Didn’t think when I signed up for online carving lessons that there would be any interaction with the teacher. I was wrong. You get to ask questions, make comments and post your completed lessons for feedback.
If you check out Mary May’s online carving lessons you will see that in and amongst the 50+ video lessons, there are the first 13 lessons. The basics. These take you through different kinds of gouges and chisels, sharpening those gouges and chisels. Sharpening a V Chisel, and then basics on carving. She will have you use some basic tools to get a feel for how they work and what you can do with them.
Before long you will be into the ” simple flower” and the “donut” which will haunt your remaining carving career. There will be the simple leaf, and the peach, the Tudor Rose, and the camellia flower. You will get a tour of her workshop and see lots of her work. You will learn how to mount your work piece so its safe to work on, and more sharpening of bent back, spooner bent veiner gouges. And the next thing you know, you will be looking ahead at all the amazing things she has lesson in carving on… just waiting for you.
Have to admit, I did jump ahead with the rosettes I carved… but she gave me the nod on them. I am now looking to finish the last two lessons and I am dragging my feet. For one reason. I may have got through all the videos, and carved all of the projects… but today I looked at the furniture I have made and incorporated her teaching into, and I know I am not quite ready to move on. There is so much to learn. If you can have a computer on your work bench to capture the teaching jewels she leaves for us on every lesson, and try them right away, you will do yourself a favor. I am going to go through several of the lessons one more time.
When my backgrounds are consistent depth and texture, when I have not used any super glue on at least 3 lessons in a row, when I can tell for the most part what direction to move the gouge to get the best cut.. then I will move on to the more advanced stuff. In the back of my mind I will be producing a Philadelphia Highboy and I will have carved all the components of it myself. But until then.. the most important lessons she has taught me is that wood carving is wonderful! I love doing it and will not settle for mediocre. For that I owe her more than the tuition.
-- David, Norwood Mass, email@example.com