Gazette WOODCARVERS THE

THE
WOODCARVERS
Gazette
Published by the British Woodcarvers Association
Volume 3 - Issue 3
Winter 2013
Interviews:
Lora S. Irish
Bob Mau
Nic Westermann
Anna Casserley
Reports:
Zionshill 2013
The Les Owen Cup
European Woodworking Show 2013
Woodfest @ Hatfield Forest 2013
Features:
Why Carve?
Some Thoughts on Membership
Ancient Stools at Bradfield Wood
Carving Together: Chris Pye & Carrie Camann
ISSN 1753-3651 £3.50
(Free to BWA Members)
Join the BWA
Rockport Green Man by Chris Pye
9 771753 365012
1
2
NOTICES
Applications for the post of
National Membership Secretary
Notice is hereby given that Roger Timms has resigned
from the post of National Membership Secretary as of
27th November 2013. Roger’s term of office would have
expired at the AGM in May 2014, so Lyn McCraken has
volunteered to be Acting Membership Secretary until the
AGM. The National Committee and the Membership
wish to thank Roger for his service in the position of
Membership Secretary and would like to thank Lyn for
volunteering to stand in his absence, until the AGM.
The National Committee are looking to elect a new
Membership Secretary at the 2014 AGM. We would like
to call for nominees to the post. The term of office is
for three years (after which time you can stand for reelection for subsequent terms if you would like to do so).
The position requires attendance of National Committee
meetings (twice annually) and AGM and the management
of membership renewals and applications.
If you would like to stand for the position of National
Membership Secretary, please email the chairman Mark
Davis ([email protected])
or write to him at the following address: Mark Davis, 63
High Street, Silsoe, Bedfordshire, MK45 4ES. You will then
be sent an application form. Please let the Chairman know
that you would like to stand by the 15th January 2014.
For any membership queries, please contact your regional
leader in the first instance. Lyn McCracken’s address is 23
Rowden Hill, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN15 2AQ
BWA AGM 2014
Weekend of 17th & 18th May
The AGM next year will be hosted by the Shropshire region
and will be held at the Mary Webb School, Pontesbury,
Shropshire.
Shropshire is situated centrally and is easily accessible with
good rail and road provision. It is a beautiful part of the
country in the spring so why not take the opportunity to
come and meet old friends, make new ones and swap
ideas with like-minded people. Bring the family along…
there are many things to do and see. The tourism website
has a wealth of information.
Look out for the application form and programme in the
next issue.
EDITORIAL
Welcome to the Winter
issue of The Woodcarvers
Gazette. The cold weather
is upon us and Christmas
is just around the corner.
Hopefully, you will find
some interesting articles
to read within these pages
to pass the long winter
nights.
I have been asked about
the facts of recycling the
gazette (should you want
to). It is printed on paper
from responsibly managed
forests and is recyclable.
The cover is laminated
though and this may not
be recyclable. I haven’t
quite worked that out
yet though because that
would mean the cover of
nearly every magazine out
there is not recyclable.
I have put up a poll on the
gazette website where
you can cast your opinion
as to whether anything
needs to change with
the printing to make the
gazette more ecologically
responsible and
sustainable. I hope that
most of you keep your
copies of the gazette or
pass them on rather than
recycling them though.
The poll is on www.
In thinking about
paper and wood and
sustainability, I have
created a BWA group
fund with The Woodland
Trust. If any of you wish
to make donations to the
Woodland Trust to plant
new trees, please visit
http://dedicatetrees.
com/FundPage.
aspx?id=101265
The fund number is
101265 and all of the
money goes to The
Woodland Trust. You
can download and print
a contribution form from
the gazette website: www.
thewoodcarversgazette.
co.uk
Again, please don’t hold
back from making any
comments, criticism or
suggestions (my email
address is on the back
page). The Woodcarvers
Gazette is your magazine
so your opinions will be
taken into account. Don’t
forget to keep the photos
and articles coming in as
well!
I hope that this issue is a
good read and that you all
enjoy it. All I shall say now
is have a Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year!
thewoodcarversgazette.
co.uk
I have had many article
submissions for this issue
again, which is really great.
I hope I have included
most of them. I have
reduced the typeface
slightly to pack as much as
possible into this issue. I
hope that everything is still
legible to you.
Jason Townsend
3
OUT & ABOUT
Sarah Lawrenson, has kept an eye out
and found this giant beaver: Carved with
a chainsaw I presume, which is by the
Beaver enclosure over at Martin Mere,
near Southport. As you can see its size
is demonstrated nicely by my 7 year old
son, Nathan! Sadly, we didn’t get to see
the real beaver - he was fast asleep!
David Brown came across this
frog while walking in Loggerheads
country park, Mold, Flintshire
Sue Curtis came across these
carved united hands while at
Gretna green
Janet and Alan Robinson recently visited
the Rickmansworth Aquadrome. Much
to their delight they came across this
carved wooden bench. Unfortunately,
there was no plaque to indicate who had
carved it.
The Editor came
across this Oak
Seesaw at Coe’s
Meadow in Bulmer,
Essex. There was
sadly no indication
of who carverd it.
By Sarah Lawrenson
4
Test Valley Borough Council
Community Woodfair 2013
@ Zionshill
If You Go Down To The Woods
Today… You’ll find an awful lot
more going on than a Teddy Bears
Picnic! The Test Valley Borough
Council Community Woodfair has
been running since 2000 and has
taken place every year since, except last year, with The Hampshire
Woodcarvers attending every
show.
For the Soap carving we give the
children half a bar of Sainsbury’s
basic, a paper plate, a couple of
wooden tools and a few wooden
templates or ready carved examples to look at. Mums and dads
sit down too. Out come Rabbits,
Cats, Dogs, Mice, Alligators, Cars,
Boats, Butterflies and everything
you can think of, plus a few more.
Once set under way by our stalwart club members anything can
happen. At the end of the day we
had used 240 half bars of soap
and could have easily got through
a lot more if we had been willing
to stay until well after dark.
Rake and Broom making, Hurdle
making, Tent Pegs and Hedge
Laying. In another area there is
Woodcarving, Pole Lathe Turning,
Bush Craft, Chainsaw Carving,
Spoon making and Conservation.
Not forgetting of course; Campfire Skills, Pot making, Stories from
The Green Man, Face Painting,
Birds of Prey and a few more.
Part of our display
The greatest thing about the day –
it’s all absolutely free!
Club Secretary Stuart Lumsden, sets to
work on his Rabbit
The Woodfair is held throughout
the woods at Zionshill Copse
Local Nature Reserve, near
Chandlers Ford. As you follow
the footpaths through the woods
you will find, in small clearings, all
sorts of displays and activities that
are wood and woodcraft related.
Many of these are hands on activities aimed at the children and at
the end of the day they go home
proudly clutching bird boxes,
willow baskets and animals made
from sticks and carved from soap.
Allan Meechen starts people off on their
soap carving
The Hampshire Woodcarvers
display, as well as showing our
best carvings lovingly made over
several months (or years!) also has
one of our annual competitions,
where we ask the public to vote
for the winner. In January we are
all given a block of Lime 6” x 4” x
4” and asked to produce a carving
to a given theme. This year we
chose Cartoons and Caricatures.
All carvings are placed together,
given a number, and the public are
asked to vote for their favourite
carving. The winner was Michelle
Day with her carving of Dougal
from The Magic Roundabout.
Despite a light shower the kids stuck to it
Mum lends a hand...
Some of the soap carvers
Other displays at the event include
the traditional Coppice crafts of
By John Tybjerg
5
An Interview with Lora S. Irish
Lora S. Irish is an accomplished American
Woodcarver and the author of many
books including Classic Carving Patterns.
Should I be calling you Lora or
Susan?
I get that question a lot so I will share
with you the long version because it is a
wood carving story:
As I stood in the kitchen doorway with
my packed bags at my feet and my
college admissions letter in hand, ready
to start my freshman semester at the
University of Maryland, my Dad lovingly
told me, “You don’t have to do this, I can
get you into a good nursing school or
secretarial class!” Women could pursue
employment as teachers, nurses, or office
workers or express themselves artistically
through any needle art or home art, but
at that time it was not yet acceptable
that she purposefully pursue being a
professional working, independent
woman.
I was a young, aspiring art student when
American society thought that women
who attended college only wanted to
earn their “Mrs.” Degree. Women were
just breaking through the gender barrier,
yet still expected to get married, have
and raise children, and keep house. One
college professor told me specifically
he resented women in his classrooms
because we were stealing some man’s
opportunity to a higher education.
Art galleries would not review or jury a
woman’s work because they did not want
to invest time, space and money into
promoting someone that was destined
to leave the arts to go become a mother.
So like many of my predecessors through
history, I discovered that if I submitted
my work under my initials only – L. S.
Irish – I could get my work reviewed
without prejudice. I remember first
hearing the quote ‘For most of history,
Anonymous was a woman’ by Virginia
Woolf in freshman year of college.
When I entered the craft fields after
college, I quickly learned that most
hobbies were no different than
the arts and were stereotyped by
gender. Women quilted and men did
woodworking, women knitted and men
did leather carving.
Yet when I began wood carving about 25
6
years ago, I discovered
that this is one craft
that has no gender bias.
In fact, I have never
found any prejudgment
of an artist’s work
based on their sex,
educational or cultural
background. In wood
carving my work was
accepted as is and
judged for its own
quality and merits,
it stands on its own.
Even my Dad who had
wanted me to become
a secretary, even
though I still cannot
spell my way out of a paper bag and
would never have considered teaching
me woodworking, was thoroughly
delighted that I had started woodcarving.
The carving communities have carried
this open-arms acceptance right out onto
the internet, where you are as likely to
see a new carver’s basswood block wood
spirit walking stick receiving equal acclaim
and praise to that which an Old World
style, trained carver receives for their
intrigue, 4” thick oak acanthus leaf mantel
piece.
So when Taunton Press offered me my
first book contract for Classic Carving
Patterns, it was published under my full
name, Lora S. Irish. I no longer needed
to hide the fact that I was a woman
to be able to pursue my passion as a
professional. In woodcarving I had found
a home where I was accepted for what
I did and a craft where I could flourish
without any limiting constraints simply
because I was female.
I will add to this that I am out of the old
culture of West Virginia where in the
coal mining families, a child’s first name
is your Christening name and used for
formal, legal, or professional purposes.
