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Here's My Woodcarving!

by Shar Troost
Burns, TN

Click on any picture to see a larger version.

I am self taught in my woodworking; however when I got stuck in a project and wondered what to do next, I did an internet search and found some woodcarvers and picked their thoughts. A carver out in Washington state said he could learn from me. That inspired me to go on. Never be afraid to ask for help if it is needed. I started out using just a few chisels since I was a painter, not a carver. I only had three chisels when I started. I still use smaller chisels to carve with, because they're easier for me to control since I have arthritis in my carving hand.

The piece below took close to a year to finish. This was my first relief. The piece was done for a doctor who plays music with some friends once a week. The wood came from his father's barn; the walnut is about 100 years old I was told.

This piece is carved in an old beam made of walnut.
The piece is abut 5"x2"x3", or there about.

When a friend asked me to carve a nude I thought "no problem! How hard could it be?" Little did I know that carving walnut would be a battle to the end. It checked, which I knew nothing about. It would chip if it was not handled with care. I used very small chisels for all of the detail work and the larger ones for shaping. If you don't know the human body don't even start a project like this unless you're ready to do some research. Lucky for me, I studied anatomy for years while attending the American Academy of Art in Chicago.

This piece is also made from Black Walnut
and took 1 year to finish.
The start of a carving of a
fish swimming into a log.
Close-up of the fish.
The log portion.

You can email Shar at .

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!

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