My Workspace

Q:  How long does it take you to carve a wizard?

A:  It depends on how large it is going to be, however the small hanging ones can take up to three hours to carve. Because I work with found wood, I have to clean the wood before I carve. When I’m finished carving, it could take a few days to apply and dry several coats of finish.

Q:  How do you decide what to carve into a piece of wood?

A:  I like to look at a piece of wood and the grain, then imagine a project that would look good, including the finishing, in my consideration.

Q:  How much space do you need?

A:  This will depend on what you want to carve.  For small carvings, I have a small bench in my basement which is only 36 x 30 inches. When I want to do larger carvings I move to my garage or sit on my patio where I have more room. I have also brought a few small projects upstairs to work on while watching television with my wife.

Q:  What tools would someone need to get started and where would they get them?

A:  A couple of good knives and some basic carving chisels is enough to start.  I do a lot of small items and find the Flexcut™ chisels and knives very satisfactory. They have a very sharp edge and are easy to keep that way.

I would recommend:

  • a cutting knife
  • a fine-point detail knife
  • a small gouge chisel
  • a v-cut chisel
  • a safety glove and thumb guard

If you want to look at them and other options check out the adds in carving magazines or visit a web site or supplier such as Lee Valley.

Q:  Is it best to focus on one project at a time?

A:  I like to have two or three projects on the go at a time, and in different stages. This allows me to move on with another project if I need to think about how to proceed with the first.