A child’s second name is their ‘call’ name
or ‘friend’ name – it’s the name Momma
used when she called you to your chores
or the dinner table. And where if your
Momma called you by both names as
Lora Susan! you knew you were in deep
trouble. So you will see me sign my
name on my websites and publications
under Lora, but everyone in the carving
community just calls me Susan.
How did you get into carving, is
there a family history of carving?
There is a long history of arts and crafts
in my family background. My parents
came out of the coal mining culture of
West Virginia, USA, pre-WWII, where
store-bought items were considered
luxuries. They, as I, were raised with
the Do-It-Yourself attitude long before
being a DIY junkie was trendy. So every
imaginable craft and art form was a
common occurrence around the house
- Mom did quilting, sewing, pottery,
knitting, and all of the needle arts. Mom
just turned 88 this year and decided that
she was ready to learn another new
craft so she has taken up silk ribbon
embroidery.
My Dad was an avid antique gun buff,
who specialized in Civil War muskets
which required months of intense
restoration. The wood stocks and pistol
grips of those antique firearms often
needed to be replaced which gave Dad
the opportunity to hand carve designs
into the walnut gunstocks (his preferred
wood species).
It was at the end of my Dad’s life that I
began woodcarving. Dad had been bed
ridden for several months and I would
visit for a few hours when I could to give
my Mom a break in his caretaking. To fill
those hours, I brought my carving tools
and wood and would sit by his bedside
quietly chipping away as we talked.
Dad had given me my first tool set the
previous Christmas. As I worked Dad
would give me instructions and directions
for the cuts and strokes I was making into
the wood. I often look back at that time
and admit that while I was to one holding
the wood and chisels, my Dad was the
one doing the woodcarving by using my
hands as his carving tools.
It was during this time that I began the
patterns and drawings for the manuscript,
Classic Carving Patterns, later published
by Taunton Press. I would work up the
rough drafts of the designs at home, then
bring them to my father for his review.
Dad would look over the roughs and
point out areas that needed to be refined
to make the final carving more powerful.
The day that Dad passed away, Mom
brought out Dad’s carving kit, full of
years of tool collecting - bench knives,
gouges, chisels, riflers and files, rulers,
strops and rouge. She sat the tool box
in front of me, saying that Dad had
specifically wanted me to have his kit. I
cried. That kit is a family treasure and
today I still use my Dad’s bench knife
with wonderful memories of those last
special hours together bent over a small
basswood block, working out how to
curve an eye or indent the nose bridge of
a wood spirit.
What was the first thing that you
carved or whittled?
Like many brand new carvers, my first
attempt at carving was a terrible but total
thrilling disaster. My Dad, knowing that
he was passing away, had begun to give
away some of his woodworking tools
and equipment, much of which went to
my husband. In one of the boxes was
a stack of vintage Wood Magazines.
Looking through them, I came across an
article on how to carve a realistic feather.
Having read the article and knowing
that I could accomplish the steps, I went
to my kitchen drawer and got my best
potato paring knife, then went off to the
workshop and found an end scrap of
2x4” white pine, and started carving.
What aspects of woodcarving are
you most passionate about?
I love teaching, especially over the
internet where I can share lots of photos,
step-by-step instructions and talk with my
students as we work through a project.
Teaching has always been a passion
for me, in that it lets me share my love
for this craft. I focus on the newest
beginner carvers or pyrographers, with
an assumption that this project may
be the first time they have ever held a
bench knife, chisel, or wood burning tool.
There are many carvers with skills far
superior to mine that teach and share the
advanced techniques. But every carver
must start with that first carving block or
plaque blank and have that first time using
their tools. For me, they are the most
important person in the room, reading
the magazine or book, or on the message
boards. If I can share the basics and the
foundation techniques with them, I know
that they will come to love this craft as I
do.
sticks, or fishing sticks long before he
discovered he could use a harder stone
to chip away a soft stone to create a line
or shape.
Do you think that woodcarving is
becoming more popular?
Wood carving is most likely our very first
art form, prior to the millennia-old stone
Venus figures and most likely appeared
soon after man discovered fire and how
to create cutting tools from stone chips.
Sadly there is no physical evidence left for
this hypothesis for the simple reason that
wood rots. Yet, I can imagine our early
ancestors sitting beside the fire using
their stone chip cutting knives to carve
the points of their spears, food gathering
Woodcarving is an old craft that just one
or two generations ago we would have
learned from our parents or grandparents
as an everyday household skill like
sewing, cooking, or hunting. So I don’t
think I would refer to the current interest
in wood carving as being a craft trend or
as becoming more popular. I believe that
wood carving is experiencing a revival
because of the new access to techniques,
tools, and patterns made available
through the internet and book publishing.
Perhaps to distinguish his hunting spear
from another man’s spear he may have
cut thin lines or patterns into the wood
shaft or burned geometric patterns into
the wood with a flaming stick; the start
of pyrography. We can date the earliest
surviving wood carvings to circa 4000BC
with the wood carvings discovered in the
Great Pyramid of Giza, which show a
well-developed, very advanced skill level.
Since that first stone tool maker picked
up a piece of fire wood to test the
sharpness of his cutting tool, man has
enhanced his woodworking with carvings.
We have carved our door lintels, our
weapons, our coffins, our food bowls,
our tools, and our wooden jewelry
with patterns and designs from the very
beginning of man’s history.
I was so very proud. It was terribly thick
and rough, the v-cuts were wobbly, and
I had had to sand vigorously to get a
semi-smooth finish, but I had carved a
feather! Of course, I showed Dad and
his response was a simple “Uh-Ah?!?”
On Christmas day, a few weeks later,
there was a present under the tree for
me from my Dad - a wonderful set of six
beginner’s carving tools, a bench knife,
a three piece chip carving knife set, a
strop and rouge, and a small assortment
of basswood blanks. When I thanked
Dad he just grinned and said he thought
I might do a little better with the ‘Right
Tools’.
7
What grandfather would have taught you
while whittling away an hour or so on the
back porch is now a ‘click away’.
background and I am working towards
a more open use of other crafts to
enhance those designs in my carvings.
So in my opinion when someone takes
up their gouges and chisels they are not
pursuing something that is new, trendy,
or culturally popular – instead they are
adding their personal works to our very
first art form which may span nearly the
whole of human history.
Do you have a favourite wood to
use?
Basswood – Tilia - also called Linden
or American Lime is my favorite, with
butternut - Juglans cinerea – also called
White Walnut, a close second. Both are
excellent fine grained woods for relief
carving and whittling projects. Basswood
in particular has a very tight fine grain
with a clear white coloring, perfect for
deep undercuts and thin, smooth-lined
detailing. It ages to a nice, soft golden
patternation over the years if you use an
oil finish or it easily accepts full coloring
and shading with either oil or acrylic
paints. Since basswood is the primary
wood for a new carver here in the States,
I tend to use it exclusively in my projects.
Where do you find your
inspiration?
Since I focus my carvings for beginning
carvers I tend to go fairly traditional in
subject matter for my blog projects.
Farm and barn landscapes are always a
favorite as is any wildlife scene. Today
the greenman, wood spirit, and classic
cathedral gargoyle are popular subjects.
I also love traditional furniture accents
such as the acanthus leaf scroll or oak
and acorn garlands. I think that it is easier
to learn a new craft if the subject matter
is something that you would like to work
on.
After more than 25 years in this art, I find
myself mixing arts and craft processes
with my carvings. I am using pyrography
as a tool for fine line detailing and for thin
undercuts in my relief carvings. A scroll
saw, band saw, or even coping saw allows
me to break away from the rectangular
shape of a pre-routed plaque and adds
dimensional impact along the outer edges
of my work. There are many painting
techniques that not only add coloring
but also add a touch of surprise when
the viewer realizes that your work is
not resin, ceramic, or stone but painted
wood.
So most of my project patterns come
out of historic, classic, or traditional
8
Why do you practice the art of
woodcarving?
Woodcarving is truly a hands-on art
form. Our carving woods are warm and
gentle to the touch - clay or metal tend to
be cold and hard. Wood is comfortable
and comforting to hold and work. Unlike
oil painting or drawing where your
pencil or brush keeps you away from the
canvas, keeps you at a distance from your
creation, woodcarving puts both hands
right into the action of creation. You
don’t need any special place or a heavy
investment of tools to work this craft.
A good quality bench knife, a block of
wood, and the back porch steps will get
you started.
There is no limit to the style of carving
you can do, the subject of your works, or
the number of wood species you can use.
Today might be a basswood relief plaque
of a flying goose, tomorrow it might be a
cowboy 3D character, and next week you
might be working on a full, life-sized bust
of your granddaughter – anything goes in
woodcarving.
Are there any artists or craftsmen
that you find particularly
inspiring?
There are many great wood artists
that have spent years developing their
techniques. Their work is breath-taking,
outstanding and important to our craft
because they show the height of our art.
But they really don’t inspire or excite me.
You don’t know the name of the carver
that truly excites me – the person that
really gets me revitalized in this craft - and
neither do I. That carver, whoever she
or he is, is sitting at their kitchen table
opening up their very first set of carving
tools. A friend has told them they need
some sharpening tools so they ordered
a strop and rouge off the internet, and
they visited their local hobby store to
purchase a few packs of basswood
blanks. Maybe they have a magazine a
friend lent them, maybe they picked up a
book on wood carving at the library, or
maybe they found a free project on the
net. They are ready to try their hand at
this craft.
They don’t know yet which is the gouge
and which is the chisel. As they work
their first wood spirit face, the cuts will
be rough and ragged, the face will be
slightly lop-sided, and the detail lines will
be wobbly. When you look at the piece
you will still see the block shape of the
wood because they don’t know how to
round off the sides yet, but they’ll learn.
When they finish that first work they are
anxious to post it to a message board
or forum they discovered or they are
taking it to their local Senior Centre to
show off what they have done. For many
of them this is their first arts and crafts
in many decades. For others it is their
first art ever. They are so proud of that
rough and tumble wood spirit and they
have every right to be. You see, they
just made SOMETHING GREAT out of
NOTHING! They made a piece of art
that is all theirs. No matter what they
have carved they have added a little piece
of themselves to our art’s history.
