Posts from the ‘Wildfowl Woodcarving’ Category

Happy to say, I carved an hour yesterday

Previously, I’ve commented that June & I decided to retire from the 26+ years career we shared, teaching Wildfowl Woodcarving & Painting to many students for reasons mentioned at that time, which was in the Fall of 2013.  Consequently, I simply haven’t felt like picking-up my tools and carving, since then!

My “work-in-progress” and “my tools” are still on my work-table where they lay abandoned until yesterday.  I sat down in my Wooden Swivel Carving chair , phoned Amazon  and ordered a replacement band-saw blade for the broken blade on my Jet 14″ band-saw.  I then, some-what straightened-up  and re-arranged my carving area. Sitting-down, I turned on my music and picked-up the well-started American Kestrel and “tuned it up”, for over an hour with my knife. I’ve felt good about this little mile-stone ever since and look forward to sitting-down and carving some more, very soon.

We’re very proud of the many carvers we have taught since the fall of 1988; which, by the way, was my first year of wood-carving, as well. I’d love to carve here with any former Hamonhaus Carvers, who are like-minded.

Happy Carving and Keep those feeders filled,






*Gene Webb’s Beginner’s Lesson on Carving a Mammal

Renowned “Lifetime” Woodcarver/Teacher Gene Webb, from the Townsend TN area offers instructions on carving animals, Part 1

Oct. 5, 2013   Since I’m very interested in beginning my first “Mammal” carving project, Gene Webb comes to mind as a good source of information on technique. Hopefully, I will find additional contributions of this kind by Gene.

Wilflife is for Carving, Bill

Bald Eagle #3

Bald Eagle #3

*Green Heron Pair Project

 September 21, 2013   Welcome officially to Autumn; our favorite season of the year. As usual, work on this project was hindered by several events; for one, I had help from a genius-mentor (must not refer to him as such) setting up my digital movie files on my hard-drive so that I cam watch them wirelessly on our 50″ TV in another room. (several intense & rewarding months) and secondly, I was ill with near pneumonia (bronchitis) for 29 days; totally grounded. However; I’ve been very busy on this pair of Little Green Herons. I’ve decided to post project up-dates at the top of this page. Scroll down to see the previous report. Today’s report includes current photos of the project:

G.Heron Project Status 13 Sep 13 a G.Heron Project Status 13 Sep 13 b G.Heron Project Status 13 Sep 13 c G.Heron Project Status 13 Sep 13 d G.Heron Project Status 13 Sep 13 e G.Heron Project Status 13 Sep 13 f G.Heron Project Status 13 Sep 13 g G.Heron Project Status 13 Sep 13 h


Click on the above photos individually to enlarge to view detail. Photo top, far left are all of the components as they are today. The progress on both birds is even. Remaining texture on both under-sides and backs. After that is completed, will follow the final-fine-sanding of both beaks and sealer applied over-all.  Eyes will then be inserted on both birds. Before sending them to the “Paint Dept.” (Frau Junebug), Both birds will be “dry-fitted” to the base with brass rods, measured and bent to my specs. She will also receive the 21 (surviving) leaves for paint and the , walnut-base and base-stump, as well.

The 2d photo-top from the left is of the carved cray-fish which I’ve carved in deep-relief on the bottom of the base (pond?). To it will be added the fabricated eyes, antennae, legs and tail.While June is so occupied for at least, a week, or so, I will draw and carve the small sunfish (orange?) which will miraculously be a perfect-fit in the Heron’s open bill (beak?)

The three photos in the bottom row provide different views of the two small-twigs protruding, one on each lower side of the stump. These will be the platform from which the Rhododendron pods-of-five leaves each will be fastened to. Find them? Please remember that “ALL” of this was in my head before I started this project. If you are at the scheduled “public-unveiling” of this piece at the Sauder Village Woodcarving Show in Archbold, OH. next month, you’ll know that we pulled it off.  

Wildlife is for Carving, Bill

Bald Eagle #3

Bald Eagle #3

Little Green HeronMay 1, 2013 The Heron carving  on the left-photo’s artist is unknown (was not me).

This started last summer as the subject for our very last class (ever?), which happened to be the Little Green Heron (my first Water Bird).   As usual, I didn’t get to finish my carving because of the attention I focused on the needs of my class.  Happily, we retired from teaching (after 25 years) in October, last year. Recently we have resumed our “Carve-Ins” for the Hamonhaus Carvers (see the “Terms & Definitions Page” on the Home Page of this blog), I’ve picked-up on this Heron Project as the one I plan to have completed for our next show in the fall. I’ll work on it every chance I get including at the “Carve In”s, Fridays 10a.m.-1p.m.

As you can see from these several photos taken an hour ago, Much of the basic components are quite a-bit more than started. I’m working on the three individual  foot’s detail which is carved into the stump the birds will be perched on.  The “scale”s  and “talons”, to be specific. Soon, I’ll block-out blanks for the cray-fish, branches, leaves  and the fish. I want all of the elements finished to the same degree so I can do a “dry-fit” assembly (no-glue).

The feet will conclude the shaping/carving portion. I plan then,  to attach a few Rhododendron sprigs sticking-up at the rear of the stump with leaves and maybe, a blossom and/or, a bud (or two).  This will be soon followed by a good over-all sanding & a coat or two of sealer. All floral to be pre-painted, then attached to the stump.  This will all be then turned over to the paint department (Junebug) prior to assembly.

Components, not yet carved, nor in evidence in these pictures are, the floral referred to above,  a  fish to be in the open beak of a Heron and the Cray-fish to be lurking under the water. Yes;  Rhododendron, fish, water and crayfish!  Those, as well as the Waterbirds (Herons) are all “firsts” for me. Check-out the photos. I hope to add to this report with some progress and new photos, as we go forward.

