Friday, May 25, 2012

Woodcarving: Walter

Earlier this month I took a three day carving class by a world famous instructor.  I have always wanted to go to one of his classes.  Usually his classes have a fee of 250 dollars.  Our carving group along with another carving group submitted a grant and we got the funding..the cost of the class was reduced to 40 dollars.


I have books by the carving instructor ( word instructor used loosely.)  I was really looking forward to the class.  Far Guy covered for me at work so I could go.

The instructor lectured for awhile..he taught even less.  He left us all to carve whatever we wanted..there was no hold your knife this way and make this cut..then do this next.  I wanted step by step instruction.

The people in the class pretty much helped each other out like we usually do. I was really disappointed.  I really needed help with my right and lefts..I have trouble getting both sides of a carving to look alike. It is a visual thing..and it is something I struggle with.

After three days I have a carving.  It still needs work.


Meet progress.  He needs some eyes and maybe a touch of sandpaper here and there and paint.


These are caricatures..they are supposed to look a little funny and bring a smile to your face.  Is he worth 40 bucks ..maybe..he certainly isn’t worth a 250 class fee. I didn’t buy any more of this guys books, or his knives or his wood blanks to carve more figures.   Sometimes I think these fancy smancy instructors are just in the classroom to sell their wares instead of teaching their craft.

In a week or so we will begin a new bark carving class..I am looking forward to it. It is supposed to be a large bark project that is carved in halves and then glued together..I think they call it bark in the round:)

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  1. Looks very professional to my eye. Bark in the round? I'll bet Chance already knows how to do that! :-)

  2. Walter is very handsome in his own whimsical way! I have gone to workshops with 'experts' and have experienced the same 'take away'. Ugh!

  3. I like Walter. He is very handsome!

  4. I hope your 'professional' handed out an evaluation form at the end of the session, but I doubt he did. Thank goodness it only cost you $40 and not $250!
    Walter's cute, I have a few little wooden characters that could be related to him:)

  5. WOW ! Great work . Papa likes it also I showed him your post as he is a wood worker and has had a go on his own with carving and also does scrolling ! Enjoy the class regaurdless of the sale pitch hidden in it lol ! Have a great day !

  6. When my dad was in the army, he served in a hospital. One of the patients in his OT sessions carved a figure that resembles Walter. It was about that size, but painted to make him look like a hobo.

  7. Oh, W O W ! Your header is so vibrant!!!

    That is too bad about your workshop experience. It just goes to show that experts do not always make great teachers...and that not all great teachers are experts at what they teach. A true teacher knows how to bring the best out in the STUDENT!

    Your post today is also encouraging for me in terms of our own family business, which involves training and public speaking. Although my husband (our main "product" as public speaker) does amazing things as he connects with his audience, I think we have this subconscious thought that somehow, we need to be more "expert" before seeking additional training venues. But then we hear speakers and think, "I could do better than that!" Your post today reminds me of that feeling once again, and prods me to shed those preconceived notions and get out there and connect!

  8. I love Walter! It's sad when we meed our heroes and they disappoint us. (Even worse when we shell out $$ for the privilege.) Hope you have a great Memorial Day weekend!

  9. Some artists are very talented...but teaching is another matter altogether. My first watercolor "teacher" was like that. She knew how to paint beautifully, but she had no clue how to teach. I thought she really wanted to stress how difficult it was to make her work even more special, you know? She'd bring in framed paintings of hers and hardly help us at all and continually tell us how terribly difficult it was to learn...of course, if nobody will teach you!!! Duh!

    I think Walter is quite comical and charming already. Great job! Especially considering you didn't get any real instruction from the wonder carver! LOL! Can you imagine how upset you would have been to pay $250.00 for that!!! OMG! Let us see Walter as you go along...please! ;)

  10. Sorry the instructor was a disappointment. I do love Walter, though! Looking forward to your bark carving project next. You guys enjoy the weekend.

  11. I like your carved guy. He's a pretty interesting figure. How did you get the expression?

  12. I like you Walter.....I think I went out with one of those in my youth ;) I went to a chair making class like that....NEVER AGAIN!

  13. I don't know your "instructor but I think he's a "scammer". Your Walter is wonderful and I can't imagine he does any better! I know they have to make a living but no instruction? That's a scam! You're doing just fine without it!

  14. What a shame about his teaching skills, he must be a better carver then a teacher. I rather like your carving, it's well done.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams


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