With just a few more projects you will
never know that they are a Newbie, we
progress so quickly in this hobby. And in
a few months they will be offering advice,
ideas, and sharing techniques with the
newest carvers on the web or in their
carving club. This is the wood carver
that inspires me. This is the post of any
forum that I always click on and that
always makes me smile. I know when I
see that very first carving, the many years
of joy that are ahead of them. They,
those newest crafters, are the future
of woodcarving and I am inspired by
their courage and creativity to take on
something totally new and challenging.
was completely my fault. I was working
fast to finish a relief before a publishing
deadline and had allowed my tools to
pile up on my work table. Because I had
dropped them randomly on the table a
few had become covered with the chips
created during the rough out stage of
the carving. As I was reaching across the
table my hand caught the edge of a chisel
and sliced open a long cut down the
center of my finger.
Do you have a favourite subject
for your carvings?
I think that I am a binge carver when it
comes to what subjects I am working.
Where many carvers choose a particular
genre like Santas, cowboys or duck
decoys, I am a relief carver and can chose
from a wide variety of themes, topics,
and subjects – landscapes, portraits, folk
art, wildlife. I have an open palette of
possible relief ideas. With an average
project taking about two or three days
of work, I might do several plaques that
focus on one topic – one flying goose,
one goose in the pond and one goose on
a nest.
Where do you do most of your
carving?
Oh, my family jokes that they can always
find me by following the trail of wood
chips throughout the house! I have found
my wood chips in the couch cushions,
under the throw rugs, in the clothes
washer and lint tray of the dryer, and
even in the bed covers. When I turn out
the pockets of my blue jeans you can
hear the chips rain down onto the floor.
I often carve at my studio table. As a
relief carver I prefer a standing position
where I can center my hands over the
work with the board locked to the table
edge with a bench hook or bracing table.
During the evenings, after the studio has
closed, I can easily move my carving into
the living room. With a heavy terry cloth
towel to catch the chips and protect my
legs I can work off my lap. For larger
works I have a sturdy kitchen chair that
has a very level seat that I use as a small
carving bench. I set the chair on non-skid
mats that keep the chair from moving
on my wood floors. I can set my bench
hook against the front edge of the chair
and work.
I don’t think that where you work is as
important as how you work. In 25 years
I have only once gotten a cut serious
enough to need stitches and that cut
I am a whittler in my three dimensional
work, often using precut basswood
blocks. I love wood spirits, character
carving, and trick carving like the ball in
cage or the chain. Last year I tried my
hand at ice-fishing fish decoys which are
delightful small 3D folk art carvings. I
started with a simple, smooth bodied
minnow design and before I knew it I had
over forty finished decoys with painted
bodies and copper fins. Even more
recently I had a little fun with the classic
Tiki pattern - That project turned into a
complete chess set.
Do you have any anecdotes about
your carving?
I don’t think I want to tell you about how
my husband’s black Labrador Retriever
puppy, while teething, chewed off the
beak of an expensive vintage wood
carved duck decoy … or how I learned
that I have to wear shoes while carving
… or even share with you how some
of my carvings end up as very fancy
firewood kindling and how my family
sends them on to an honorable funeral
pyre… nor about my son telling me
there were wood chips in his macaroni
and cheese! No, I don’t think I will share
those tales here – GRIN!
You can find out more about Susan and
her books at either of these websites:
ArtDesignsStudio.com or LSIrish.
com
Some of Susan’s in-depth tutorials:
Canada Goose Relief Carving at http://
lsirish.com/tutorials/woodcarvingtutorials/woodcarving-projects/
beginner-projects/releif-woodcarving-canada-goose-projectpart-four/ is a 27 page posting on our
blog with over 150 step-by-step photos,
and free download patterns.
Tiki Chess Set, Beginner’s Carving
Project at http://lsirish.com/
tutorials/woodcarving-tutorials/
woodcarving-projects/beginnerprojects/tiki-chess-set-beginnerscarving-project/ This free online
project is a thirteen page posting on our
blog with full step-by-step instructions
and a free download for the patterns
used.
Basics to Painting your Wood Carvings
at http://lsirish.com/tutorials/
coloring-your-project/basics-topainting-2/ You can see samples of the
classic American ice fishing decoys in this
in-depth free tutorial on our blog.
By The Editor
POLL
There is an online poll about the
sustainability of printing the gazette.
Would you like to see the gazette
being produced on Carbon Balanced
Paper? Or would you like the gazette
to be printed on recycled paper?
Please vote for your favourite at :
www.thewoodcarversgazette.
co.uk
9
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This year’s European Woodworking Show carving competition
was a great success with over 1500 votes from the public. The
competition is organised by the Essex region and sponsored
by Classic Handtools. First Place went to Peter Paces and
his King’s Minder winning £750 in vouchers. Second Place
went to Gerry Guiver and his copy of a piece by Grinling
Gibbons, winning him £250 in vouchers. Voting in the carving
competition is done by the public based on the carving that
they’d most like to take home.
Ollie The Otter by Gordon Pringle
Mahogany
Chief Big Jaw by John Wilkins
Lime on Mountain Ash
Don’t Lose Heart by John Urbanowski
Box on Mahogany
Evening Prayers by Ted Jeffrey
Teak
Dolphin Tazza by Brian Pitcher
Lime and Cherry
Charlie Chaplin by Bill Cross
Cedar of Lebanon
Bunch of Grapes by Martin Howells
Alder
10
Frank Sinatra by Bill Cross
Lime
King’s Minder by Peter Paces
Lime
Green Man by Barry Jackson
Lime
Dobby by David White
Lime
Three Graces by Eric Mason
Lime
The Book Keeper by David Colvin
Lime
Winter’s Fishing by John Urbanowski
Lime
Texas Longhorn by Michelle Toon
Horse Chestnut and Yew
Wizard’s Wand by Jason Townsend
Steamed Pear
My Garden (linen basket) by Barbara Beard
Lime
Thaxted Guildhall Lovespoon by Jason Townsend
Mahogany
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Penny Farthing by Anthony W. Smith
Maple, Cherry, Walnut and Lime
Krakonos by Peter Paces
Lime
Copy of a Small Grinling Gibbons by Gerry Guiver
Lime
Green Youth by Barbara Beard
Sweet Chestnut
Evi by Bill Cross
Lime
The Dancer by Ken Veal
Lime
Too Many Cooks by John UrbanowskiJelutong
The Cressing Temple Trophy
Well done to all of the entrants of this year’s
competition!
Leap Frog by Mick Ives
Lime on Mahogany
12
The European Woodworking Show will be back in
2015, so there’s plenty of time for you to carve an
entry for next time.
By The Editor
An Interview with Nic Westermann
Nic Westermann is a skilled blacksmith
and demonstrates hand-forging across
the country. He creates some of the
best hand-forged knife blades that money
can buy. Producing blades for carving
means that he’s no stranger to a bit of
woodcarving either.
planed surface and shavings. I do carve
bowls and spoons though and recently
I’ve been carving handles for the axes and
adzes that I forge.
Do you have a favourite wood?
For spoon carving I like green Birch.
Green Lime is far too soft but I do like
using seasoned Lime. Green Ash is nice
to carve for handles and I’ve even made
quite a nice handle from a piece of green
Elm.
What advantage do you think a
hand-forged knife has over a mass
produced knife?
Good question. It’s easier to put a distal
taper on the blade (where it’s thicker
on the spine and thinner on the tip). It’s
very easy to forge distal taper on but
more difficult to grind a distal taper into
a finished off-the-shelf blade. I’m not
sure that there’s a massive difference, it
perhaps has more to do with the heat
treatments.
How did you get into forging
blades?
I have been making decorative ironwork
for the last 14 years and you need a lot
of specialist tools for that, so I used to
make a lot of curved and straight chisels
(for cutting hot metal). I was working
with Paul Hagen at Westonbirt and he
had a spoon knife and I said I can make
one of those. He said “go on then”, so
in the field I went and forged a spoon
knife, tempered it and sharpened it and
showed him. He said that I could sell a
lot of them if I started making them. So
it wasn’t a great leap for me from making
my specialist blades to making blades
for working wood. He was right and
I started selling quite a lot of them so
I’ve never gone back to the decorative
ironwork.
Do you think you sell more blades
to Green woodworkers or those
working with seasoned wood?
I think I generally sell more blades to
green woodworkers but it varies from
venue to venue.
Do you do any woodcarving?
I do but not as much as I’d like now that
I’m a bit busier. What I tend to say is that
I make shavings: When I make a blade I
test it out and look at the quality of the
If I can add to that; it’s always
nice to have something that
has been handmade and quite
interesting to meet the person
who has forged it as well. Do you
think that the US are better at
making knives and the British are
better at making gouges?
I think that is probably true and I’ve
definitely heard that before. In general
I think that the Americans are 10, 20 or
30 years ahead of us in knife making and
their heat treatments are quite advanced.
I think they tend to work with knives
more than gouges and chisels. With
the advent of the Internet, all of the
information is there, so there’s no reason
why they should be better than anyone
else any more. Obviously, knife making
in Sheffield pre-dates that in America but
in practice I think because their culture is
more into hunting knives, etc. they are a
bit better at knife making.
Do you think that hand forging
in the UK is a dying art or do you
think it is seeing a resurgence?
There is definitely a resurgence in it,
there are more people doing it. There
are blacksmiths running a lot of courses
and a lot of people are having a go at
home forging. It doesn’t take a great deal
of money to get into making small blades.
In your opinion, what do you think
is the best method for sharpening
a blade?
I would say that for the final edge, a
fine Japanese water stone followed by
polishing with a fine stropping compound.
I do a similar process on all of my blades
and they tend to come out sharper than
anyone else’s. I could probably get an
even sharper edge if I spent another
10 or 15 minutes on each blade with
an expensive water stone but at the
moment I have worked out a method
whereby I can produce a quality blade
that has a fine edge at an affordable price.
The other issue is that you can end up
spending half of your time flattening
them, as much as I love them.
What piece of work do you feel
most proud of?
I think probably some of the axes that
we’ve done this year. We start with a
block of steel and it’s a very raw thing
forging out in the field in front of a big
crowd of people. The fact that it’s
something that people are going to use as
well rather than being merely ornamental
adds to it too.
To find out more about Nic or to
purchase any of his blades, please go to
www.nicwestermann.co.uk or email
him from the website if he is out of stock
on the item you’re after.
