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!