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  • A Question for ALL carvers


    I've wondering for a while now what sets wood carvers apart from other types of people. Is it just in my imagination or are woodcarvers, in general, just kinder folks AND , if this is indeed fact, why is this?
    After watching a video Honketyhank the Mandolin Maker made , it occurred to me that the really good carvers have incredible patience. Besides incredible patience , they seem more grounded and stable.

    As a carver, do you think you had patience before carving , which is why you carve well OR did you learn patience along the way?
    Or is this a question like which came first the chicken or the egg?

    The reason why I ask is because I generally don't tend to have a lot of patience but carving slows my mind down enough that I do and in doing so teaches me patience. In teaching me patience it's helping me stay stable and grounded?

    Does that make sense?

  • #2
    There ARE forms of carving that require patience, but it is probably inaccurate to extend that trait to ALL carvers. There are many human endeavors that require patience and persistence. These are usually not of interest to people with needs for instant gratification or social acclaim. It is not just the actual carving process that requires patience. The acquisition of related skills like sharpening, choosing tools & wood, etc. take time.

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    • #3
      In the beginning, I liked tools and especially the hand tools, then I liked trees, plants and woods. They married up together as a hobby. Then I was taking interest in shaping and creating something more meaningful out of lump / piece of of wood.

      I don't have any patience and talents, and don't make effort for anything - most of my work is half finished and I am usually disorganised. I try to be easy going, enjoy and do what I can.
      Last edited by kiri; 06-23-2017, 06:47 AM.

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      • #4
        I think it is because woodcarvers understand carving takes some time and of course, patience. I do it to relax and to slow things down--and to escape from all of the BS that goes one in the world. One of the things I see time and time again is NOW!!! I want it NOW!!! And that to me, leads to arrogance, and people being ugly.

        And Nikki, I like to think woodcarvers and just about all people are nice--until I'm proven wrong. And unfortunately, I'm usually proven wrong.

        Bob L

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        • #5
          Hi Kiri
          You are not alone in being disorganized and projects half finished, my work bench is usually some what cluttered most of the time as I have these visions of what is going come out of the wood, . I do come back and finish things in a couple of days. If I have project that holds my attention from start to finish it is a rare day LOL
          I also think wood carvers are a special breed willing to help you with a project almost any time
          Bruce

          ​​​​​​​

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          • #6
            I don't believe wood carving requires patience, and I believe there are two types of wood carvers...those that possess patience and those that don't. Those wood carvers that possess patience tend to be your talented wood carvers, and especially your master wood carvers. Those that don't possess patience and are usually the ones who are looking for instant gratification are your poor to average wood carvers.

            I have been a patient individual my entire life so I didn't get it from wood carving, although I consider myself a patient wood carver. Also, wood carving has a special calming effect that temporarily blocks out all the crap going on in this world and is good for my soul.

            During my 50 years of experience with wood carving the number of wood carvers I didn't like could be counted on my one hand. Just about every carver you meet tends to be a warm, friendly and well grounded individual, but don't ask me why. Maybe it is the satisfaction and calmness we all get when we are wood carving.
            Keep On Carvin'
            Bob K.

            My Etsy page: https://www.etsy.com/shop/rwkwoodcarving


            My Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/robert.kozakiewicz.9


            My RWK Woodcarving Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/rwkwood


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            • #7
              All of the wood carvers I know are good people...99% of them are in the carving club I go to, and I would not hang around them if they weren't good. I am like Bob when it comes to blocking out the world. Carving is one of 3 things that are my escapes. The other 2 are sitting in my treestand with my compound bow deer hunting, and the other is sitting on the bank of a pond hoping some unsuspecting fish takes my bait. Time flies by so quickly when I am carving, hunting or fishing. 3 hours seems like 20 minutes...

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              • #8
                I have been carving, on and off, for over 4 decades now. It has been my experience that someone is often making the statement of what a great group of people carvers are. I have heard that in many different states and from people in other countries. And because I find it to be true I have given some thought to this over the years. I know what carving has brought to my life. It required me slow down and conceder what I wanted to accomplish. The razor sharp blades encourages me to work purposely. More often than not rushing it led to stitches. It requires that I accepted the reality of my limitation, until I can learn to overcome those I could and to except the limitation of the wood. Through those who shared their skills and knowledge with me I learned the pleasure of sharing my skills and knowledge with others. These lessons and others have made their way into most of my interaction with life. I think along with our skills our personalities are often illustrated in or work. We see the great sense of hummer that is demonstrated by the caricature carver and the incredible dedication to detail by the chip carver and those who have completed birds that look like they could fly. As well as the creative minds that gives new and amazing shapes to a blank piece of wood or sees a creation in a log or branch on the ground.
                As a group we are as different as the carvings we do. But we seem to share respect for the effort of others whether they are a beginner or award winning carvers. And All these things seems to flow into the rest of our lives. Those are just my thoughts on us.
                Randy

                WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE!

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                • #9
                  Carving, even planning, changes my thought pattern. I can feel it.
                  Seeing things in wood come as such pleasant surprises.
                  I can shed all my other concerns for the day, I like the focus of my attention.

