Freedom and support equals opportunities
03 May 2013
There is a wondrous element to carving and that is that we can choose to carve almost anything we see or can imagine as subject matter Ė skill and rights, etc. permitting. Apart from painting and ceramics and similar such disciplines, this amount of freedom is wonderful and quite liberating, but can prove to be a barrier to some when starting out. Now one of the biggest problems with starting out is that the basic skills need to be learned, as well as the knowledge of types of carving and the implications in them, and lastly, the woods that can be used and how they can be worked and what they are not suitable for.
The learning process is no different for any other hobby or craft, but it is vital in order for us to fully realise what we would like to do. Then of course there is the old favourite of 'try it and see' and 'trial and error' Ė these also play a part in our development. Trust me when I say I have had lots of errors but I have learned from them all.
Without this foundation or good grounding, it is hard to fully realise what we have in mind or want to create. Without hesitation I can say that the most often heard sentiment I hear expressed when talking to people about their learning experiences and when they felt they learned the most is when they felt supported, encouraged and guided in a gentle manner without judgement or criticism. The club system provides such support to many, but we know there are many more carvers out there who do not belong to clubs who are busy creating many wonderful things, too. No doubt they too receive help and encouragement from people. Is this the secret to being able to fully realise the freedom we have and the ability to bring about what we want to make?
MarkContact Mark Baker
Turning to colour
26 April 2013
Have you noticed the ever increasing trend for turnings to be Ďenhancedí by the use of carving techniques? Now I have said before that turning is nothing more than a powered form of carving, but I am talking about the extra enhancement after the turning is done. The power and hand tools that were once the domain of the Ďcarversí are now increasingly found in the turnerís workshop and used to create some stunning effects. I am all for it. OK, the debate rages as to when the turning is no longer turned instead becoming other or something different, the same is said for use of colour on turned work, but that debate about colouring carvings has also raged and rears its head every so often.
We live in a highly visual world where everything we do is seen by someone. At times the work we produce does a wonderful job if it is well done and constructed and grabs someoneís attention. Carved work of all types does us all good. People start seeing new ways of using carved techniques and exploring more fully this wonderful area we operate within. Carving should be first and foremost something we enjoy and whilst it is no doubt frustrating at times, we are creating some wonderful work and it should be shared with a wider audience. I donít care on what item the carving occurs and I donít care if work is coloured as long as the piece is well done and everything comes together well.
Carving is a fascinating and stimulating subject and one that is just as challenging and frustrating as other woodworking disciplines. Let us try to share what we do in all its forms and shout about what is being done to better educate people as to what carving is.
Let me hear your thoughts.
MarkContact Mark Baker
19 April 2013
Iíve been in touch some carvers for upcoming features this week, and I think that has to be my favourite part of working on Carving Ė finding people, wherever they may be, doing something special. When you stumble across one of the many treasures out there, itís a delight to be in a position to help somebody share their passion and hard work with an appreciative audience. So far, they all have got back to us with great pleasure. If you know of any carvers who you feel fall under the radar, remember, we are always happy to look at peopleís work Ė get in touch! We have some fantastic carvers with wildly varying styles to show you in the next few issues Ė the next one comes out next Thursday (25 April), so donít forget to get yours! Enjoy the sun this weekend. SiContact Simon Frost
Can’t publish what you don’t have...
11 April 2013
This weekend saw me at Yandles show in Somerset and as always, I had a thoroughly enjoyable time meeting up with many of you. I saw some wonderful carvings and had quite a few conversations regarding ideas for the magazine. The biggest aspect commented on was for there to be a nice spread of articles covering all abilities. I will endeavour to maintain that. The one article that still causes some vexation is Club Profile. I cannot publish what I do not have and since no one seems to want to send anything in about what their club is up to, I am looking at replacing this with something from the long list of what has been requested we include. It's not a problem really but is, I think, a shame. Clubs are up to so many wonderful things such as charity events, creating sculpture for local parks and arboretums, teaching youngsters to carve and such like and it is a nice way of learning more about what people are doing. You never know, it might encourage others to do more or try having a go at something. So if you are reading this and think your club should be featured, rattle some cages and chivvy people up to do something.
Anyway, we are close to repro in a few magazines this week so I will disappear now and continue working on those and will catch up with you later.
Have a great weekend,
MarkContact Mark Baker
05 April 2013
With Mark away at the Yandles Spring Show, itís a quiet day at Carving HQ. Iíve spent it alternating Ė something for Carving, then something for WPP... something for Carving, something for WPP... itís worked out pretty well in fact, and I can leave my desk at 5:30 happy with whatís been done.
Weíve had the office sweepstake come round for tomorrowís Grand National Ė I managed to pick out a 50-1 long shot, ĎWhat a Friendí, thatís a quid I wonít be seeing again! Best of luck to you if youíre planning on having a flutter, itís well worth it if only to see the normally pretty dismal setting of the bookies adorned with bunting and crammed to the walls with people who donít know how to fill out a betting slip, hoping to put 10p each-way on the horse with the silliest name.
But what place does this talk have on the Woodcarving blog? Fear not, Iíve come equipped with a tenuous link... why not have a look at Peter Bensonís two-part horseís head project here?
Have a great weekend,
SiContact Simon Frost