By The Editor
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A Huge thanks go to Ken Veal,
Brian Pitcher and their team
from BWA Essex for organizing
the BWA display of carvings
submitted for the ‘Cressing
Temple Trophy’ competition,
prizes for which were kindly
donated by Classic Hand Tools.
The European Woodworking Show
21st & 22nd September
After a quick ‘Google’ I found
out that Cupressus Macrocarpa
is a medium-sized coniferous
evergreen tree, which often
becomes irregular and flat-topped
as a result of the strong winds that
are typical of its native area. It
grows to heights of up to 40m in
perfect growing conditions, and its
trunk diameter can reach 2.5m. If
the wood choice was not unusual
enough, Dave went on to show
me the modification he had made
to his angle grinder - an extension
aided by a length of gutter and a
chair leg! Ingenious!
she would like to have a play with
her fantasy character marionette
‘Decay’. See her website www.
praguemarionette.com for other
carved delights.
Lenka’s marionette ‘Decay’
Michelle Toon with Orlov Toon (on lookout duty!)
Dave Johnson with his modified angle grinder
Arriving on Sunday afternoon I
was met with a warm welcome
by Dave Johnson of the
Gloucestershire region. He
was angle grinding Cupressus
Macrocarpa, commonly known
as Monterey cypress, (a species
of cypress native to the Central
Coast of California).
Cupressus Macrocarpa
14
Michelle Toon’s meerkat is
growing up fast! Orlov (as I like
to call him!) began life back in
the summer at the Cowper and
Newton Museum BWA event. At
Westonbirt, he had taken on a
personality. At Cressing Temple
he proudly displayed his meerkat
‘lookout’ skills, whilst Michelle
talked to the visitors!
It was lovely to catch up with
Lenka Pavlickova again, with her
hand-carved marionettes. She is
so busy touring the world with
her creations. My daughter was
thrilled when Lenka asked her if
The carvings on display up for
the public vote were amazing.
“How did they carve such intricate
detail?”, “How can we possibly
choose just one carving?” and
“The standard is most impressive”
are just a few of the comments
I overheard. Well done to
everyone who submitted an entry.
Of course, they were anonymous
entries so I can only pat the
BWA on the back as a whole for
our fantastic work! They were
indeed awe-inspiring and made
me feel proud to be a part of this
association.
Our thanks must go to the
organisers of the European
Woodworking Show, Mike
Hancock and Joy Allen of Classic
Hand Tools. We all look forward
to this event so much and never
underestimate the amount of
planning that would’ve gone into
it.
By Paula Noble
I attended this year’s show on
both days and found it a very
interesting experience. I had
not previously been to any
of the EWW shows but I am
currently living only 10 miles
from Cressing Temple, so I had
no excuse for not going. The
venue itself is wonderful and I
have previously had a stall in one
of the barns as a member of the
Essex Guild of Craftsmen. The
site was purchased by Essex
County Council in the 1960s,
having been previously looked
after by the farmer who owned
the site. It was originally a large
farm complex, owned and run by
the Knights Templar. It was the
monks of the Knights Templar that
constructed the two barns. They
also built the deep and amazingly
well constructed well (which was
actually used by the farmer until
mains water was connected in the
mid-20th century).
and is maintained by volunteers.
some of the veneers up for sale
There was quite a lot to see at
this year’s show. There was a lot
to buy as well but sadly for me, I
had no spending money. There
were several people chainsaw
carving and the marionettes that
Paula has mentioned. There were
lots of people selling wood, tools
and finished products. Some of
the wood up for sale was really
interesting. Even if I had the
money though, I wouldn’t have
fancied my chances getting any
home on my scooter though.
Tim Atkins hard at work
Bert Miles with his portable carving table
Some of the many stalls outside
The food & drink was popular
The two barns are of particular
interest to any woodworking
student. They represent the
oldest standing wooden barns in
Europe. A close runner-up to the
title is Grange Barn, a few miles
down the road at Coggeshall. The
barns date to the 12th century
I believe and have been dated
to this period first by the style
of carpentry techniques, then
dendrochronology and then radio
carbon dating. The site also
features a number of other old
buildings, including the grain store
where the Carving Competition
was held. A walled garden dating
to the 17th century also survives
The Chelmsford Marquetry
group had a display and
demonstration on the go. Some
of their creations were really
wonderful. Maybe at the next
show there will be competitions
for Woodturning and Marquetry
too? Nic Westermann was also
demonstrating his smithy skills
by creating an axe head over the
weekend. Overall, it was a great
turnout and a good weekend.
Some of the Marquetry on display
The Chelmsford Marquetry Group at work
There were some wonderful artisan creations
By The Editor
15
The Les Owen Cup
Every year, the Ox & Bucks region have
an exhibition of their work, complete
with at least two carvers demonstrating
on their latest project. Thanks to the
assistance of Abingdon Town Council,
we were able to have the use of the
Community Shop. Part of the exhibition
are the projects completed by our
members over the last year, with 23 on
display. Overall there were almost 60
carvings on display, from the very large to
the very, very small.
The carvings completed this year, were
competing for the Les Owen Cup.
This is in memory of Les, who had just
retired and always wanted to take up
woodcarving. He had only just joined us
when he went into hospital for a minor
operation and sadly did not recover from
the anaesthetic. His wife presented his
tools to the club; members purchased
them and decided to purchase a cup in
his memory to be competed for each
year.
precision in selecting the winner. The
winner received the highest number of
points and by far the most number of 1st
place votes.
The winner was ‘My Garden, a view from
a window’ by Liz Aylyard. Liz also took
second place with ‘Alice in Wonderland’.
Third place went to ‘Hippo’ by David
Bourne.
A view of the exhibition
many, many complimentary remarks in
our visitors book.
I am delighted to say that every carving
received votes so every carving was
appreciated by a voter.
Fish by J. Wheeler
The annual event is a very worthwhile
effort by all of the members of the
club, from first-year beginners to the
experienced carvers (the later always
giving great encouragement to the
newcomers).
Alice in Wonderland by Liz Aylyard
Dolphin by J. Damarell
Octosquid by Brian Eastoe
The public were asked to vote for the
carving that they liked best by completing
a voting slip. Voters were asked to assign
three points to the carving they thought
was the best, two points for the second
best and one point to the third best. The
winner is the carving that has the most
points.
Our club is blessed with several excellent
carvers and it was acknowledged by
the visitors who clearly recognised the
subject matter, design, techniques and
After a successful annual BBQ, we now
look forward to our Christmas Dinner
together with our partners. It is here
where Liz will receive the well-deserved
Les Owen Cup.
Hippo by David Bourne
Over our six-day exhibit, we had almost
1,000 visitors, with over 650 of them
voting. We also collected five new
members to the group and received
16
My Garden by Liz Aylyard
By Brian Eastoe
BWA North Wales & Borders
A Most Welcome Visit
Carving, Craft, Pyrography and Toy Making
all in one place
The club meeting of the North Wales and Borders branch
of the BWA on the 28th of September would normally have
been a hands on day, but this one was different. We started
by setting out the tables in a more festive mode than is usual,
plus several on which to display our prize pieces for the
competition we had planned.
Eileen & Annie Lewis
Today we were playing host to Meriel and her friends who
are members of the not too far away Shropshire group, and
a friendly bunch they were. The day was spent socialising
and comparing the pieces of work we had all brought along
for the competition. This took the form of voting for
which piece we would most like to take home with us. The
standard was such that making a choice from the variety of
carved pieces on show made it very difficult, and even if I had
been given a lucky dip, I could not have been disappointed
with my selection.
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We have it covered.
So why not visit our website, or give us a call.
Everyone say ‘cheese’
We had all been advised not to bring any lunch with us as
there was to be a buffet, and what a buffet it was! Goodies
galore, enough to rival our Christmas bash, finishing off with
Eileen’s pièce de résistance, her special trifle so heavily spiked
with sherry that second helpings are advised; the traffic police
have been put on high alert.
I look forward to the
reciprocal visit Meriel said
they are planning, but I should
imagine their thoughts will be
more focussed on next year’s
AGM of the BWA. They are
to be the hosts and having met
some of the people who will
be involved, I think it safe to
say that everybody who goes
will be sure of a warm
welcome and an event to
remember.
A Family business, giving family service and family values
Brenda Morris holding her
carving of a little boy weeping
in the ‘Naughty corner’
By Ron Cannell
Order online at
www.woodworkscraftsupplies.co.uk
or phone on
01633 400847
Woodworks Craft Supplies, P.O.Box 102, Caldicot NP26 9AG
17
CARVING TOGETHER
soon to follow; in 1992 he published the
first of countless articles on woodcarving
and, not long after, the first of 8 books.
Chris Pye & Carrie Camann
These two very different types of carvers
met during the summer of 2008. After
a few years of not carving at all, Carrie
was encouraged by a fellow woodcarver
to take a class with Chris. “I had no idea
who Chris Pye was but the thought of
spending a week immersing myself in
carving was irresistible” and the rest, as
they say, is history. Married in 2009, they
live today in deepest Herefordshire, on
the border of Wales.
Photograph by Richard Greatrex
If you’ve been carving for a while, you
probably know of Chris Pye. He’s the
Master Carver who writes all the books
as well as articles in Woodcarving
magazine. But you might not know that
5 years ago, while he was on his annual
teaching gig in the USA, he met another
woodcarver, Carrie Camann, and they
teamed up to form a partnership - in
more ways than one!
Two different carvers meet…
Carrie has been carving since she was 20.
Besides her professional career, raising
a son and various other artistic pursuits,
woodcarving was something she fitted
in when she could. “Woodcarving is
like an old friend; we’re always happy
to spend time together.” Although her
work has been shown in galleries in the
Snail by Chris Pye, carved from Lime
18
US, she primarily carves simply for the
love of carving. Her family and friends
have often benefitted from her craft and
recently she’s donated several carvings to
charitable auctions.
And work alongside each other..
They share a studio in their home and, at
times, collaborate on designs. “We both
look forward to spending time together
in the studio, says Carrie. We are
absolutely focused on our own carvings
but the quiet awareness of someone
else working away is both inspiring
and comforting”. Although they rarely
carve on the same piece, they do take
inspiration from one another. “The early
design stage is as important as the actual
carving”, says Chris. “Sometimes we toss
ideas and sketches back and forth and
after a while the right design emerges and
speaks for itself.”
