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.

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!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

2016 Idaho Artistry in Wood Show

     It is that time again. Time for the 2016 Idaho Artistry in Wood Show. Talk about a great time for all. We will have 5 separate sections of the show to include gourd art, wood turning, woodworking, scroll work and woodcarving. It is a fun filled weekend with some of my best friends. 

     I have been getting ready for this show for quite some time. We have issued our "5-Section Challenge (at least the Rogue Carvers has done so) and I will finally have my entries done very soon. The "5-Section Challenge" was designed to push carvers out of their comfort zone, boost entries and challenge our members. The rules are to enter a carving from all 5 sections of the Woodcarving part of the show (birds, animals, humans, special [miscellaneous] and cultural). Enter as many as you like. If you enter at least 1 carving in each section, you get a special patch for your vest. The one who earns the most points wins a carved trophy. Points are awarded for entries with more points earned for ribbons. So, more blue ribbons = more points. Get the idea?

     I was lucky enough to win 2 years ago, and was beat out last year by my good friend, Gene Fuller (by one point!). I have several carvings this year, but I am not trying to win. Gene and I talked about not entering many this year to give someone else a chance to win. We will see if anyone else enters. I hope so. Our numbers had dwindled for a few years and we are trying to get them up and keep them up.

     I have completed a stylized fish, a stylized bird, an impish elf, a relief scarecrow and a Chinese letter (Destiny). I may enter some more to help our numbers, but we shall see how registration goes.

I like this guy!

Thanks for tuning in. See you at the show!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Seasons Greetings!

This time of year (Christmas) always seems to sneak up on me faster than I anticipate. It is only about 5 weeks until Christmas, and I have not done many things yet to get ready. I better get busy. 

We took a quick trip to Jackson hole, Wyoming, just to get away. It was nice, not having been there for many years, other than just to pass through. We found the cabins we stayed in during our first trip there in the late 80's, but those were now housing for the hospital there now. We stayed for the weekend, and drove through the southern end of the Grand Tetons National Park. I could live there, if it were not for the tourists coming through Jackson Hole. The prices ($44 for a steak dinner) were out of touch with common folks. The local joke is that because of the "Jackson Hole markup", even things at the dollar store cost $3.69! Funny!

So I finished the scarecrows for a club class after our October meeting. They were relief, and I think it was a fairly good class. Lots of attendance. So I decided to make some more elaborate ones. The first 2 for the class were simple relief, then I made another relief with more details. The last one I did was in the round. Those were kind of fun, and I enjoyed them. 

Anyway, thanks for listening! If I don't see you before the holidays, I hope you have lots of good times with family and friends, sharing fun, food and fellowship. Remember the reason for the season, and God bless all of you!