This year, once again at the Morrisville, VT Senior Center, nine members signed up to carve a scale loon carving with Larry Bertrand. After a few setbacks, Larry found a good source of basswood, and Matt cut out the blanks for the class. After the introduction and numerous patterns and reference material for us to look over, the first challenge was to screw the head onto the body blank, and determine which direction we wanted the loon for face. After rounding the body we began to layout the major feather groups and soon it was lunch time. The afternoon was spent blending and rounding the head and finished with gluing in the eyes. Larry showed us his first bird carving the beginning of Day 2, and then stressed the importance of using pattern details, reference materials and making patterns to make sure all the parts of the Loon were in the correct locations, especially the eyes, and parts of the beak details. And then the sandpaper came out. Since this was to be a detailed if you like Loon, all the surfaces were sanded before laying out the individual feathers within the feather groups. On day 3, the detailing began. Larry showed us the individual feather locations to draw in, and then carve to shape, and of course sand again. By the end of the day, he demonstrated his techniques to burn the individual feathers, which we will be doing over the winter if we like. We plan to seal and Gesso the pieces, and then Larry will do a seminar next summer at a CarveIn on painting. Once again a very good class provided to us by one of our Club members, Thank you Larry.
As in the past, our August Class was held at the Senior Center in Morrisville.
This year, nine members signed up to carve a scale rocking horse with our
president Matthew Strong. There was a choice of three sizes. The pile of
chips on the floor by each carver was in direct proportion to the size chosen.
The first day was focused on carving the horse body separate from the legs.
Beginning with the various parts of the head, and then the challenge of
carving the flowing mane. As always the Senior Center provided us with a
bottomless coffee pot and excellent noontime meals. By day two, it was time
to finish the major parts of the body and begin to work on the legs, especially
the parts difficult to work on after the three parts were put together but
always avoiding the thin section and tricky grain. Despite Matt's doweling
job Richard of course was the only one to break a leg in the process
Matt spent a lot of time explaining the muscle structure as we carved and
worked on decorating the rockers. By the end of the day it was time to glue
the rockers to the body. Our final day on Friday focused on blending the
legs into the body and adding all the details. We must have been getting
tired by day three as we kept hearing a tool drop off the table and Matt
reminding us, "don't try to catch it". By the end of the day,
most of the horses were in good shape, requiring only a bit more work at
home. Hopefully we'll see the final products at the next CarveIns. Once
again a very good class provided to us by one of our Club members, Thank
The subject for our 2014 3 day class will be a covered bridge carved in relief. While the pattern may look a bit difficult for your first attempt at relief carving, the focus of the class will be to introduce carvers how to work in relief. Novice carvers may decide to not include as many details, while more experienced carvers have an opportunity to add more details. The blank for the carving will be your choice of basswood or butternut, and the shape can be the freeform as shown or a simple oval shape. If carved in basswood, you will have the option to paint your carving. As in the past we are planning on offering the 3 day class on August in Morrisville VT. The cost of the three day class will be $125 which will include 3 days of instruction, the roughout pattern, coffee, snacks and lunch on each of the days. Due to increased lunch costs, last year we have had to raise the cost slightly to meet our expenses, but its still a great deal when you consider that everything is included in the class cost. If you are considering taking the class please let us know as soon as possible so we can move forward with planning. We will have examples of the class projects at the next few carve-ins, and you can also register at the next few
We labeled our August 1013 class "Fish & Chips". Participants worked on carving two subjects, a Stylized rainbow trout in either pine or butternut with Bob Lindemann and a chance to try your hand at chip carving a blue heron pattern with Dave Tuttle. 8 members participated in the class, by thursday afternoon most all of the trouts were ready for paint, so while the paint dried, Dave lead the group on an introduction to Chip Carving. We kept looking over our shoulders on friday as the fish were finished and we realized we were over out daily limit, and hoped the Game Warden didn't show up...
This year's August class was carving Santa (or an Elf) riding on a Moose
lead by our own member Dave Tuttle. Seven members signed up for the carving
class. Dave began with a discussion of the basic process of removing material
from the blank to release the various parts of the figure as well as the
moose and the horns. As the horns were carved separately from the Moose,
some started with the horns while others tackled the body blank, and returned
to the horns as a break. The horns proved quite tricky as the grain and
thinness of the antlers often resulted in hearing, "oops, I need some
", and sometimes, "does anyone have a bandaid?"
By the conclusion of the first day, we had the piece starting to resemble
On day two, we started thinning the various parts of the carving often jumping from the Moose to the figure and back again as all the parts needed to blend together. As most got to a certain point, Dave would explain the next step, like how to carve the various parts of the face step by step.
Our final day was detail day, as the basic carving was there, we had to add details like how the coat flows around the body, set in the blanket, add muscle groups and hoofs to the Moose, carve the gloves and finally adding hair to the Moose. Dave explained the basic painting scheme which we could finish at home. By the end, everyone had a semi-finished or finished carving ready for paint. Some had a few red stains on their carving, but so it goes with any carving class.
