February 2013 Wood News Online Welcome to Highland Woodworking - Fine Tools & Education Learn more about Highland Woodworking View our current woodworking classes and seminars Woodworking articles and solutions Subscribe to Wood News


Here's My Woodcarving!

by Joe Butler
Sparks, NV

Click on any picture to see a larger version.

My folk had a meat packing plant, so I've had a knife in my hand since I was about six years old. I started carving when I was in Cub Scouts, using a Buck knife giving to me by my grandfather, but stopped as I got older. While living in Montana from '70-'86, I started carving again in the cold winters (-72º once!) Moved to Nevada and spend 14 years of busy construction/engineering work. Then I was laid off. I spent six months like a PO roaster, all ruffled up in my chair watch TV. . . Then I thought about carving just to past the time away and walla my time has been full filled again.

I can draw a little, but I use a lot of patterns, subscribe to Carving magazine & Woodcarving Illustrated, and have numerous books from Fox Chapel Publishing.

I still had the knife Grandpa had given me and some X-acto's from my Cub Scout days. The first thing I bought was 5 piece Craft Carver set from Flexcut. Well, that opened the flood gates. I truly have about all the hand and power tools I can handle, until I get the next catalog, anyway.

I started out carving with Basswood and have expanded to carving other woods including Butternut, Oak, African Mahogany, Redwood, Pine, & some random tree branches. I read an article about Cottonwood bark and since I live right on the Truckee River, I went a-hunting for some. It wasn't hard to find, but it had no depth to it. I did like carving it though and when I put an oil finish on it, I was shocked. I still venture off every once a while, but I always seem to come back to the Cottonwood Bark and Basswood. I should mention too that I get my wood from a friend in Anchorage, AK. The wood he provides me is thicker and maybe a shade darker.

It would depend on the individual, but to be able to lose yourself in a carving project, to make something really come alive from a piece of wood, makes time fly by...

This is a piece I did in Oak. What do you do with a Oak toilet seat if the ring brakes? Look, it's the Butler Coat of Arms!

You can email Joe at joeb102030@sbcglobal.net .

Would you like to see your carvings in this column? We invite you to SEND US PHOTOS of your favorite woodcarving projects along with captions and a brief history of your woodcarving. (Email photos at 800x600 resolution.) Receive a $50 store gift card if we show your carving work in a future issue!

Return to Wood News front page

Bookmark and
See Previous Newsletters Subscribe to our Newsletter

Copyright © 2013 Highland Woodworking, Inc.

Highland Woodworking | 1045 N. Highland Avenue, NE | Atlanta | GA | 30306 | 404.872.4466