Two Moon: The Carving Process

November 17, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

I finally took the time to edit and upload photos of my latest carving, 'Two Moon'. Once again, the host company for this website made changes, and I no longer know how to complete some tasks. The chances of me sitting here long enough and remaining patient enough to figure out how to do what I used to do is pretty slim right now. In the meantime... The narrative below, is supposed to accompany the Gallery, but I don't see it anywhere, so I am posting it here:

Two Moon was carved from a large Butternut log. As you can see from the progressive photos in the 'Two Moon: The Process' Gallery, it is carved from one solid piece of wood, with nothing added to it.

Due to the complexity of this piece, it took me several years to think about the design and the approach to how I was going to carve it. Two small carvings were completed prior to starting this, to work out the hairstyle, as well as the bead bow placement. I started Two Moon in January 2012 and worked on it for a few days. My design for it overwhelmed me, causing it to sit on my carving bench for 5 years, untouched. The massive weight of the log actually broke 2 carving arms during that time.

At the end of February 2017, I decided it was time to get it carved and off my bench, no matter how it turned out. As I discovered, I didn't think through the carving process when I designed it. I didn't have good angles to get into areas with my tools, so many days were spent slowly and carefully shaving out wood from behind the ears, earrings, beside the cheeks, etc. Amazingly, I didn't break anything off! I have no idea how many hours were spent on this carving, but I know it was a LOT! It is my best carving to date, and I am very pleased with how it turned out.

I hope you enjoy the WIP photos posted in the 'Two Moon: The Process' Gallery, and that you benefit somehow from them.


Improved? really?

September 17, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Ya know how things never stay the same?  How things are always being "improved"?  Well, zenfolio, the web hosting service I use for this website, has made some improvements.  Of course, even though I was more than happy with how my website looked, their changes forced me to make new choices.  I've tried to get everything set back as close to the way it was, but some options no longer exist.  So.... hope everything is working correctly now, and that everything looks okay to ya'll.

Now I can get back out to the studio to finish up more carvings.  I have SEVERAL carvings in various stages of progress, and I'm trying to get them all finished before November.  The Huntsville, AL show is the 1st weekend in Nov, followed by Artistry In Wood, in Dayton, OH.  Time is running out!  Stand back!  The chips are flyin'!!!


International Woodcarvers Congress 2014

July 28, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

It looks like there is a possibility I will be teaching a 3-day Found/Unusual Wood class at the International Woodcarvers Congress, held annually at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Maquoketa, Iowa. I believe the 2014 dates for Congress Week are June 9-13.

They decide on what classes/instructors to offer, during the Board Meeting in September.  I'll post what I know when I know.


Burkeshop 2013 is in the books

July 28, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

I arrived home yesterday, after a terrific week in Nebraska, at the 22nd Annual Western & Wildlife Art Workshop.  Judging from all the student carvings on display at the exhibit at the end of the week, it was another successful week for all participants.

My class of 4 students worked hard, but still had time to laugh and enjoy the time together.  Each one of them produced a fabulous carving, with two students carving driftwood, and two carving butternut slabs.  They each seemed to have fun in class.  I know I did.  I am exhausted today, but thoroughly enjoyed the time with my students.

Three of my carvings found new homes during the workshop. Two moses spirits and 'Little Thunder' now have Canadian citizenship, as they move to their new homes.  I sincerely thank those who exchanged their hard earned money for my creations.

The dates for next year’s workshop have been set.  Mark your calendar.  Burke’s 23rd Annual Western & Wildlife Art Workshop will be held July 19-25, 2014.  It is held on the Doane College campus in Crete, Nebraska.  You will once again find returning instructors Vic Hood, Janet Cordell, Adina Huckins, Dave Stetson, Rick Jensen, Desiree Hajny, Izo Becic, and me, teaching carving classes, and Nancy Burke will be teaching basket weaving. Others may be added to the line-up, so be sure to check for details later this year.  Information and registration forms may be found at www.westernwoodcarvers.com

Next year, instead of Found/Unusual Wood, I plan to teach carving an American Indian mask.  I'll be trying to work up a possible model or two within the next couple of months.

Be there or be square!


Western & Wildlife Art Workshop (The Burkeshop)

July 16, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

The middle of July is here.  That can only mean one thing.  The annual Western & Wildlife Art Workshop, hosted by (John and) Nancy Burke is about to begin.  This high quality workshop is held the 3rd week of July on the campus of Doane College, in Crete, Nebraska.  The workshop has some of the Country's best instruction in wood carving, for an extremely reasonable price.  Unlike many venues, where participants are spread around the city staying in various motels, eating at any number of restaurants, here at the Burkeshop, everything takes place on the campus.  Instructors and students all stay in the same dormitory, and we all eat at the same cafeteria, at the same time.  Classes are taught during morning and afternoon sessions, and then most classrooms are opened back up after supper, for students to continue carving if they didn't get enough during the day.

I have been among the list of instructors, since 2008, when John asked if I would like to teach there.  He always tried to help newbies get started, and agreed with Vic that I knew enough to teach.  He had me start out teaching an introductory bust carving class.  In 2000, we switched it to carving Unusual/Found Wood.

So today, I need to get out to my pile of driftwood to see what I'd like to offer my students.  There are some really cool pieces out there.  Some will require power carving, so I'll leave those here, as this is a mallet and gouge class.  I try to pick pieces of wood that are very interesting, AND that I know I could carve with my gouges.  I also have some thick slabs of butternut, incase anyone chooses to carve a wood spirit, concentrating on hair.

I love this workshop and always look forward to it!  Maybe I'll meet you there one of these years!moses spirits

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