Chris, on the other hand, has been a
professional carver for over 35 years. He
actually began a career at medical school
but fortunately for us jumped the track
and found his calling in carving wood.
“The first time I picked up a carving
gouge, it was as if I’d been doing it all my
life.” After ten years of carving, Chris
broadened his scope to include teaching
and he soon discovered that he had a
gift for communicating the craft. “I had
a family to support and commissions
and gallery sales were just not reliable
enough, so I kept teaching.” Writing was
Woman in the Wind by Carrie Camann, carved
from Yellow Cedar
Chris works primarily in Oak and Lime,
not surprising for a traditional English
carver. Carrie is more familiar with
American varieties: Cherry, Maple,
Walnut and Cedar. She started her
training with Native American Carvers
working with bent knives and green Alder
wood.
Chris’s astonishingly wide variety of
carvings stands out for their superb
craftsmanship and precise detail. It was
this, and in particular his elegant letter
carving, that earned him a place in the
prestigious Master Carvers Association.
Carrie’s work is more about form; her
first carving, made when she was 17,
was a small soapstone figure (á la Henry
Moore). Her first woodcarving was a
curvilinear abstract sculpture. Many years
later, her sculptural carvings continue
to be mostly abstract and her Native
American bent knives remain among her
favorite tools.
Their different styles seem to be an
extension of their distinct personalities.
Coat rack; a joint project for the grandkids, carved from Lime and Oak
“When I first arrived in England I
tried being a full time carver. It was an
opportunity I’d dreamed about but after
giving it a go I realized that full time
carving was not right for me. I’ve got too
many interests for that much focus and
the pressure to produce was spoiling the
joy.” Having eliminated the possibility of
opening a joint gallery/workshop, they
still had the question of what Carrie was
going to do.
And create a business together
One evening over a couple of pints
with good friends, they took stock of
their complimentary skills, talents and
shared love of woodcarving. One idea
led to the next, and the next, until: “We
took a giant leap of faith and created
Woodcarving Workshops.”
Woodcarving Workshops.tv is a website
for carvers. Members subscribe to the
site, which has a video library of well
over 300 individual video lessons. Each
month, members receive an e-Bulletin
informing them of the newly released
lessons plus other relevant information
about the site. This includes among
other things; member feedback, coming
attractions, charitable giving and an
annual tool raffle.
Candlestick by Carrie Camann, carved from Lime
The Internet has opened up an awesome
opportunity for Chris to reach many
more carvers and help them learn to
carve or learn to carve better, and at a
fraction of the cost of traditional lessons.
“Our members are really diverse. We
have total beginners and members who
have been carving for over 40 years. We
have one member who carves on her
tiny balcony in Rome and another in the
States who has just built a 1200 square
foot studio complete with all the bells
and whistles. Our youngest member is 15
and our oldest is 92 and they come from
23 different countries,” says Carrie, with
a note of pride.
Behind the scenes, Woodcarving
Workshops.tv is a job like any other.
“We run it as a business. We have
clear division of labor and a weekly
business meeting.” Chris carves, and
Carrie films and edits. Chris uploads
the videos to the site and replies to
members’ comments while Carrie
writes the monthly Members Bulletin
and responds to the inbox on a daily
basis. Together they alternately struggle
with the complications of the Internet
and are amazed by its capabilities. “For
a couple of people who are passionate
woodcarvers, you would not believe
how much time we have to spend on
the computer,” says Chris, with not a
little chagrin. Despite the frustrations and
the challenges Carrie can still say, “It’s
the best job I’ve ever had and my own
Elemental Connections by Carrie Camann, carved
from Lime and Burr Elm
19
The Story Goes on…
It’s obvious that Carrie and Chris are
both passionate about woodcarving,
not just doing it but sharing the joy with
others. “I can’t count the number of
students who’ve told me how therapeutic
carving is for them. For most carvers, it’s
as much about the process as it is about
the finished carving,” offers Chris.
carving has definitely improved just from
filming the video lessons.”
Their joint venture is both inspired
and inspiring. In addition to making a
positive contribution in the lives of their
members, Woodcarving Workshops.
tv contributes to the planet by planting
trees! Right from the word go, Chris and
Carrie teamed up with Plant-It 2020, a
US-based, non-profit organization that
plants trees around the world. “There
are so many worthwhile charities that
choosing can be overwhelming, but,
for us, it made sense to allocate our
charitable giving to trees. If every carver
planted just one tree a year, we’d be
doing the planet a world of good!’ To
date, their business is responsible for
planting over 600 trees worldwide.
“The UK is so lucky to have this fantastic
tradition,” adds Carrie. “And we’re
helping to keep the flame of woodcarving
alive. Well, that’s our hope anyways. In
lots of ways our mission is the same as
the BWA: we’re dedicated to the love of
woodcarving. Pure and simple.”
Shirt by Chris Pye, carved from Sycamore
mann
a
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e
i
rr
a
C
&
Ch ris Pye
New Twig at BWA Rockingham Forest
I want to tell you about a new club that
has just opened. It is a ‘branch’ of the
Rockingham Forest Carvers, but it’s still
small, so perhaps it is only a “twig”.
On 20 September, an Adult Education
Class was forced to leave their venue
because the premises were to close.
A new residence was found with the
Bedford Model Engineering Society, who
had recently installed a new clubhouse.
(See photo) They had been able to
acquire quite a large grant towards the
cost, on condition that it should be made
available to local community groups that’s us! Just 10 of us at the moment,
but all very keen.
The club house
We were most fortunate to have one of
the members make us 4 folding benches
(see photo) and 2 folding tables. Another
member made his own folding table that
is high enough for his own needs and big
enough to share with others. Inspired
20
by an article in the Spring edition of
the BWA Gazette, I made 2 individual
tables. It was an expensive project to set
up - around £18,000 including our shed
- but it has been worth it just to see the
enthusiasm of the group.
By Jane James
exhibition. 2 members have previously
exhibited at the ‘Al’ Woodcarving
Exhibition, organised by Glyn Mould a
couple of years ago, so we have already
created a healthy ethos.
Everyone has joined (or is in the process
of joining) the BWA. We are combining
with another newly formed group in
Bedfordshire, for Christmas lunch. So
we don’t plan to remain at the end of the
branch but be part of the main trunk!
Working together inside
We set out a table with books and
magazines, so members can sit down
with a cup of coffee and browse (see
photo). This encourages the members to
mix very freely, and nearly all the photos
show people away from their own work
stations, and helping others (see photo).
We have a great atmosphere, and very
enthusiastic carvers. Not all carvings
are of a high standard, but some things
are very successful. We are planning
to join the main body of Rockingham
Forest Carvers when they hold their next
Please help! We really need some more
Tiranti Woodcarvers’ Vices, so if any
members know where I could get some
second-hand ones, I would be really
grateful. I can be contacted on bar.
[email protected] or 01234 743062
where there is an answerphone.
By Barbara Beard
TIPS
Lora S. Irish has the following tips for carvers and would-becarvers alike:
1.
Always have a particular place to lay your tools where
you can clearly see them and where they will not get covered
with your pattern paper or chips as you work. A hidden tool
edge can cut you.
2.
Always wear shoes. If you drop a tool it will fall straight
down and your feet are directly under your hands when you
are working.
3.
Check the sharpness of your tools before you begin any
carving session. A dull tool is a dangerous tool.
4.
If your tool grabs or drags during the cut, STOP! Back
the tool out of the stroke and sharpen the edge. Don’t try to
push through the cut with extra pressure as the tool edge will
slip out.
5.
Remove all of your jewelry before every carving session.
Your tool can catch a long, hanging necklace or the edge of
a ring. Roll up your sleeves so that your wrist and hands can
freely move.
6.
Tie your hair up with a band to keep it out of your line
of sight as you work.
7.
If you have long finger nails purchase a set of rubber
quilting thimbles. They protect your nails during carving, and
protect your carving from indents caused from the pressure of
your finger nail tips on the wood.
8.
If you use a carving glove make sure that it fits properly.
An over tight or extra loose glove will hinder or restrict your
hand movements.
9.
Don’t put total faith in carving gloves as a protection
to keep yourself from getting cut. Most carving gloves will
give you an extra secure grip on the wood but cannot totally
prevent the tool edge from cutting through the glove and into
your hand. Proper hand positions, sharp edged tools, and
carefully thought through cutting directions are your greatest
safety protections.
10. Secure your wood. If you are relief carving use a bench
hook or clamps. The pressure you use in your cutting strokes
will move even a very large wood blank on the table.
11. Don’t carve unknown wood. Many woods are toxic
and many salvaged woods have been chemically treated, both
of which can cause irritation. If your hands become extra
dry, cracked, or if a rash develops stop carving and see your
doctor. Some toxic woods or chemically treated woods can
cause lung irritation. A free piece of salvaged wood can cost
you a trip to the Emergency Room.
12. Only use tools designs for carving. Utility knives, razor
blades, and craft knives are not made to withstand the cutting
stroke pressure of wood carving. They can snap or break
easily, causing the knife to slip out of the wood.
13. Don’t pry with your bench knife tip. If the chip does
not release easily from the wood, recut your strokes. Prying
will snap the tip of any tool.
14. Take frequent breaks. Stand tall, stretch, take a few
moments to re-strop your tool edges. Physical fatigue causes
mistakes in your cutting strokes.
15. Remove all staining and painting rags, pans, or papers
from your work area. Place them outside the building. If you
have been using an oil based stain, finish, or paint completely
submerge the oily rags in soapy water. Dispose of the rags
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properly, according to your local laws.
16. As woodworking and scroll sawing is often part of our
hobby, keep your studio free of dust and chips. Chips on the
floor can cause you to slip and dust is always a fire hazard.
17. Finally, but very important, put your pet cat outside the
carving studio. While cats are wonderful companions they
love to perch. Mine - ten total at this writing, which can change
without notice - especially love to jump up onto the table
to perch right on top of my wood projects, usually as I am
completely committed to making a long, deep cut.
By Lora S. Irish
If like me you suffer from sore finger tips
when sanding or finishing intricate areas
of a carving, try using rubber fingertips
sometimes known as finger cones to
protect your fingertips. Although my
fingers get a little sweaty, they don’t
get sore. They are easily obtained from
stationers or online and they come in
various sizes.
