Capital City Carvers

September 2015

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Tips and Techniques
by Barbara Mann

Club members are a constant source of material for this column! Here are a few things I've noticed that might help everyone.

The first time any of us do a carving it takes a lot of time and thought to get it right. Doing another carving of the same item immediately gives us a chance to do everything we just learned again, and to do it faster and better. This is particularly important for beginning carvers. Try it. You'll be surprised at how you carve with much more confidence and speed the second time.

Humidity and lacquer don't mix. When the humidity is over 80% there is a very good chance that the lacquer will turn cloudy as it dries. And another coat of lacquer will not cover it up. It will usually take a lot of sanding to correct the problem. When finishing woodcarving with any type of lacquer, brush on or spray, the humidity should be under 70%.

Some of you are trying to carve and/or paint without any resource material as a guide. Consulting a "go by", a carved example of the carving you are trying to do, is an easy guide—it's three dimensional. There are also good two dimensional guides: the original pattern, pictures from magazine or from a Google image search, photographs of finished carvings. Or pick up on Roland's idea of a resource book of many pictures from all kinds of sources cut out and put in a loose leaf binder. He consults all these pictures when picking details for his wonderfully carved bark houses, putting ideas from different places together in a different way to make a very creative carving. The point of all of this is: you usually can't carve what you haven't seen.

This one I repeat every week and wrote in the last newsletter. 1)When you start a carving draw the pattern details on the cutout with a pencil. 2)Then remove any extra wood that will not be a part of the carving (called blocking the cutout). 3)Redraw. Then round the various parts of the body or whatever the object is. Get the shape on the carving. 4) Then, and only then, put in details. Details are facial features, hands, clothing, hair, fur, feathers, etc. etc. etc. Carving a face has to be preceded by the removal of some wood, usually corners, to create the outlines of the face.

A Call for Some Sharing

Here's another opportunity for participation and sharing your thoughts. Jot down your thoughts on this topic on a piece of paper and give it to me at any meeting or send it to me by email at Tell me whether or not you want your name attached to your contribution. The deadline is December 7 and all contributions will appear in the January newsletter.

THE TOPIC: What I like the most about wood carving.

So get your thoughts down on paper and to me by December 7th. Thanks! Barbara

If a membership form is enclosed, you have not paid your dues for this year. Fill out the form and bring to a meeting or send it with a check to Jim DeLong, 2205 Monticello Ave., Tallahassee, FL 32303.

2016 Florida Roundups

The usual roundup will be held in Clearwater February 2 to 5. Then a second roundup will be held February 9 to 12 in Arcadia. Arcadia will be a smaller facility, but RV parks and motels are available and there should be less traffic than one encounters in Tampa/Clearwater.

There will be some overlap in instructors; other instructors will be at just one Roundup. There will be vendors in Clearwater but probably not Arcadia.

For more information check the websites:

Renegade Woodcarvers Roundup

Lebanon, Tennessee. October 19 to 23, 2015. Caricature carving. Carve one day with each of five instructors, including Steve Brown and Gary Falin. Instruction fee: $210. Robert attends this seminar and can give you detailed comments. For more information, go to this website:

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