This year's August class was carving a realistic Polar Bear with Wayne
Smith. While we had hoped for 10 participants, in the end only six members
signed up for the carving class. That of course meant more time for the
instructor to spend with each of the participants. As a result, by the third
day all of the Polar Bears were completed, and most painted, which does
not often happen on a project so detailed as this one. Once again, the class
was held at the Senior Center in Morrisville with very good meals and snacks
as well as the "bottomless pot of coffee" provided by Meals on
The class began with a discussion and looking over photos of Polar Bears to see what features define the shape for the bones and muscles. These features were drawn on the blank and then the groups were carved in. A lot of material had to be removed as the bear had one foot elevated. By the conclusion of the first day, we were beginning to define the features of the bear's face, as we worked step by step to establish the nose, eyes, mouth and ears so the face looked as realistic as possible.
On day two, we completed the face details and then moved on to long process of texturing the hair detail. Using a small gouge we began to add shape to the hair, and making it flow in the correct direction. This was compounded by the shape of several parts, which were difficult to get the tool into. Just when we thought things were looking good, Wayne demonstrated how to use the burner to add yet more detail over the carved texture to add more realism. Again, a very long process, but in the end was well worth the extra effort.
Our final day, while some still worked on texturing, Wayne demonstrated how to use a series of washes and dry brush technique to paint the bear. Along with the demonstration, he handed out detailed instructions with suggested colors, brushes and techniques for painting. Everyone left with a very fine looking bear, and a lot of new knowledge on completing realistic animal carvings. If any members ever get an opportunity to take another carving class with Wayne, he comes highly recommended by everyone taking this year's class.
2010 Class Report - 3 Birds in 3 Days
| Once again we utilized the Morrisville Senior Center for our August
class, but we tried a new format, 3 instructors leading the group carving
3 birds in 3 days. In addition to many that take the class each August we
had a number of new carvers, one coming as far away as Philadelphia to join
us. Tuesday began with Larry Bertrand handing out basswood blanks to begin
carving a House Wren. After blocking in the basic form, he explained how
to lay out the feather groups, and also a new method of setting eyes without
using epoxy. By the end of the first day most were taking shape, but needed
a bit of "homework".|
Wednesday the Senior Center had a morning event planned so we had live music, as Matt Strong handed out the blanks for a stylized American Bitter in Butternut. We began with carving "grass" for the base. Carved very thin, the pine pieces were placed in water to soften till lunch so they could be bent into shape. The body blank required a lot of wood removal to get the basic form so by lunch the floor was covered with quite a large pile of wood chips. Matt carved his own piece so we could see how each part of the finished piece evolved. Again by the end of the day, the carvings were taking shape.
Thursday, Dave Tuttle lead us through the process of carving a shore bird. The basswood was a bit easier to carve, the grain cooperated, and by lunch the birds were finished and ready for paint. After another excellent lunch provided by Meals on Wheels, Dave pulled out the paints and brushes and demonstrated which colors to mix and techniques to do the basic colors and add the feather details. By clean up time, most of the shore birds were completed by the end of our last day.
Our homework assignment the last day was to bring all 3 birds to the show Saturday for the "Class" table. Some arrived as "works in progress", while some "burned the midnight oil", to get all 3 birds finished. Once again we had a very successful class, thanks to all of the advance planning, organizing and the talents of our three instructors.
2009 Class Report:
| Dave Tuttle was our instructor for our 2009 Carving Class. In the
past, we have used the basement of the American Legion Hall, but this year,
Wood arranged for us to use the Morrisville Senior Center, a much larger
space, with air conditioning and large stain glass windows for light. Our
subject for this year was a character carving of a cowboy gun fighter. 9
members attended the three day class. The award for the person traveling
the greatest distance goes to Graeme Rhind who traveled half way around
the world from Australia just to attend our August Class and Show.|
After handing out the cutouts, we quickly got to work removing excess material and blocking in the basic features. By the end of the first day we had made enough progress that Dave handed out practice blocks so we could learn to work on the procedure for carving faces. By day two, we had made so much progress we set aside the cowboy and carved a Christmas Gnome, practicing carving faces again. After lunch we went back to carve the cowboy face and hat, and adding more details to the figure. By the third day out came the paints. Dave demonstrated his painting technique on the gnome first and then as we finished the cowboy, we started painting the cowboy. By the end of class most had finished both carvings.
The Senior Center provided an excellent location for the class. As we were sharing the space, other activities were also going on at the Center. One day there were local musicians, and another a dance class, which Ingrid quickly joined in to learn a few more steps. Once again we had a great August, thanks to Dave offering to share his experience with the Club. Next year? If you have ideas give Wood a call.