Went to a craft club Tuesday night to learn how to do carving. First lesson

@writersedge (22579)
United States
October 14, 2010 8:22am CST
was fun. Different. Mostly talked about what I would need and walked around, saw what other people were working on. Viking warrier bust, wolves, wood spirits, shacks were mostly being done the other night. I bought a book on handcarving wood before, but it didn't work out for me. The important key is that you have to change a knife blade into a woodcarving blade and without being able to do that perfictly, you're sunk. I think $20 a year to join a carving club where they teach you how to carve is a terrific deal. They work on individual projects and group ones (which are still individual, but with a goal). So I learned how to properly handle a woodcarving knife. Tools are what will cost me a fortune. The carving knife will be $20. But that is just the beginning. Every project I choose will need new tools. Tools have two numbers. One for the millimeter width and one for the the curve. $5.00 for the powder to put on my sharpening strop. My homework is to make a thumb protector. Begin making a strop to sharpen my knife next time. They gave me 4 magazines with beautiful award winning stuff to look at. That way I can decide on what kinds of things I'd like to make-eventually. Need to get my technique down first. I need to find my leather gloves. My husband already gave me a tool box that he wasn't using. I have to clean that today. I need to find my leather gloves. I also need to find that book I bought when I figured out that I really need someone to help me instead of just a book. I already looked through all the books and took down page # and things I was intereted in. My interests run as follows: Mostly chip carving for decorating boxes, plates, chests, trunks; some animals (but I have very little depth perception, so I can't see them adn would need one on one tutoring for the entire project)-bears, turtles, frogs, fish-bears for my entire family, turtle for a friend of mine from the turtle clan, frogs because we're French, and fish because I have a brother who goes crazy over fish, walking stick toppers-the face ones seem not too bad, but the animal ones-again my depth perception. So I went through all 4 of the magazines (the magazines are worth more than $20 if they were brand new).
1 person likes this
6 responses
• Canada
14 Oct 10
Thats nice writersedge that you have decided to do that. I would like to take up painting but haven't done anyhting more than what you did at first, I bought a book and read some of it, sigh. I never seem to find the time to learn something new, good for you that you have taken the time to do this. Someone I know carves these beautiful birds, they are so good they almost look real. She sets them in nature setting, everything is carved from drift wood that she picks up on her walks on the beach. They are small birds, sparrows and canaries and such but they are so realistic, they are beautiful. I think it is nice that you have choosen animals as I think they make excellent subjects, as I have always liked nature crafts. Good luck. :)
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
14 Oct 10
Animals will be the last things that I carve because they are a very difficult 3 dimention and I don't really see very well in 3 dimentions (esp. in my imagination). I think the chip designes will be easier and faces on walking sticks will be easier, but we will see. Except for shingles or if doing stone work, the houses looked easier than a lot of the stuff. I hope you get to go to painting classes or have a friend that you can paint with. I hope you can do your dream of painting. Your friend sounds like a very talented carver. Her birds sound beautiful. I love things made with drift wood. My Mom and I used to collect drift wood by the Ferry Docks, but after 9/11, they fenced everything off and it's illegal to approach the boats from any direction accept the one to get on the boats unless you get special permission to fix the boats or the docks. I miss those walks when my Mom was alive and we used to walk along the beach (it was far from the wake of the boats, but even that area is all blocked off with censor fences, etc.) collecting driftwood. She would make nature scenes or sell them at yard sales, some made up and some not made yet. Thank you very much for dropping by. I really hope you get to do your dreams.
1 person likes this
• Canada
14 Oct 10
Oh I'm sorry writersedge, I misunderstood you. I have seen some carved walking sticks, they can be very beautiful. I'm sure whatever you will decide to do will be wonderful for you. She is very very good but she only does it as a hobby, it is just something to pass the time as she is retired. I am sorry to here that my US neighbors have been denied again another freedom because of 911. I do understand the need for the US to protect their shores but it is so unfair for her people to pay yet again for the cruel acts of heartless terrorists. I did not know that you are not allowed to walk on the beaches! I live by the ocean and I can't imagine being kept off the beaches but it could be happening here in the future as well. Yes, I hope to take up painting some day when I have more time to dedicate to it. Take care.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
14 Oct 10
Getting started in any new hobby can be pretty expensive. I could spend a tn of money on paint brushes and canvas...paint and cleaner...mediums and art books...lol..but if you really enjoy it..I think it will be worth it to invest. Wood work can actually be worth a lot of money. People are always looking for quality decor for their homes.
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@writersedge (22579)
• United States
18 Oct 10
My brothr's girlfriend is getting into paints and canvas. She would really agree with you. Take care.
@GardenGerty (90290)
• Marion, Kansas
14 Oct 10
It sounds like you are going to have a lot of fun doing this. Yes, it does sound expensive. I guess a little wood carving set from Hobby Lobby would not work, huh? I have a feeling I would cut myself to bits doing this for a hobby. Learning new things seems to help us have a young attitude.
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@writersedge (22579)
• United States
14 Oct 10
Cheeap tools would not withstand all the sharpening and things you have to do with them. Many are made to flex so your can go underneath (think the body underneath a bear arm that you still have to shape). I can't wait to see the flex tools. Bet those are going to be a pretty penny. We're supposed to go 2xs a month. But I can only go one time. I need $26 for next time. $1 is for the 50-50 raffle. The other night, one person won more than enough to pay for my first knife and my powder for my strop.
@carmelanirel (21108)
• United States
14 Oct 10
Wow, now that is a skill that may make you some money. Once you learn something like this, you can let your imagination run and make something totally original that everyone will want..:)
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
14 Oct 10
There are people there still trying to learn technics after three years, so I think that is further down the road from now. Maybe a little after I retire.
• United States
14 Oct 10
I think it depends also on how quick you learn and how much you practice. I think this is something you can pick up very quickly..
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
14 Oct 10
It involves eye to hand coordination which I'm not good at. They meet 2 times a month, but I can only go one. So we shall see.
@peavey (15869)
• United States
14 Oct 10
I never seriously thought about wood carving, but it sounds interesting from the way you describe it! Do they have regular classes, or is it just come when you can? That would be an awesome way to make gifts!
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
14 Oct 10
Come when you can. I've learned to "rock my wrist" which is very important. There is the out rock and the in pull (I'll need to learn the real names of these moves soon). That's the thin layer coming off stuff. I'll also need to learn hammer and chisel techniques for harder wood and deaper changes. Yeah, one guy was making the spirit things as Christmas ornaments to give away. He had a long strip of bearded fellows and it looked like a totem pole to me, but he said he was going to cut them apart and make ornaments out of them. I thought that was cool.
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
14 Oct 10
Yeah I had never thought of woodcarving for myself either, but they have 4 or 5 continuous instructors at each meeting. One was at our county fair. He and a new guy were manning the booth and I saw them interact. He seemed like a good, patient, instructor. The new guy seemed to be enjoying himself and happy that he volunteered. So they asked me if I would like to come to a neeting and try. So heck, why not? You know?
@peavey (15869)
• United States
14 Oct 10
Sure, why not? It sounds like fun, but more complicated than I thought at first. Of course, most things are like that when you really get into them. The "come when you can" would be a big plus. Post some pictures when you get started.
@jillhill (37354)
• United States
14 Oct 10
My daughter took woodcarving and she made some pretty cool stuff...she gets tired of a craft though and has moved on to something else. I wish you much luck with your new skill! Sounds like fun and a great deal too!
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
18 Oct 10
There are sooo many ways to carve and so many different things to carve, at least at this club, too bad she wasn't in a club. I bet she would still be doing it.