It is new for me to contribute features for magazines, but I’ve already learned that it does fire up a person to do new and greater things in woodworking. Truth is that I have more challenging projects in mind now than ever before. First, I am very thankful to the great folks at Fox Chapel Publishing for giving me the opportunity to write about using carving to personalize a tool chest.
You can find a reference to it here http://woodcarvingillustrated.com/blog/woodcarving-illustrated-winter-spring-2016/
Their publication is great for inspiring people of all skill levels to try and excel at woodcarving. It was fun to share about my woodworking/woodcarving experiences in this recent issue. Second, I want to say that I think chip carving really gets a bad rap in woodworking circles and it really puzzles me. It seems there is some thinking out there in the woodworking world that if you don’t use a chisel and mallet to carve something then you haven’t made it into the realm of fine furniture. Frankly, that is crap and this comes from a preacher/woodworker who chooses his words carefully. I for one use carving chisels a lot and while I am not into chip carving plates per se, I’ll argue that there is great skill in using one tool, a sharp knife, (see photo above) to make V shaped cuts in wood. True you are limited to softer hardwoods or pine. But heh when it comes to reproducing country furniture that many of us still love, chip carving has greatly enhanced many pieces over time. Look at how cool it is to add chip carving to a handmade wooden spoon. It definitely personalizes it. Bottomline, think and say what you want, but if it suits me to pick up my chip carving knife and to add some motifs that compliment the piece, then I am going to do it.
Saying all that, in 2016 I am going to learn more and more about acanthus carving, letter carving, and flat carving which all use chisels. It is the challenge of learning something new more than anything else. When it comes to acanthus, I am partial to the Norwegian/Scandinavian approach to it. It is me and I have some Swedish blood in me. I am and have been in love with woodcarving for a long time. I think a real woodcarver has multiple approaches at his or her disposal and that chip carving has its place among them.
Thanks for reading my rantings,