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56 posts in 1151 days

Location: Currently - Bakersville, NC

Old farmers never gossip.
...So, when I was a young boy, my Grandfather's friends would stop by regularly to instead spread local news of the day. When they did so, they would each assume positions on stumps and the flat-bed, home-made tractor, take out pocket knives and go to whittling and spreading the news, with commentary. As a young boy, of course, I was fascinated by such news, information and whittling. At around the age of six or seven, my grandfather gave me my first knife, showed me a bit about how to use it, and told me to holler for Granny if I cut myself.
Thirty-odd years later I have still not carved all I want to. I reckon now it is either a true calling or an obsession!
In my work I mostly try to convey the beauty of the pieces of wood I use, much of which I sustainably harvest myself or collect as scrap. Specific sculptural pieces, though, are also intended to convey more.
I have always been fascinated by the work of self-taught woodcarvers, and have learned from and been inspired by countless "Old Timers", (a club that I reckon I'll soon owe dues to!) Among these folks are Hope Brown, Wade Martin, Helen Gibson, John Hillier, Jim McGie, Billy Henry, Lyle Wheeler, George SerVance Jr., Will Hines and sons, Rick Allison and many others, whose names regrettably slip my mind at this time, just as inspiring. Many of these folks are NOT "Old Timers" based on age, but experience and wisdom. (Whew, pulled myself out of the fire there!)
As I have never found the same piece of wood more than once, almost all of my work is one of a kind and inspired by the uniqueness of the wood I find.
In recent years I have been using a chainsaw for more than just bucking and limbing logs, and have been applying chainsaws in roughing out larger pieces (to limit wear and tear on a back, neck and shoulder that have been abused by years of improper posture and use of my upper-body when carving) and have recently been really enjoying making furniture and sculpture using just a chainsaw. I like using a tool generally associated with destruction to create what are hopefully beautiful and/or functional pieces.
I am a member of the Southern Highlands Craft Guild, and have demonstrated for them, for the Toe River Arts Council (in rural public elementary and secondary schools), for Mayland Community College in NC, The North Carolina Museum of History, and for a few classes at the Penland School of Craft. I teach carving at the John C Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC, the oldest craft school in the country, which has always had woodcarving as a central focus. (Check out the Brasstown Carvers if you can!) I have taught all ages, from elementary school students, to adult classes and teacher workshops.
I have never made my work as my full-time occupation, and have thus been more free than if i had to make simply what I thought would sell rather than what I am moved to make, though I gladly take on commissions, too.
I look to find ways in which traditional crafts have been and can be used in the teaching of curricular primary and secondary school subjects. Soon I hope to be sending out a survey to craftspeople to find out what Math and Science lessons they have encountered in their work. My goal in this is to find ways of not only teaching these subjects through craft, but to also facilitate the learning of citizenship, acceptance of differences, communications, ingenuity and problem solving, and other vital skills.
(My icon photo is Oscar, my boss and live-in critic. He has destroyed many pieces of mine, and many items I'd traded for or purchased from other craftspeople. The dog has never even chewed on a stick that I thought I might carve!)

-- You say Luddite like it's a bad thing ...

Latest Activity | view all »

replied on Holidays 382 days ago
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added project Backpacker's Banjo (or Panjo) 792 days ago
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replied on Manufacturers struggle to preserve 'shop math' skills 840 days ago
commented on Jesus Christ 841 days ago
commented on Third poject - Carving tools box 841 days ago
commented on Not quite spoons 844 days ago
added project Assorted bowls and a platter 844 days ago
added project Not quite spoons 844 days ago
added project More older spoons 844 days ago

Latest Projects | view all 17 »

Latest Blog Entries | view all 6 »

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6 comments so far

View SnowyRiver's profile


51451 posts in 2114 days

#1 posted 1151 days ago

Welcome aboard. Nice that you could join us on Lumberjocks.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Max's profile


55956 posts in 2907 days

#2 posted 1151 days ago

Glad to see that you have made LumberJocks a part of your Woodworking experience… Welcome

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View surfin2's profile


51278 posts in 1769 days

#3 posted 1151 days ago

Welcome To LumberJocks.
Good Luck…

-- Rick

View HallTree's profile


5661 posts in 2401 days

#4 posted 1151 days ago

Welcome. You have found the right place for woodworking. A great group of people willing to help. Looking forward to see your projects and comments. Work safe in the shop and don’t forget to use pushsticks.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View SgtSnafu's profile


957 posts in 1905 days

#5 posted 1150 days ago

Hey – Welcome to Lumberjocks ! Lots of great ideas, info, inspiration, and support here (as many will tell ya – the site is quite addictive).. Enjoy…

-- Scotty - aka... SgtSnafu - Randleman NC

View MichaelA's profile


771 posts in 1522 days

#6 posted 1149 days ago

Welcome to LJ’S. Great place to share,learn and get inspiration from a supportive community!!!!! Also very nice carvings darkhollow!!!!

-- The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. "Helen Keller"

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