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Mike Henderson
12-14-2007, 4:43 PM
Some time back, I was asked by the owner of the local Woodcraft store to give some beginning lessons in carving. Of course, his interest is in getting people to start carving so he can sell carving tools.

My problem is to find something that's easy for a beginner to carve but has some interest (or appeal) to the student. It also has to be something that they can carve in a short amount of time - the class is 6 hours and I take the first couple of hours talking about carving tools, sharpening, and wood for carving.

For my next class, I decided on a simple flower. In marketing the class, I decided to try to appeal to the people who do turning, as well as the people who make furniture, since there's a lot of people who do turning in this area. I'm going to title the course "Carving for Turning and Furniture".

As a sample of what can be done with that simple flower, I turned a lidded bowl and carved the top with the flower motif. I'll put the bowl in the store with a flyer about the class. Hopefully, I'll get some turners who decide to take the class. (note - I'm not much of a turner, myself)

Any comments or suggestions will be appreciated.

Mike

Brian Weick
12-14-2007, 4:53 PM
B`alissimo~:) That is beautiful workmanship ~ I carve as well and learned from reading carving books and from hands on experience- That looks great - nice Job Mike! :)
Brian

Hank Knight
12-14-2007, 4:56 PM
(note - I'm not much of a turner, myself)
Mike

Who are you trying to kid???

Very nice. I'd take your class if I lived in your town.

Hank

Don C Peterson
12-14-2007, 5:08 PM
Although my tastes tend to run toward simple "clean" lines, I'm finding myself starting to think about doing a bit of carving. This is one area that I know NOTHING about and given my total lack of artistic abilities (I can't draw a flower, much less carve one in wood), I question if I'll ever be able to do even simple carving. But I guess you never know 'till you try...

That's a very cool bowl BTW. Very nice.

TYLER WOOD
12-14-2007, 5:42 PM
Ohhhh, as a turner I love the bowl and the carving. How long did it take ffor you to carve that? Simply a beautiful piece. Would love to see some burning involved there for some added emphasis in contrast. I too can't draw,b tu would take the class to learn to carve.

Brian Kent
12-14-2007, 6:06 PM
I am interested in your class and I think I'm free that Saturday.

I used to work over at 1201 Irvine Blvd in Tustin, and I am still less than an hour away. I assume I sign up through the Stanton Woodcraft website. I'll also check for interest among the carvers and turners at my church.

Mike Henderson
12-14-2007, 6:06 PM
Ohhhh, as a turner I love the bowl and the carving. How long did it take ffor you to carve that? Simply a beautiful piece. Would love to see some burning involved there for some added emphasis in contrast. I too can't draw,b tu would take the class to learn to carve.
It took me a couple of days (part time) to carve the lid. I find that I can only carve for so long then I lose my concentration and start making mistakes.

Let me point out that no freehand drawing is involved in this lid. Everything is done with a compass (lots of circles) and a set of dividers to evenly space the flower petals. The little "birds" around the outside are made with two gouges. Absolutely no freehand "drawing" involved. If you took my course and learned how to carve the flower, you could do this top, also. It's easy but tedious.

This is an example of taking a simple design, done with a compass, and using repetition to add interest. There are many basic designs that can be done this way.

Just an added note - the design around the top is known as a "guilloche". A guilloche is a pattern of circles, usually interwoven, and often used for a molding design.

Mike

[added note for turners] The inlay band was put on to hide a glue joint. I bought some 8/4 poplar (cheap) to make this example. The only thing difficult about the inlay is getting it to match at the joint. To do that you have to adjust the depth of the inlay, testing until the inlay matches. Put the inlay in, then take the bowl down until the inlay is flush. Of course, you do that before doing the center of the bowl - otherwise you might cut right through the side!

Mike Henderson
12-14-2007, 6:12 PM
I am interested in your class and I think I'm free that Saturday.

I used to work over at 1201 Irvine Blvd in Tustin, and I am still less than an hour away. I assume I sign up through the Stanton Woodcraft website. I'll also check for interest among the carvers and turners at my church.
Yes, the class will be Saturday, January 26 at the Woodcraft at Stanton, from 9am to 4pm, with an hour for lunch. The cost is $75 and it is limited to 6 students. You can register by calling (714) 899-1422. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to put that pitch in. I hope to see you there!

And thank you for passing along information about the class to members of your church.

Mike

Bill Wyko
12-15-2007, 12:43 AM
Mike, that quite beautiful. I like Tylers Idea to do some shadowing. Although it's wonderful just like it is as well.

Dave McGeehan
04-02-2008, 5:43 PM
Great work, Mike! I like the way the wood's circular grain/figure within the large center flower mimics its shape. What type of finish did you use to add the shadowing around the smaller flowers or did you texture the surface in those areas to add the contrast?

Dave

Garry McKinney
04-02-2008, 5:59 PM
Nice work , Mike.

The flower is a good idea, it gives simple lines for someone just starting. And if they are more advanced , they can turn the petals , curl the up so many options .


Well done.
Garry

Mike Henderson
04-02-2008, 6:28 PM
Great work, Mike! I like the way the wood's circular grain/figure within the large center flower mimics its shape. What type of finish did you use to add the shadowing around the smaller flowers or did you texture the surface in those areas to add the contrast?

Dave
I didn't do anything around the smaller flowers, except carve the details you see in the picture. But no shadowing or texture.

And to offer a shameless plug, I'm giving a talk to the Orange County Woodworkers turning group on Thursday, April 17 on "Carving for Turning". What I'm going to try to show is that carving can be used to enhance turned objects - and that turning reduces the amount of work in the carving because you can often rough out the work with lathe tools, allowing you to concentrate on the details.

The talk will start at 7pm in the Tustin Senior Center on April 17th. If you're in the neighborhood, please stop in. No charge to attend.

Mike

Corey Hallagan
04-02-2008, 8:27 PM
Fantastic work Mike!! Beautiful!

Corey

Sam Yerardi
04-03-2008, 8:30 AM
Beautiful work, Mike. Perhaps you mentioned it earlier and I missed it but was the wood butternut?

You had asked about other sources for beginning carving. You might look at Andy Marlow's book 'Fine Furniture for the Amateur Cabinetmaker'. It is an excellent book and is readily available. Andy wrote a lot of articles for Fine Woodworking it their early days and is one of my heroes. Anyway, the book starts out with a lot of simple carving projects (small box, carved trays, carved wooden letter openers, etc.) that ultimately lead up to a pie crust table at the end of the book. It has a good discussion of carving tools, etc. at the beginning of the book. Lots of great supporting text.

Mike Henderson
04-03-2008, 11:34 AM
Beautiful work, Mike. Perhaps you mentioned it earlier and I missed it but was the wood butternut?

You had asked about other sources for beginning carving. You might look at Andy Marlow's book 'Fine Furniture for the Amateur Cabinetmaker'. It is an excellent book and is readily available. Andy wrote a lot of articles for Fine Woodworking it their early days and is one of my heroes. Anyway, the book starts out with a lot of simple carving projects (small box, carved trays, carved wooden letter openers, etc.) that ultimately lead up to a pie crust table at the end of the book. It has a good discussion of carving tools, etc. at the beginning of the book. Lots of great supporting text.
Thanks for the book recommendation, Sam. I'll check it out.

The wood is poplar. I was doing this just as a demo (or perhpas an advertisement) for the carving class so I chose an inexpensive wood.

Mike