20 Minutes with Edwin McClure archive
Thursday 21 June 2012
Woodcarving catches up with Edwin McClure to find out more about his life in carving
When did you start to carve?
My first carving of wood was making balsa models of the ships and planes during World War Two. From there it was simple figures and animals in scraps of construction/furniture wood.
What made you continue carving?
A training event for church camp counsellors introduced me to 'real' carving. That led to books, then to clubs and friendship with other carvers. I wanted to carve more elaborate pieces, including relief.
What inspires you when you carve?
I have a desire to produce something meaningful, with a 'perfect' finish, and to place well in competitions.
What are you currently working on?
Just now I am carving a second nativity set from Helen Gibson's books - I have a son and a daughter.
Which tool wouldn't you be without and why?
I could not get along without my Craftsman Model 137 bandsaw. Nearly 100% of my 'in the round' carvings begin there.
Which is your preferred style of carving and why?
Seldom do I deviate from realistic and classical carving. It's a challenge to reproduce what I see.
What do you think has been your biggest carving achievement?
My biggest achievement was completing the foliage project by Steve Bisco in issue 113. That was the most involved and took the longest of any ever done.
Whose work do you most admire?
It is a toss-up between Ian Norbury and Vic Hood for who I most admire and would copy. I have four of Norbury's books.
If you weren' a carver what would you be?
If I wasn't a carver I'd be in musical groups, choirs, the musical stage, etc.
Describe the view from your workshop/workbench.
I live in a retirement community in a lovely house. From the workbench I see the patio where my wife sat to 'catch the sun.' Across the lawn are neighbours' homes.
Are you critical of your own work?
That's for sure! I am the severest critic of my carvings. Everything has to be right, from the wood, to the form, to the finish. I may be too meticulous.
What do you listen to whilst carving?
My radio is always tuned to classical music. I believe the mental mood must match the subject being carved; talking interferes with my concentration.
Who would you most like to carve for?
I'd like to carve for churches and galleries. Up to now commissions have been homes, one church and one club logo.