By Vince O’Donnell
21
Some Thoughts on
Membership
Any club, whatever its members are
interested in, is doomed to fail if it does
not constantly have an eye on getting
new members.
The worst attitude to have is one of
complacency. A large, successful club
may have more than enough members to
fill its venue and a temptation is for the
Committee to sit back, fold its collective
arms and metaphorically pat itself on the
back for what a good job they’ve done.
But beware!
All the time, people leave clubs. Some
will move away. Some will regretfully
pass away. Small tiffs may occur between
members within the club. These can
easily turn into petty feuds long after
the reason for the difference has been
forgotten. It’s not uncommon for one
of the parties then TO leave the club in
a fit of pique and sometimes those that
remain can become disenchanted or even
embittered.
Potential new members then come
along and see a tatty fragmented group
of cheerless old gits. Do they want to
join? What do you think! Suddenly, and
possibly very quickly, a once thriving and
successful club finds itself threatened with
extinction.
I’m exaggerating to make a point but I
hope you see what I mean. We have
to be constantly aware of the need to
replenish our membership of lively, active
souls who will contribute to the Club
and make it a thing that others will be
delighted, and hopefully queuing up, to
join.
So how do we make this image a
reality? The best advertisement for a
club is word-of-mouth. When I look
round those who have joined the South
East London group, the Woodentops,
many are there because they knew
someone who was already in it. A friend
or neighbour invited or persuaded
an individual to come along and they
became hooked. In my view, word-ofmouth is still a very powerful way of
attracting new people and should never
be ignored. Sometimes such members,
who knew very little about carving
before, become the most enthusiastic
22
members after getting immersed in the
craft.
Other forms of attracting new members
include shows and open days. I guess
these bring in both those who have
already got an interest in wood and those
who only realise what a fascinating area
this can be after seeing the demonstration
or going to the event.
To grab these people, I think it is vital
to have a leaflet explaining where the
Club can be found, with some phone
numbers and email addresses, so that the
potential member knows who to contact
if they decide to join. It could be months
before they find that scrap of paper in
their pocket and decide to pay a visit,
but without the leaflet, the potential new
member would have been lost.
Then there are those who seek out
local clubs because they already have a
keen desire and really do want to join
a woodcarving group, but really don’t
know where to start. The first port of
call for such folk nowadays is to look on
the Internet of course, and certainly the
Woodentops has found that it has gained
a number of new members from those
who browsed the Web and found us
there. Again, it would seem vital for every
group to have its own accessible website
nowadays, with clear details of who to
contact. It seems to me that having a
decent website is no longer a ‘nice to
have’ but a ‘must have’.
There are other ways of attracting the
attention of this great British public of
ours. For example, I have long subscribed
to the American woodcarving magazine
‘Chip Chats’ which includes a wealth of
material from American woodcarving
clubs. Each edition has two or three really
interesting items which I cut out and put
in scrapbook. I don’t want to keep the
rest of the magazines, which would only
clutter up the house. So I stick a label
on the front of these old editions saying
something like: ‘If you read this and found
it of interest, there is a local woodcarving
group which you might like to visit. You
would be very welcome! Please call or
email [the Leader] on…’
seeds which may result in someone
contacting us. You might like to do this
with old woodcarving magazines that you
have finished with, once you have torn
out the articles you want to keep.
Then of course there is the local paper,
which is often desperate for news items
and even if you haven’t got a show which
they can report on, you can send them
some photos of members whittling away
with a few words and there is a good
chance the item will be published.
I’m afraid I’m not on Facebook so I can’t
comment on the worth of that to spread
the news, but I have no doubt that as
time goes by it will become an increasing
influence for even us woodcarvers. I
have Twitter hashtag (CarverOfWood),
though have rarely used it - yet - but
suspect that this too will become
an increasingly used form of carving
communication.
The saying ‘There is nothing that
succeeds like success’ is as true for
woodcarving clubs as it is for other
contexts. Keeping the club successful
needs a little hard work as well as
constant vigilance to keep the wooden
ball rolling.
By Clive Nash
How I started
Woodcarving
I suppose that I have always been an
admirer of carved wood because looking
round my home I realise I have lots of
it. A carved old chair, a Victorian hall
cupboard, carved book ends and lots of
Indonesian sculptures I brought back after
working in Sumatra.
Then, when I next go to the dentist,
doctor or hospital, or anywhere else
that has public waiting rooms full of
six-month-old editions of Hello and
Woman’s Illustrated, I leave my old copy
of Chip chats in the pile. These are little
Gill carving
My father’s hobby was woodwork and his
ambition was to make a carved chair for
his local church but he died when I was
12 and never achieved his ambition. In
his memory I thought it would be nice to
take his hobby up too.
Gill and her dray
Years later, as a single mum with two
young children I went to evening classes
in woodwork. I don’t think I was very
good at it and really relied on lots of help
from the tutor and classmates. I was too
ambitious and spent a whole year making
a captain’s bed for my youngest daughter
which was a piranha pine bed on top of
a wardrobe and desk unit. The ladder
was extremely wobbly but it did work!!
When it was finished, I was realised I
could not get it out of the woodwork
room door, so we had to take it to bits
and separate the wardrobe from the desk
and bolt it together afterwards. I suppose
one learns from mistakes, but I do think
the woodwork teacher could have
anticipated the problem!
My last project was a very small table
which was a sort of apprentice piece
(cabinet makers used to make them to
show what they could do when meeting
possible clients). I made the table in
mahogany from a recycled bed and
turned the legs out of the bed legs. The
top looked pretty plain and I thought
I would like do some carving on it so I
bought a small carving set to do it. I then
realised it was far too difficult for me, and
the table remained unglued.
Years later I was helping on a stall at a
craft fair and during a break wandered
into the woodcarving tent where I
was collared by a very enthusiastic
Hertfordshire BWA group who
persuaded me to join them.
I then started to go to group meetings
and started with the usual leaf carved
out of apple wood and really enjoyed
meeting other carvers and learning from
them. Since then I have been hooked on
carving and now have about two dozen
chisels and numerous holding gadgets, my
home has even more carved objects and I
have been on two wood carving holidays.
With my father in mind I have turned
my attention to an old toy dray I have
inherited from him. Originally it had
wooden barrels on it which unfortunately
have been lost. I think it dates back from
the early 1900s. Recently I thought it
would be nice to make a horse for it
so for the last few months (with help I
must add), I have carved a cart horse to
pull the dray. I must say it has been very
difficult because although finding lots of
photos of cart horses there are never
photos of the underneath quarters or
what happens behind the tail! Anyway I
have done my best and the next project I
suppose will have to be beer barrels!
Terry with his dog
Derek with his relief carving
Ann with her miniatures
Progress so far on Gill’s Cart Horse
By Gill Deacon
Woodentops
Hever Country Show
Laurie with his women
Week One of September saw stalwart
Club members help at the Hever Castle
‘Country Life at the Castle’ Show. As
we have come to learn, whenever we
have had a stall at a show in 2013, the
weather has generally not been the best
and this was no exception, but there was
a good turnout and the tent held the bad
weather at bay. As ever we hope the
event helped to generate a wider interest
in and an appreciation of, woodcarving.
Photographs supplied by Norman.
Terry with his dog again
By Clive Nash
23
An Interview with Bob Mau
Bob Mau is President of Affiliated
Woodcarvers Limited who organise and
sponsor the International Woodcarvers
Congress, which this year held its 47th
congress. He’s an experienced carver
who has recently retired from his career
at the FERMI institute where he spent his
time hurling atoms at each other to see
what would happen.
Do you think carving deserves to
be on an equal footing as other
art forms?
Yes and the reason it should be is for a
couple of reasons. Forms like painting
or clay are additive forms of art whereas
woodcarving is a deductive form of art
which is much more difficult, so that on
it own merits it. Secondly there is some
incredible art that comes from carving,
some that rival the greatest works in
any art form. A lot of people paint and
their paintings are crude but on some
level they are considered to be artists
but someone who does world-class
woodcarving in many cases is not. A
lot of artists see woodcarving as people
sitting around a fire and whittling bits
off of sticks and call it a craft but they
probably haven’t seen any really worldclass carvings. One of the purposes of
our show is trying to convince the world
that woodcarving isn’t just whipping
shavings off a length of wood.
Is AWC Limited all about the
Congress?
Yes, it’s pretty much all about the
Congress. It’s a huge two-week event
each year, with lots of seminars and over
70 different categories for competition
entries.
A lot of BWA members are of
retirement age; do find that is also
true of a lot of US carvers?
There’s always a huge group of people
looking to retire and looking for things to
get involved in to stop themselves from
going mad.
Do you think more young people
should get into woodcarving?
To be honest with you, I started
woodcarving when I was 42 and I wish
that I had started when I was younger.
There’s a lot of people starting in their
50s and 60s and they too wish that they
had started younger. My biggest fear
is that this is such a good hobby that
we need to make sure that it survives.
When I was in high school, you could
take a metalwork class or woodwork
class but because they’re slightly more
dangerous, you see a lot of schools
replacing them with computer science
classes and computer labs. It’s safer for
the school because you’re much less
likely to get sued but it means that there’s
a whole generation not experiencing very
much woodwork in school. They’re
the carvers of the future, so it’s really
important for carving clubs to reach out
to young people to try and get them
into the loop. Otherwise, when my
generation passes on there’s going to be
a dramatic fall in people woodcarving.
Do you think there is much of
a cross-over between whittling
green wood and woodcarving?
A lot of the time, a person’s first
experience of woodcarving is in cubs
and scouts where they can get a badge in
carving or woodwork. That’s where a lot
of people come from. Our woodcarving
club had shrunk in number quite a lot,
so we attended a carving show and we
offered two free classes and we provided
the tools and the wood. Of the 17 that
signed up for the classes, 9 of them are
still members of our group. In fact we
did it again and we got about another 9
members. Now we’re in the position
24
where there’s about 40 of us and if
we get any bigger, we’ll need to find a
new venue. In America, we carve a lot
with knives and it’s quite cheap to get
started with knives. Once a lot of our
people have got interested in it, you find
that people start collecting all sorts of
gouges and chisels and other tools. If
you wanted to start with gouges, it’s a lot
more daunting having to put in two or
three hundred dollars just to start.
I’ve got three at home in various stages
but I just can’t get into it.
