A friend at my carving class gave me a piece of wood that was almost
2" thick and about 13" wide by 20" tall. It was extremely hard wood.
I have never learned exactly what it is. I have a scrap piece of it
yet. Does anybody know how to identify such a piece?? I will
send a piece if you can help.
One of the members of the club is a master carver who was working on
a very ornate spoon in purple heart at the time, and I was just
enthralled at the details he was putting into that piece. I tried a
piece of purple heart, and it was just too hard for me to even try
to carve. I learned later that some of the more difficult work he
does is done with power tools. I am a Neanderthal carver, and only
use hand tools.
I had been reading Chris Pye's monthly newsletter and ran across the
Green Men in his gallery. I was impressed, and decided that I would
give it a try. I had no clue that it would be a year before I could
complete it. I had to learn how to sharpen my tools for very hard
wood, and I had to learn the techniques that go with the hard woods.
different from carving the soft stuff I used in the beginning. There
is more mallet work involved.
But once I had that carving completed, I knew I could never go back
to carving soft wood again. I feels like carving butter now, and I
don't enjoy it.
I finally found 2 carving knives that I love, after going through
about a dozen. There are things you just can't do with anything but
a good detail knife. These were $35 each, but worth every penny. I
wasted more on inferior knives.
Carving is very relaxing. You get lost in the work and hours pass
One of the first things I carved while learning was a spoon of the
type called a "Love Spoon." I recently tossed that piece in the
fireplace. Now that I have a framework that allows me to look
back on my early work, I can see that some of it sucks pretty bad.
I am about halfway to where I want to be as a carver. I am
pretty good, but not REAL GOOD. Not yet! I have only to look at the
work of guys like Chris Pye to be convinced that I have a long way