Low Cost Texturing Punches

Carving Budget Series

Woodcarving tools can be very expensive. This blog post contains a video on how to make texturing punches for less than a meal at your favorite fast food restaurant.
In the last 6 – 9 months my woodcarving interests have turned towards relief carving.   In my studies of relief carving, I found that a textured background is very common.  Texturing the background of a relief carving directs the eye to the subject matter of the carving.

Making low cost texturing punches

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Attention WoodCarvers! Did you hear about the 2015 SUMMER CAMP!!!

Coming soon, the 2015 Summer Camp for WoodCarvers!

This event is an annual event that happens every year in the month of August and is located in Bremen Indiana. Bremen is a small town located in northern Indiana and has a population of just under 5,000.

When:  AUGUST 13-16, 2015
Where:  Pla-Mor Campground

2162 U.S. 6 East, Bremen, IN 46506

Hours for Carving Classes: 9:00AM to 5:00 PM

For all those non-campers (like me), there are logging accommodations close by for us. To find logging and other useful information, please visit the Summer Camp Website at https://indianawoodcarverssummercamp.wordpress.com/2015-instructors-projects/

I hope to see you there.

Happy Carving!
Jerry

Mary May – Techniques for Beginning Woodcarvers

Mary May is an accomplished woodcarver and instructor from Charleston, South Carolina.
Mary has produced the following fantastic video, which demonstrates the proper usage of gouges an V-tools.  In the video, Mary also identifies the how tools, can cut both, with and against, the wood grain in the same cut.

Mary May has also a featured guest on The Woodwrights Shop on PBS.org. http://video.pbs.org/video/2365021474/

Mary May, is a carver that inspires me to continue developing my carving skills. She openly talks about her woodcarving beginnings and how she has developed her skills over time.   Knowing her history and viewing the masterful carvings she produces today, is an encouragement for me to continue developing my skills.  I am sure to never reach Mary’s level of carving, but the more I learn and the more enjoyable my hobby becomes.  I may even vacation in historical Charleston and contact Mary for an individual carving class.

Happy Carving,

Jerry

Merry Christmas

Mouse in Stocking carving
Mouse in Stocking carving

I just finished painting this little guy and now has a home on our Christmas Tree.

Helene and I wish everyone a

Merry Christmas!

Carving detail:

This carving is out of native Indiana Basswood and is a fun project with more detail than I originally thought.  It comes from the pages of WoodCarving Illustrated, the Holiday 2013 issue #65.

The project calls to use a woodburner for the fur texture, but I just used a small v-tool, but other than that, I loosely followed Leah Goddard’s guide.  I recommend this project and will carve a few more for gifts at some point.

Happy carving,

Jerry

Where do you get carving wood?

I was asked recently from a non-woodcarver, “Where do you get your wood?”

Basswood Angel

My answer anywhere I can!

I have found blocks of wood on vacation, business travel, asking friends to bring back chunks of wood from mission trips, and even from my own backyard when a small Maple tree was damaged. 

The majority of my stock came to me about about 15 years ago. A retired gentleman owning a hobby saw mill made me a great deal on a pickup truck load of Southern Indiana Basswood. You can carve alot of chips from a pickup load and I am still working on it.  Pictured to the left is a “Herby’s Angel” that I carved from the some of this Basswood stock.

Unfortunately, Indiana basswood is not high quality wood as it often has defects and hard to carve grain patterns. If you look close at the picture, you can see some of the defects. The best carving stock seems to come from Minnesota and Wisconsin areas. This wood is typically straight grained and clean of defect.

I have at times purchase blocks of Butternut, which is my favorite wood to carve as I love the smell and the beautiful grain. I have not located a local source for butternut, which drives the expense up when paying for custom sawing and shipping charges.

Keeping with my underlining topic of this blog, “carving on a budget”  I am asking my other fellow wood carvers the following questions;

  1. Where you find your carving wood?
  2. What is the best deal you have run across in finding carving stock?
  3. What is your favorite wood to carve?

Thank you for visiting and I look forward to your comments.

The best woodcarving knifes I have used.

Deepwoods Venture hand forges the best carving knifes I have used.

The best and most affordable carving tool is one that will be around for years!

That is exactly what you get when you purchase a carving knife from Deepwoods Ventures. These hand forged carving knifes hold  a sharp edge. Combine that with the maple burl handles, these knifes will last a lifetime and possibly your grand children’s lifetime as well.

I recently have purchased a One of a Kind knife from Deep Ventures.  These One of a Kind carving knifes are made with the same quality as the standard knifes, but only one of these knifes will every be manufactured.  Check our their website for information regarding these unique carving knifes.
Continue reading The best woodcarving knifes I have used.

Woodcarving is a good stress reliever

I work in a profession where burnout is a huge problem. I am an IT professional where there is always a hot project or a customer need, or something. It is never ending and sometimes it is impossible to take 30 minutes of uninterrupted to have lunch.

I just read and article by Brein Posey posted on TechRepublic that talks about the 10 things IT folk need to do to avoid burnout.

I think the advice in this article can be applied to any occupation. Item number 4-Blow off some steam really got me thinking about my own hobbies and more specifically about woodcarving. Continue reading Woodcarving is a good stress reliever