, jewelry making, and many others. My wife and I are taking classes this week.
I am taking a woodcarving class with Harley Refsal. His style of woodcarving is called flat plane style, which is based on the idea of large flat facets left on the carving, using minimal cuts. I have been able to finish 4 carvings, and will try to finish another.

These are before (above) and after (below) pictures of my Sarah carving. She was carved then left in a jar of boiled linseed oil overnight. That is the first time I have finished a carving this way. It really makes the grain stand out, and brings out the colors.


This guy is the male school teacher I am almost finished with. I really like him, although he is far more complicated than he looks.

These are the other ones I finished, a simple dala horse and a nisse gnome lady. These were fun to carve. I am now working on the female school teacher. Below is the duck hunter I finished on Wednesday.



This school is a wonderful place to meet new folks, learn a new skill, get better at your art, or just de-stress in a non competitive environment. We have thoroughly enjoyed our stay here, and look forward to coming back.
Harley Refsal is such a fount of knowledge about Scandinavian carving, history and the Scandinavian immigrant presence in this country, as well as their contributions to our culture. He is so modest and helpful to all carvers and patiently helps out in so many ways. It is a pure joy to sit with him, learn how to be a better carver, and have meaningful conversations. I will always treasure my week here and am so appreciative of the learning that I will take home.
My wife, Thekla, is taking a knitting class from Mary Jane Muckelstone, from Maine. She is learning so much, and is having a blast, as well.
Time for dinner, so I gotta go. Oh, did I mention the great food here? And lots of it!