After a several weeks of busyness and a health scare, I have not been able to get out and carve much, but last week I felt great and the desire to carve returned and so I got out to the shop. Here’s a greenman and a Santa I finished. Looking forward to really putting in more time during this fall and winter accelerating my learning and carving time.
I was honored to be on the monthly show hosted by Blake Lundsford and the International Association of Woodcarvers. I talk about how I got into carving, how it’s blessed my life, and some tips. then I give a demo of carving a Greenman in Cottonwood Bark from western U.S.
Saturday, July 10, at 3 pm. I will be the guest on the IAW hosted by Blake Lundsford. They have recorded this show and all of the guests that have been featured. Here is their Youtube channel to subscribe Click here International Association of Woodcarvers. I will be sharing some of my woodcarving journey and doing a demonstration on a Greenman. The information is below.
The show is on Zoom below is the room code and password is “carving”. You will be admitted at 3pm EST. I am honored to be asked and excited for the opportunity
See you Saturday!
Some of my carvings are on display and for sale at the new Art Gallery “Arts on the Market” in Downtown Toledo. This is a new Gallery with a lot of crazy great artists. I appreciate the owners, care, vision, and work. Scott is great to work with. Here is their FB page . https://www.facebook.com/Artonmarket/
Details add to any carving. Feathers are tough to carve but worth the practice. Some simple hair ties, and a head dress, along with those feathers, can make a carving really pop! I am considering not cutting in pupils. What do you think?
A popular woodcarving genre in faces is the carving of Green men. Green men were in many cathedrals in Europe before the 15th century. Historians are not sure why churches had them carved or sculpted there. Maybe a sign of new life in Christ? No one is completely sure. This one has 31 leaves. They are fun to carve as you can be very creative and the layout reveals itself to me as I go. I will enter this in an art show for competition in November if they still have it. Then it will be for sale.
It is often said about artists that they are “gifted”. This is true some, but every artist will tell you they also have worked very hard, studied, and put in much time and effort to hone their artistic skill. To be a better carver there are some things one has to be willing to do to move on to the next level. I want to share with you eight things that have helped me to keep moving forward, improve, and enjoy woodcarving more than ever. I hope these help you out.
- Have the right tools and keep them sharp.
2. Invest the time. You won’t improve your carving if you don’t carve. It takes time and it’s a great time. You have to carve almost every day.
3. You have to be a self-learner. No one is going to push you to be a woodcarver. Be motivated to learn on your own.
4. Invest in books- Order or borrow, but read them and do the projects step by step. I have been mentored by Vic Hood, Jeff Phares, Harold Enloe, Terry Kramer, and John Burke, through their books, as well as many others.
5. Take a class in some way. I have had classes with Alec Lacasse, live and online. I have been part of online woodcarving classes, with Chris Pye, Ian Norbury, and Alec Lacasse. I have bought DVD’s from Mark Gargac, Gene Webb, and Ron Adamson. It’s costs money, but its still cheaper than golf, and it is worth every penny if you want to improve. Every carver has something to impart to you. There are also a lot of free Youtube lessons available.
6. Go to some woodcarving shows – I really got excited about carving when I went to my first woodcarving show in Saline Michigan and watched Floyd Rhadigan, carve caricatures. Wow was I excited. I talked to Vic Hood at a show in Archobold, OH, and looked at his amazing work and I wanted to do that. I talked to Don Mertz at a show and he said “You can do this.” It is motivating to go to shows, talk to carvers and see their art.
7. Carve with Others- We have a small club I started a few years ago. There are woodcarving groups and clubs within driving distance of you. You will learn, stay encouraged and meet some great people. The woodcarving community is so great.
8. Don’t get discouraged and quit. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. I’ve carved a lot of things that weren’t great, but every project adds value to you as a carver because you are learning. Don’t give up or quit when discouraged. Get online, and order a book or watching something for that inspiration to keep at it.
Enjoy the journey. I have been carving for 12 years, a lot the last 3. Just enjoy the process of learning, of a project, and the successes. Remember, anything worth-while takes preparation and time. It is also very fun. Woodcarving has been a gift to my life. It is peace and therapy to me. Enjoy every minute of it. I remember the man that got me into carving, Marty Eddinger. He said, “you love talking and reading about carving more than actually carving.” I took that to heart and go my hands on a chisel and knife to get at it. Enjoy this incredible art form. Be creative, be free, work hard, learn, expand, and grow as a woodcarver.
Keep carving friends! -Nate Elarton
I put 3 carvings in the art show this year. I dropped them off today. I have been working on them on and off for the last few months, the last several months for the chief. The piece I call “Four Face” was carved out of cottonwood bark gifted to me from the great carver Alec Lacasse . He has been a great help to me, as teacher, coach, and friend. I’ll let you know if a nab a ribbon or not.