What aspect of woodcarving are
you most interested in?
Faces. I’m pretty serious about it and
I often attend sculpting classes where
they get a nude model in. It’s a bit
unnecessary for me because I just end up
doing the neck up whereas everyone else
might do the whole body.
What is your favourite wood to
carve?
My favourite is Basswood, with my
second favourite being Butternut
although that is getting harder to come
by now. I did once try some White
Oak but was lucky nut to cut myself to
pieces with it and I do use some Black
Walnut occasionally. I get a kick out of
watching a face emerge out of a block of
wood. Human faces are all so different,
you could spend all your time carving
faces. You learn muscle structure and
expressions. I’d tried carving birds and
Have you ever injured yourself
whilst woodcarving?
Oh yeah, I’ve nicked myself a lot of
times. I was teaching and using a no.11
U gouge and pushing a corner of a block
of wood and as it was getting nearer the
edge of the wood, the wood was getting
thinner and thinner and all of a sudden
it lurched through and went through my
index finger. There’s a rule of thumb that
when you’re bleeding, you apply pressure
to stop it. There’s also a little-known
rule which is ‘count the number of holes’.
I was applying pressure and it wasn’t
stopping so I cleaned it up and looked
at it and said “uh-oh this aint good”.
Unfortunately, I’d cut a tendon and a
couple of nerves. I was doing at least five
things wrong though: I was in a hurry, I
was pushing too hard, I was not paying
attention and a bunch of other things.
The carving store next door sold a whole
load of Kevlar gloves immediately though.
Do you have any advice for
woodcarvers?
I have discovered that one of the best
things that can happen to you is to make
a blunder because I started out with
a dog but it ended up being a deer, I
changed the design as I went along and
the deer ended up being a better carving
and a better design than the dog was
ever going to be. I like to keep about
six carvings on the go at once and one
of the things that I do if I’m stuck is
put a carving up on a shelf where I can
see it and one day I’ll look up at it and
know how to progress with it. People
are afraid of making mistakes but I think
mistakes are very important to have and
far from being afraid of them, you should
welcome them.
For more information about Affiliated
Wood Carvers and the International
Congress, please go to www.awcltd.
org
By The Editor
Alston Owl
During the summer, I went to Sharon
Littley’s carving weekend up at Alston
Hall in Longridge, Lancashire and was
very pleased with my finished stylised
owl ‘Spock’. He was based originally on
an article in Woodcarving Magazine by
Andrew Thomas, issue 133 (which I think
was July this year) pages 26-29. Another
of our group, Bill Johnson, had planned
to make this one and once I saw him I
couldn’t resist having a go.
As you can see from the end results,
I changed him to a tooled finish, and
decided to leave his features proud rather
than smoothed over, and I also added
some simple feather detailing to his wings
(because before I thought they looked
more like penguin flippers!) and indication
of claws.
At my son’s insistence he was dyed a
mix of Peruvian Mahogany and Light Oak
with Colron wood dyes, with Humbrol
enamel gold eyes, then a couple of coats
of Colron matt clear varnish before a
nice wax polish! He is carved from lime
and stands five inches tall. He is currently
settling in nicely on the top of a corner
cabinet and viewing him from below
really accentuates the ‘v’ above his eyeshence the name Spock!
By Sarah Lawrenson
25
Woodfest @ Hatfield Forest
September 7th & 8th 2013
Revellers outside the music tent
I am a native of North Essex and Hatfield
Forest has been favourite place of mine
since childhood. About a hundred acres
now, it was once a much larger Royal
hunting forest. There are many ancient
tress there and walking around it is a
very pleasant experience. It is managed
very effectively by the National Trust and
volunteers. A herd of rare-breed cattle
graze alongside visitors to the forest,
roaming across the pastures between
copses.
tent, selling wood from the forest again
which they have each year. In 2012
they felled four trees to sell this year.
One Oak and one Ash which were nice
but they also had a giant example of a
Hornbeam and a giant example of Silver
Birch. The Hornbeam was extraordinary
at nearly 12” in diameter and the Silver
Birch must have been a very elderly tree,
having a diameter of nearly 18”. I bought
myself a plank of the Silver Birch which
seems to have some fantastic figure.
Some of the wonderful artisan chairs and tables for
salke
Visitors taking a well-earned break
By The Editor
BWA Hampshire
There have been a couple of changes
to our monthly meetings down in
Hampshire, financially driven I am sorry
to say. Starting in February 2014 we will
be meeting at Timsbury, 2 miles north
of Romsey, every month. By opting for
the same Hall every month we have
negotiated a better deal and cut our Hall
costs by 10%. Also from next year we
will be charging a fixed payment of £20
per year for all members who attend
monthly meetings and this will cover all
the Hall costs and Tea and Coffee. This
puts our finances on a more controllable
footing. For full details of the Hampshire
Woodcarvers see the BWA Website.
By John Tybjerg
Querky wood indeed
For the past decade or more, the forest
has played host to an annual festival
of music and woodcraft. Entry is free
except for the car park which is £5 per
car. This year’s Woodfest was a great
success with only a few minor showers
over the weekend. I have had a small
stall there for the last three years,
peddling some of my small woodcarvings.
26
There were a few chainsaw artists with items for
asle
The atmosphere is really wonderful with
local bands playing in two music tents and
all manner of woodcrafts and associated
crafts going on. A blacksmith was
demonstrating near the lake and there
were several woodcarvers there with
stalls. The Uttlesford Badger group had
a stall, campaigning for badger protection
and they had many stuffed badgers that
had died on our roads, which helped
educate the children.
A fellow woodcarver
The coppicing volunteers had their wood
Ironwork and coppice crafts being demonstrated
100th Anniversary of
World War I
Next year in 2014, the world will mark
the 100th anniversay of the start of
‘The Great War’. Events across the
country will be marking the tradgedy and
remebering those who gave everything
during the conflict. I thought I would
mention it here to get everyone thinking
about things that the BWA and its regions
can do to mark the event.
By The Editor
Why?
Have you noticed that almost all articles
written about woodcarving address two
questions: what (to carve) and how (to
carve). The question which is probably
the driving force of human development
is almost totally ignored. I first was
asked why I carved by a seven year old
schoolboy whose school I was working
at in Basingstoke. Their school had
recently had a major upgrade which had
meant the removal of a large oak from
the newly developed play area. The
headmaster had insisted that the trunk be
put aside during the building phase and
had then commissioned me to carve it as
a bench on the theme of ‘mini beasts’.
Over the five days I took to do this I lived
in my caravan on site and would chat with
the pupils during their breaks. They were
full of questions, most of which I could
answer. The first question I got from this
young man was a standard ice breaker
“What are you doing?” I explained.
The next stopped me dead, “Why?” he
asked. It is significant that I remember
the moment but cannot recollect my
answer. I am fairly certain that I replied
with some glib get out statement such as
“your headmaster is paying me to do it”
but the question has stuck with me. Why
do I carve?
Those of us who are involved with
furniture and architectural carving may be
able to take refuge in the idea that what
they do is to contribute to the design of a
functional object but for wood sculptors
there is no such excuse. What we do is
a long tedious process which results in
something of no practical use, its value is
purely aesthetic at best.
There is, of course, the argument that
what we do is actually pointless but if
this is the case, how has it managed to
continue since the Stone Age? It may be
that it is a means by which I can flaunt
my ego. “Look how clever I am? I bet
you could not do this”. I am willing to
accept that egoism is one of the drivers
in this question but if it was the main one
then we are pursuing a huge risk strategy.
I will guarantee that more people are
totally unmoved by my work than admire
it. The proof of this statement is that
were this not the case I would be very
rich. The “I do it for money” argument
is inadequate because I was earning far
more when I had a day job and I know
that even without customers I will
still carve. The income is a gratefully
received bonus.
Over the years since I was first asked
the question and as a result of being
involved with the development of a
number of very gifted carvers I am forced
to a final conclusion. The human animal
is innately creative. For some people,
woodcarving is the means by which they
choose to express this but cookery,
gardening, embroidery etc. are equally
valid methods.
If this is the case, then it is unfortunate
that modern society puts up so many
barriers to the expression of this
creativity. Among these barriers is the
pressure on our time, though I would
argue that much of this is self-imposed.
Another is our competitiveness, the
need to excel at everything we do. This
tends to stop us from pursuing something
we enjoy, unless we can be seen to be
‘good at it’. The idea that we have to
be ‘naturally talented’ to be artistic must
defer a large number of people from
making any attempt and the idea of
‘good and bad art’ as presented by selfappointed ‘expert’ art critics is probably
the final deterrent.
If I am right in this, then the BWA could
be a major force for good in that it has
the potential to destroy barriers. To
achieve this it must maintain a very
extrovert and welcoming character and
avoid cliques
and elites of
superiority. It
seems that, not
only do we need
to ask “why do I
carve?” but also
“why does the
BWA exist and
why do I belong
to it?”.
The Sower
Returning to Fenchurch Street Station
after a visit to London, I came across four
very large relief stone carvings on the
back of the Willis Building in Leadenhall
Street. Fortunately I had a camera with
me and photographed them without
spending too much time studying them.
When I downloaded the images I realized
they represented the four elements;
Earth, Fire, Water and Air.
The original in stone
Searching the internet I discovered that
the panels had been carved by James
Woodford RA in 1958 for the old Lloyds
building in Lime Street. When Lloyds
moved to their new building in Leadenhall
Street they were rescued and installed in
their present location.
My woodcarving interpretation is in Lime, about
14 inches x 11.5 inches (35cm x 29cm) with real
pumpkin seeds.
By Maureen Hockley
By Dave Johnson
27
An Interview with Anna Casserley
Anna Casserley is a Gloucestershire
spoon carver, working in green wood.
Do you consider yourself a green
woodworker or woodcarver?
I consider myself a woodcarver primarily,
I just happen to use green wood. Carving
spoons from seasoned wood takes a lot
longer and is much harder. I can cut out
many spoon blanks in a day from a chunk
of green wood but for seasoned wood,
I would need saws and it would just take
too long.
How did you get into
woodcarving?
My parents are both artists so I have
always been around arts and crafts. My
Granddad was a woodworker who used
to produce moulds for casting. I have
a lot of his old tools. I find that I really
like woodcarving and making things that
people will use and treasure. One of my
friends said that if you’re feeling tired,
you’ll always wash up your favourite
cooking spoon rather than using your
second favourite spoon.
