View Full Version : Woodcarvers that have inspired me

Sam Yerardi
04-10-2008, 7:38 AM
Aside from woodcarvers that have books, DVDs, articles, which I follow faithfully, I wanted to mention some famous carvers whose work is truly inspiring.

For anyone that wants to see some of the most amazing carving ever done check out Grinling Gibbons. There are brilliant carvers to day that do astounding work as well but what amazes me about Gibbons is his work was done over 300 years ago and to this day is unsurpassed. It is said his foilage in some carvings was so delicate that they would sway in the wind when carts on the street would pass. David Esterly is a moden day carver who follows Gibbon's type of carving and is amazing as well. Check out his work.

Another carver if you are into period furniture is Samuel McIntire. New England, 1700s era, amazing carver.

And I would be remiss if I didn't mention Michaelangelo. Incredibly brilliant carver and sculpturist, to the point of being scary that he had that amount of ability. Truly a God-given gift. Most people don't realize he also did wood carvings.

Faust M. Ruggiero
04-13-2008, 8:24 PM
Have a peek at Dennis Collier's site. Dennis is my friend and has taught me a great deal about woodworking, carving and his interesting and simple philosophy of life. Trained as an automotive engineer, he left that career to pursue a life creating wooden masterpieces. I met him 35 years ago remain close to him. In the early days his shop was an old garage that was heated by "the fire of his mistakes". Some days the temperature didn't get high enough to allow the crochet rug near the carving bench to thaw and release from the ever damp floor. Yet, my recollections are of a warm and spirited place where wood became art and conversations were always about allowing the mind to be open and available to receive inspiration from the spirits of those who went before us.
He developed his art to where it supported him as he raised a family. His son, Dennis, is also a master carver with his father's gift for mechanical genius.
Here is the link to their web site, I hope you appreciate his work as I do.
Faust Ruggiero

Sam Yerardi
04-14-2008, 10:11 AM

Beautiful work! Does he live in an area where there is a good market for him locally? How much of what he does is marketed through the internet?

Faust M. Ruggiero
04-14-2008, 5:12 PM
I've send you a PM.

Calvin Hobbs
04-14-2008, 6:10 PM

Thanks for posting the link, their work is outstanding!!!! I have been a huge fan of the Dept. of State Architecture, never knew who did the carving.

Couple of 18th century carvers: The Garvan carver, Martin Jugiez, John Goddard, all amazing at their craft.


Sam Yerardi
04-15-2008, 7:31 AM
I have been studying a lot about classical orders and how they have been applied to furniture and carving. The Goddards, Townsends, Affleck, Hay, etc., all applied this in their work. It never ceases to amaze me when you compare our skills with the cabinetmakers of the 18th century, etc. Today we try to achieve what they did by emulating their work, which is what all woodworkers do, whether its carving or not. But consider back then there were no magazines, no internet, nothing for a cabintmaker to go look at for inspiration. There were books, of course, some of which we still use today, but when you look at the innovation and inspiration in their carving and how it adheres to what we've learned about classical orders, etc., it seems un-earthly that they achieved this on such a huge scale in so many different areas. I think there are still of lot of things that they inherently knew and used every day in their work that we simply haven't discovered yet.

Dave McGeehan
04-15-2008, 8:39 AM

Thanks for Mr. Collier's link, beautiful work!

There are so many famous, and hobbyist, woodworkers/carvers who've influenced and inspired me that I don't know where to begin. But a couple who I find very interesting are:

Wendell Castle http://www.wendellcastle.com/trompe.swf

Craig Nutt Craig Nutt - Fine Wood Works - Furniture & Sculpture (http://www.craignutt.com/)


John Timberlake
04-21-2008, 2:12 PM
I also have been inspired by Grinling Gibbons. And of course some of the 18th century furniture and architectural carvings are great.

But for contemporary carvers, my vote goes to Ian Norbury. I have seen two presentation by him and took a class with him. He is a very good teacher, but a fantastic carver. You can see his work at www.iannorbury.com (http://www.iannorbury.com). He even has a section on work in progress.