I had a great afternoon at my woodcarving class, after some introductions we got started by, first getting a nylon bag that contained a Kevlar glove, carving knife, leather strops and a packet of instructions to help learn some of the different cuts for carving with a knife, or whittling.
The first project was designed to teach us how carve with grain, it is a ball a top a cone with a cove in the middle and another cone on the bottom. Carving this helped the carver to see how you have to cut in different directions for different effect and grain direction, kind of like when you're planing, but with a whole lot of changes in the direction that you cut with the knife. This was designed for the guys who have never worked with wood before, and aren't aware of how the grain effects what direction you need to cut to get good results
Then we carved a dowel out of a square stock of basswood. The dowel was fairly easy until we found out that for homework we needed to whittle a whiskey jug on one end and a coffee pot on the other end then seperate them with just the knife. We also got a duck and a swan to do a home with an encouragement to carve at lease twenty minutes each day.
I have my swan and duck done, but I have been putting off the jug and pot till I get a little more comfortable with the knife.
The best part of this class for me is just sitting around shooting the breeze with some fellows. We all got comfortable with each other really quick and after just a few minutes of talking about woodworking and carving, it was like we were all old friends, and that is one of the best perks to being a woodworker, the brother and sister hood of other woodworker to be friends with.
Next class was face carving and chip carving, both went well for me and the face was a lot of fun to carve. They are called No-See-Ums becase they are carved without eyes, instead they have a hat pulled over their eyes this simplifies the carving and makes easy for the beginner.
The chip carving is a lot of fun and takes a lots concentration to do, you just get lose in it and before you know an hour is gone, kind of like meditating.
I know I am hooked on carving all ready and I plan on learning to do all I can, besides my wife already has a honey do list of things she wants carved, so what can a guy do? Honey I need some new gouges.