Where do you do most of your
carving?
I do most of my carving in my
Grandfather’s old workshop at the back
of my parents’ house. Although during
the summer I try to do most of my
carving outside though because it can be
hot work and the light is better.
Do you have a favourite wood?
My favourite wood to carve is definitely
wild Cherry. My boyfriend is a tree
surgeon so I am quite lucky to be able to
get hold of a lot of good quality wood.
An Angel is Missing
Until recently my local Church displayed
a small Nativity scene which could hardly
be seen from the back of the room.
So, last year I decided to make a larger
nativity display. I got the idea from Ted
Jeffrey; who had built a large scene for his
church some time ago and is still used to
this day.
I started off by carving eight heads for
the main characters. Their bodies were
built up from scrap wood, with the
height being around 12-14” tall. Wire
was inserted under the shoulders which
could be bent and shaped into arms. The
main challenge I had was trying to carve
these heads over time in between other
carvings that I was doing for family and
friends.
After some searching I managed to find
a lady who was prepared to dress the
characters for me. One of the exciting
parts for me was that I found some
orange material with gold fleck running
through it – well this came from a jumper
that belonged to my late wife and was
used in this project to adorn some of
28
the Kings. I also obtained some sacking
material from a friend and fellow carver
from my Ringwood Carvers’ Group
which we used to dress the Shepherds.
In addition to the figures, I built a modern
style stable that was fitted with a light
bulb donated by my local electrical shop.
Furthermore my neighbour who breeds
guinea pigs gave me some suitable fine
hay to decorate the interior.
Once all the figures were dressed they
seemed to come alive! Our Minister and
the church congregation were delighted
with the result and I was pleased to be
What is your favourite thing to
carve?
My favourite is carving cooking spoons.
It’s important to me that people will use
them rather than making things that are
ornamental or that people just collect.
To find out more about Anna or to
purchase any of her items for sale, please
go to www.annacasserley.co.uk
By The Editor
able to do something that everyone could
enjoy.
However, towards the end of last
year’s festivities our Minister was talking
to the children in the service, asking
whether there was something missing
from the Nativity scene. One little boy
shouted “Yes! There’s an Angel missing!”
“Correct” replied Ashley our Minister. I
then asked “does that mean that I have to
make an Angel now?” and he replied “it
looks like it Mick!”
So here we are again, I am currently
working away on the design and
production of an angel to add to the
scene. Given that I have recently and
quite suddenly lost my Son; it has been
difficult to cope at times, but I have found
solace and support from attending my
woodcarving groups and the friendships
I have formed there. Wood carving also
helps me to cope with my grief and with
this in mind I am aiming for our Angel to
be completed in time for Christmas!
By Mick Martin
Ancient Ash Stools at
Bradfield Wood
Bradfield Wood in Suffolk is one of the few places where
traditional coppicing is still practiced on a commercial basis
(albeit by volunteers). Run by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, it has a
recorded history of over 700 years. Amongst the small-leaved
Lime and Hornbeam are huge Oak standards with hundreds of
Ash and Hazel stools.
The purpose of my visit was to see the Stools of Ash before
Ash Dieback Disease becomes the stuff of nightmares and
is commonplace in our woods. How much longer will these
ancient stools be around before they surrender to Chalara?
Hopefully some will have an inbuilt resistance but their age is no
doubt against them.
A large Ash stool with a healthy crop of poles
The middle of this stool died long ago but the size of the stool can be measured
by looking the the surviving parts around the edge
The stools are the result of hundreds of years of coppicing;
cutting the tree back again and again, keeping it alive for longer
than it would otherwise live. The Ash stools at Bradfield wood
are of particular interest due to their age which could be up to
600 years old or more. They are purportedly the oldest living
things in Suffolk.
For further information please see: www.
suffolkwildlifetrust.org/about-us/gift-your-will/
bradfield-woods and www.suffolkwildlifetrust.org/
reserves/bradfield-woods
This PDF is a great read for enthusiasts of ancient woodland:
www.britishwildlife.com/classic_articles/BW1-6175%20Discovering%20Ancient%20Woodlands2.pdf
By The Editor
Wooldale Carving Club
Some of the Hazel stools rival those of the Ash for size
I took the opportunity to have a wander around the woods in
October. The woods have their own visitor centre and toilets.
Most weekends you will find a group of coppicing volunteers
working in the wood or around a campfire. It is a lovely wood
that supports a vast array of species.
At this year’s Great Yorkshire SHow, we held a carving
competition, to be voted on by the public. The best carving
was awarded the Bill Hodgson Trophy. This is the first year
that the trophy has been awarded because last year’s show was
cancelled due to the weather. Bill Hodgson was a master carver
and long time BWA member and ran the regional group in York
where he lived.
Bob Russum presenting Michael Weston with the trophy
Ash trees don’t usually live more than a couple of hundred years without
coppicing
By A. Wilson
29
MEMBERS GALLERY
Pet Husky
By David Howard
Carving in the style of Grinling Gibbons
By Chris Martinali
David Howard
carved this Husky
from Lime (shown
with an inset
photo of the
actual dog).
Ballerina
By Meriel Brown
Lion Head
By Dave Lumb
Chris Martinali carved this Gibbons-style flourish
from a pattern in Wood Carving from Lime
Fire Brigade Badge
By Steve Worral
Carved in Lime and modelled from a
brass paperweight purchased from a
charity shop
Wood Spirit
By Peter Hayton
Male and Female Lion Head carved
from Lime
Horse’s Head
By Ted Gordon
Shropshire Loggerheads on Fire
Brigade badge, carved from Lime
Peter Hayton’s first carving. He is a new member
to lancashire and only started carving in the last
few weeks, he clearly has a natural talent
Carved from Mahogany
If you would like to submit one of your recently completed carvings to the gallery for the next issue, email
[email protected] or use the form on the website www.thewoodcarversgazette.co.uk
30
BWA West Midlands
Carving Competition 2013
Wildfowl in Relief
I thought that this year’s competition on 18th September
2013, was extremely inspiring. The standard of carving was
excellent and I was very impressed considering that some of
the carvings were done by newcomers to woodcarving.
See our
extensive
range of Blanks
More Lime
Blanks on-line
in December...
...up to 100mm
thick.
The subjects were very varied and well thought out and Lee
Hale of Winterbourne Gardens (where our club resides) and
Graham Jones had a very difficult job in choosing the first,
second and third. I didn’t envy them the job of choosing a
winner, because all the carvings, including the ones unfinished,
were so good.
They finally came to the decision that John T’s unfinished
‘Swans in Flight’ deserved third place because of the
difficulty and against the grain carving and the depth that had
been achieved in the relief carving, which had it been finished
would undoubtedly have won first place.
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Nerys’ carving of swans was also unfinished but the quality
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The carving by John Holiwell – Owl Landing on a Tree - was
picked out by both the judges as the winning carving very
quickly. They were impressed by the quality of the design and
the carving, especially the techniques used in the carving of
the tree trunk. Graham said that he would like to know the
techniques that John had used.
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All in all the competition was well organised by the committee
and a special thank you to all the competitors for taking the
time and energy to complete the carvings.
Hope this will inspire the rest of us to enter a carving for next
year’s competition.
By Ron Bowen
The blades
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Open 8am to 5pm daily. 10am to 5pm Saturday.
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31
www.toolsandtimber.co.uk
Region
Leader
Phone Number
Email Address
Mid-Thames
Roger Edwards
01628 672 223
[email protected]
Devon and Cornwall
Les Wilkins
01548 810 442
[email protected]
Durham & North Yorkshire
David Shires
01325 374 686
[email protected]
Essex
Ken Veal
01277 899 684
[email protected]
Gloucestershire
Jean and Maurice Harper
01666 502 010
[email protected]
Hamlet Wood, Maidstone
Mick Mills
01622 759 313
[email protected]
Hampshire
John Tybjerg
01425 470 906
[email protected]
Hertfordshire
Stan Kimm
02089 070 378
[email protected]
Jersey
Eric Payn
07797 729 483
[email protected]
Kent, Wormshill
David Howard
01227 265 085
[email protected]
Lancashire
Sarah Lawrenson
01772 715 503
[email protected]
Leicestershire
Martyn Neal
01162 716 635
[email protected]
N. Lincs & E. Yorkshire
0 H Boyd
01652 618 071
[email protected]
N.E. London & W. Essex
Martin Howells
02085 901 824
[email protected]
S.E. London & W Kent
Thomas Young
01689 851 500
[email protected]
Norfolk & Suffolk
Belinda Newstead
01508 488 342
[email protected]
Notts & Derby
Roland Laycock
01623 636 343
[email protected]
North Staffordshire
Tom Buttress
01782 533 061
[email protected]
North Wales Borders
Eileen Walker
01352 770 706
[email protected]
Oxfordshire & Bucks
Brian Eastoe
01235 203 626
[email protected]
Rockingham Forest (East Mid-lands)
John Wright
01733 810 312
[email protected]
Ryedale, North Yorkshire
Andrew Clark
01751 473 206
[email protected]
Shropshire
Meriel Brown
01743 861 159
[email protected]
Solway Woodcarvers (Cumbria)
Clive Firth
01697 331 995
[email protected]
South Wales
Derek Edwards
01639 414 940
[email protected]
Warwickshire
Mick Kitchen
01926 843 159
[email protected]
West Midlands
Tony Newton
01214 411 534
[email protected]
Yorkshire
Paul Schofield
01274 687 492
[email protected]
National Council Office
Officer
Phone Number
Email Address
Chairman
Mark Davis
01525 862 489
[email protected]
National Secretary
Lynn Kimm
02089 070 378
[email protected]
Treasurer
Bryan Corbin
01452 698 991
[email protected]
Membership Secretary
Lyn McCracken
01249 654 171
[email protected]
Editor
Jason Townsend
07970 535 189
[email protected]
Regional Liaison
Eileen Walker
01352 770 706
[email protected]
Website Manager
Graeme Murray
07748 350 252
[email protected]
Publicity
Paula Noble
01908 216 925
[email protected]
Check out past issues of The Woodcarvers Gazette:
www.thewoodcarversgazette.co.uk/back-issues
Not already a member? Why not join the BWA now
www.britishwoodcarversassociation.co.uk/join-us
32
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