                  I was carving in an artisans' exhibition. A visitor stopped to watch, then commented:"Looks tedious."
                  I'm not sure what other word to use than patience. I don't notice the time it takes to make a shape.
                  Brian T

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                  • #10
                    I carve by hand when feeling patient and at other times I chainsaw carve. Though I do feel generally all carvers have some amount of patience or acquire it out of necessity due to the love of carving one has. "You must have a lot of patience" is what I hear the most from people at shows. To me its not a matter of patience, its the love of carving that keeps me going at it. Patience is just a byproduct. Seems that most carvers I have met are nice people, again this could be a byproduct being that carving is such great therapy and cheaper than pills!
                    James Richards

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by scotia carver View Post
                      Hi Kiri
                      You are not alone in being disorganized and projects half finished, my work bench is usually some what cluttered most of the time as I have these visions of what is going come out of the wood, . I do come back and finish things in a couple of days. If I have project that holds my attention from start to finish it is a rare day LOL
                      I also think wood carvers are a special breed willing to help you with a project almost any time
                      Bruce

                      ​​​​​​​
                      Hi Bruce

                      Thank you for the great post. Yes, I think it is real cool to carve, and wood carvers are cool people.
                      When I carve, or work with wood tools, I seem to forget about the world. The time just flies.
                      Great to be absorbed into another world - the wood carving world

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                      • #12
                        I have carvings that I intend to finish, might be 10 years old. A few are still at the slab stage but I know what the wood is for!
                        Maybe patience is something learned from carving? Making chips, sharpening, selecting wood, selecting a particular knife or gouge.
                        Hard to do any of those things well without exercising a little patience.
                        Brian T

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                        • #13
                          While I was in a Naval Hospital, convalescing from my wounds, after physical therapy,
                          I was sent to to Occupational Therapy,I was taught how carve leather and make purses,
                          wallets, and belts. When I was discharged from the Military Service, I continued carving
                          leather as a hobby. Sometime about fifteen years ago I picked up an article written by
                          Frank Russell, that interested me very much, were living in Klamath Falls, Oregon at that
                          time. I got on the computer and started contacting other folks that were wood carvers of
                          and the recommended a Wood Craft Store in Medford ,Oregon that carried all of a 'wood
                          carver's tools'. One day my wife and I decided to drive to Medford and check this store out.
                          Since I didn't know anything about wood carving tools, I followed the store's manager's
                          recommendations on what tools I needed to get me started on wood carving. so there went
                          my 'Military's retirement check for the month. From that day on started my 'addiction to wood
                          Carving'! I purchase a book and DVD Fur Feathers & Fins, by Frank Russell, which begin
                          my 'love affair' in carving 'birds of prey'. Fifteen years later we moved to Southern California
                          where my son and I built a small but great 'wood carving, shad with two nice windows' of which
                          I enjoy doing all of bird carving and painting!
                          Oscar

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                          • #14
                            What great answers and thanks for helping me break it down.
                            While out today I thought about this some more and realized I DO in fact have a lot of patience. Most things I am passionate about are things I do on my own that require a dedicated amount of patience. Most of the things I enjoy are hobbies like gardening, walking, singing, painting, playing an instrument, cooking, sewing, reading I do on my own because I'm an introvert and enjoy my own company. These hobbies not only keep my life interesting but they help bring contentment and joy.
                            Since I am a natural introvert I find carving another great hobby that brings about this serenity and peace of mind.
                            Perhaps because that's how I feel when I carve , I project this contented feeling onto other carvers and have over generalized. Maybe there are carvers that like to carve while their buddies play cards. You might be an extroverted person who enjoys the company of others so prefer carving at a club. For me , all the other people would be too big of a distraction that I couldn't do it so when I imagine other carvers I automatically think they are in the same mind frame as me. Lol.

                            Bob brings up a good point in that people in general who work at being patient reap the rewards which is true. All good things come to those who wait. Quality demands patience and I have never been fond of being in the fast line. Like Pallin stated, with good carving there is no instant satisfaction. It is a slow deliberate process that involves a variety of different stages from designing to picking out of the tools & wood etc.

                            Randy also brings up a good point in that the tools we are working with require our ultimate respect so we have a become more meticulous with our decisions.

                            It's like I've rediscovered something important within me I'd forgotten about and suddenly I've been reminded about.

                            Honketyhank reminded me about becoming distracted.
                            I get hugely distracted. Maybe that's why I enjoy doing solo hobbies as opposed to group events that fosters competition. That striving to be faster and better to win I never did quite understand.

                            And Bob L., You contradicted yourself. You said you believe all people are good unless proven otherwise but then agreed that you are usually wrong on that one.
                            I've had too many horrendous experiences to belief that. People are as diverse as life itself. You have the Mother Teresa 's of the world, the Hitlers and all the in between.

                            In my opinion, humans are the most greedy unpredictable animals on earth and I'd trust any other animal over a human any day but we have egos and use that to make our decisions instead of our instincts which most other animals use.

                            That's why I prefer to be with a piece of wood. lol. Ok I'm a tad cynical.

                            I bet most of you who have a lot of patience , have that with people also whereas I don't. My patience with people is limited but that's ok.

                            No, you guys are right. Patience isn't a necessity to successful carving but it sure doesn't hurt.






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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Spiritwolfe View Post
                              I've wondering for a while now what sets wood carvers apart from other types of people. Is it just in my imagination or are woodcarvers, in general, just kinder folks AND , if this is indeed fact, why is this?
                              After watching a video Honketyhank the Mandolin Maker made , it occurred to me that the really good carvers have incredible patience. Besides incredible patience , they seem more grounded and stable.

                              As a carver, do you think you had patience before carving , which is why you carve well OR did you learn patience along the way?
                              Or is this a question like which came first the chicken or the egg?

                              The reason why I ask is because I generally don't tend to have a lot of patience but carving slows my mind down enough that I do and in doing so teaches me patience. In teaching me patience it's helping me stay stable and grounded?

                              Does that make sense?
                              One way to acquire patients is to become a medical doctor. But it's a lot easier just to be a woodcarver.
                              Terry

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