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What inspire you as a carver?

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  • What inspire you as a carver?

    wood-1.jpg Inspiration is a curious idea. The amount of influences that can affect the nature and creativity of a carver’s work is countless, and to pinpoint a true inspiration is difficult, to say the least.
    Yet, it is without question that each carver has their own unique set of influences that brings inspiration to their artwork. This range of diversity has led me to creation of this particular Q&A. “What inspires you as a wood carver?”
    Help? Inspire means to excite, encourage, or breathe life into.
    Attached Files
    . Explore! Dream! Discover!” aloha Di

  • #2
    My inspiration first came to me back in 1967 from books. The very first book I saw a book on carving animal caricatures by Elma Waltner. I carved almost every project in that book. Next came some books by Ben Hunt. My introduction into "real" caricature carving (cowboys) came from a book by Claude Bolton. Then came several caricature books by Harold Enlow. By that time I was well on my way as a "somewhat accomplished" caricature carver. I am almost completely self-taught. I finally took my first formal wood carving class in March, 2017. My carving mentors today include noted wood carvers such as Harold Enlow, Pete LeClair, Chris Hammack, Rich Wetherbee and Gary Falin.
    Keep On Carvin'
    Bob K.

    My Woodcarving blog: https://www.woodchipchatter.com


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


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


    My Pinterest page: https://www.pinterest.com/rwkoz51/

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    • #3
      Wow, what a tough question.

      Harley Refsal describes flat plane whittling as doing more with less- trying to suggest an eye without carving an eye, or mouth, or whatever. I'm looking at one of his figures- three cuts define the sides of the nose, the cheekbones, the eye sockets, the eyebrows and the bottom edge of the forehead. That inspires me.
      Buffalo Bif
      www.bflobif.com

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      • #4
        This inspired me. It is a monkey tail handrail commissioned for a staircase I made. I had to make some modifications to make it fit to the rest of the handrail and thought, ‘I could do this.’ Turns out most of it isn’t hand carved but it got me going in the right direction.
        You do not have permission to view this gallery.
        This gallery has 2 photos.

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        • #5
          My mother first inspired my carving in 1968 or so when I was 7. I was a boisterous child, and I think she thought she could slow me down a bit on a rainy summer day by handing me a bar of Ivory soap and my 3 bladed stockman knife my dad gave me, and said to just carve something! Don't know where she saw that, but she was a crafty sort, and I think she must have read it somewhere.

          I think I tried hacking out a bear or something that looked like a bear, but I was hooked! Growing up in Kansas, I had a never ending supply of sunflower and fireweed stalks to hack away on. Mostly I made 'swords' and 'spears' to slay dragons and such...

          After I made my way into a carving store while on vacation in Estes Park, Colorado, my carving roots took hold again, and haven't let up in over 20 years!

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          • #6
            I get my Inspiration from a Picture that I like . Then I wonder if I could Carve it and must give it a try. I guess it's the Challenge and then after starting it becomes Anticipation to seeing it Finished. When Finished and Looks to me Good it becomes Anxious to start another Carving and begin the Hole Process again. Merle

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            • #7
              My middle son wanted to learn how to carve so we found a local carving club. He didn't want to go alone so I told him I'd go too. Watched what some of the members were carving and decided it looked like fun. He carved for a bit but like most teenagers, he found other interests (girls, guitars and skateboards). I stuck with it to produce copious quantities of toothpicks and other quaint items of wood. Some better than others.

              Tinwood

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              • #8
                It was a combination of three things, decades apart.
                1. My grandmother telling me that I would "see" things in wood to carve. Lunatic but not forgotten.
                2. A Christmas gift = a 2-weekend wood carving course, taught by a full time professional.
                Something that I had never done before, no idea what was involved.
                3. Nothing for several years. Then got some "seconds" from a scroll-saw artisan.
                Had bought some Pfeil tools for that carving class. Used the scrollings as 3D rough-outs.

                Not long after that, I did see animals in the wood. Spooky at first. Now, I never know what to expect.
                Lots of wood, maybe a week, maybe years to see anything, if at all.

                Brian T

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                • #9
                  Wow, a good question. I keep an "inspiration" folder on my computer, and it is loaded with things that inspire me. Ships especially, also faces with character, birds of prey, Celtic knot work, dragons, bears, bunnies, wolves, dogs, lions, tigers and such

                  Bob
                  Before they slip me over the standing part of the fore sheet, let them pipe: "Up Spirits" one more time.

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                  • #10
                    Book illustrations, and I collect images from the internet, categorized in folders on my laptop. I'll browse through them until I see one that says "Carve me now!"
                    Arthur

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                    • #11
                      As a kid I was always whittling some things of interest only to me. However
                      after my marriage, we used to take our trailer on various camping trips to
                      the beautiful Oregon Forests. My wife always had a knitting project in he
                      works. To make my trips to the forests, interesting I was always whittling on
                      some found sticks, no projects just some whittling. My wife asked what I was
                      whittling, my answer was 'nothing in particular'.So when we got back into town
                      I bought a couple of 'wood carving magazines which got me interested on
                      'whittling' out a project or two. Since 2000 to this day I have been carving.
                      But now I have been carving nothing else but 'birds of Prey or Game Birds.
                      Oscar

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                      • #12
                        My inspiration is see the work of others. Also seeing people smile when I give them a carving.

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                        • #13
                          Having the power to transform a mere piece of wood into a work of art.

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                          • #14
                            I take a lot of photographs of things, I save pics off the Internet, and spend time on various "art" inspiring forums. As noted on another thread, I have my special people that I follow their work. I prefer to do relief carvings, and I have spent a few hundred hours studying the world of engraving. Not the laser or mechanical engraving, but the hand push and hammer and chisel engravers. Besides Evgine Dimov. there is Phil Coggan and others that I keep up with their "art" of super fine relief Carving.

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                            • #15
                              I have always enjoyed working with my hands. Start with an idea then work toward completion. I have made pergolas and wood swing sets. After retiring, I wanted something to do indoors when it is nasty outside. Carving was a fit. I mainly carve caricatures, cottonwood bark cottages and wood spirits. Have dabbled with scrimshaw too.
                              Dean

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