G. Heron Pr 6G. Heron Pr 5G. Heron Pr 4G. Heron Pr 3G. Heron Pr 2G. Heron Pr 1

What you can hardly see on the table are the special glass eyes.  I’ll fashion the brass legs which will allow me to stand both birds on the base. At that point, I hope to carve the 2d foot for the up-right Heron, which will be held high against it’s breast. That one will be standing on one leg with a fish in it’s beak. Heron #2 will be fishing. The legs will be covered with epoxy, shaped, textured, etc.

Wildlife is for Carving,  Bill

Bald Eagle #3

Bald Eagle #3

*Just Finished & Shipped the Blue Jay Repair Job

Blue Jay by Dan Williams

Blue Jay by Dan Williams

Probably in May or June, 2012, I agreed to help a fellow in Northern Ohio repair several bird-carvings that he inherited from his father, I believe. In a magnanimous mood, I said I would defer the repair fee, since I have the needed materials on hand.  He said he would call me when he was ready to bring the carvings to me. I explained my busy teaching schedule and said I couldn’t get to the repairs until after Thanksgiving. No problem!  In July, 2012, I agreed to repair a bird for a lady in North Carolina who thought she had purchased it from me. It turned out to be carved by celebrated artist, Dan Williams. I happen to have a carving book he wrote. I made the same explanation that it wouldn’t be done for many months; there was a fee involved. No Problem!  Then, I was contacted by a man living in a community just north of here. He has a Wood Duck Drake that has a broken-off bill.  Same old story and, a fee.  He brought the Duck decoy here weeks later. 

The above, is sort of my tale of woe because, I’m not a repairer of wood-carvings!  How these people all found me is still a mystery. Why I ever agreed to any of it, is also!  Well, the plot thickens;  man number one contacted me a few months ago  to schedule his visit and deliver his birds.  I told him that he is not to do so until next Spring, because I don’t tend to carve in the Winter and, I’m otherwise too busy. He correctly senses that this “isn’t going to happen”!  Today, I shipped the Blue Jay to N.C.; then called the owner to advise of the total bill (as, she had requested that I should do). She is the most charming and gracious lady. 

Next, I’ll try to get my shop in order for some Wood Duck Bill Carving. That man has also phoned-in some weeks ago for a reality-check.  I’ve actually done some research on the Wood Duck Drake, purchased a pattern; also, a study bill. I cut the Bill-Blanks and have started the initial rounding-off of the top of the profile. The big “unknown” is how I will match it up with the marred and broken surface of the decoy.  I admit this is some fun; but, not as much fun as working on my own stuff.

Please, do not refer anyone to me for repairs of any kind. Thank you.

Wildlife is for Carving,  Bill

Bald Eagle #3

Bald Eagle #3

*K. J. Thurgood Carving an Owl

Yes, I definitely learn by watching.

Happy birding and carving, Bill

Bald Eagle #3

Bald Eagle #3

*Product Comment about Cool-Chem & Repairs to Carvings

I’ve used “Cool-Chem” in the past as an alternative to using epoxy or solder in the construction of feet for birds; i.e: song-birds. It’s been years ago and I don’t have a clear recollection of how it worked-out at that time.  I do recall that I discontinued it due to it’s expense.

I’ve order a small quantity this morning on-line for a specific project. I’ve previously mentioned that I’m currently re-pairing broken carvings for about four people. They found me, I agreed and now I’m endeavoring to get it all behind me and never agree to do it again. They had such high hopes and I weakened!

Case in hand is a lovely Bluejay which is an excellent carving by someone whose Carving Book I own. Weird, eh?  The beak was broken, a leg split (2-wires), looking like a “wish-bone”, and detached from the wire stem of the base. The foot (cast) was broken and 2 toes missing.  Metal leaves had been epoxied to wire stems, as well and are now 80%  needing to be re-attached.  Well, the stems are epoxied, as well, for texture, etc.

Solder is “out” due to the branch y configuration of the base and epoxy. I hope to be able to use the “Cool-Chem” to re-attach all of the above. I was first referred to this product by Bird-carver Walter Thompson. He said it had replaced solder as his medium of choice. So, here I go again.

I’m hoping to hear from one of you if you have some insight on this product or, on this project.  The beak, foot and leg are now repaired. A stem of leaves is reattached using ribbon-epoxy. I’m now waiting for the Cool-Chem to be delivered.  Watch for a critique in the future on the culmination of this and the other repairs.

This can’t be what I retired recently from teaching to do; can it?

Happy birding and carving,   Bill

Bald Eagle #3

*Post Turkey Day Wrap-up

November 23, 2012

Das Hamonhaus

Our big day (yesterday) lived-up to it’s rep! The Turkey wasn’t the only one stuffed in the room. Get well. Retirement is not for the week or the sick. I’m still in the midst of trying to get these “carving-repairs” behind me so I can get back to my own stuff.  No more repairs; please!
The comments I have made to several, was apparently my own mis-under-standing regarding about being requested to teach a work-shop at next year’s Middletown Show.  I won’t be teaching anywhere for the for-see-able future; nor, clubbing, demo’ing, or judging. Carving has only very recently become my priority and shall remain as such. I may have also mentioned at the show, a commission I’ve accepted (at the show) to carve a tropical bird (sz of a Bluejay). Another, first!
The “list” just doesn’t get shorter as I had hoped that it would. I’m also “itching” to do those long-awaited bases on my router, planner and lathe, cut-out some small critters (chipmonks, cray-fish, fish & bunnies) and finish the herons.
All of this before I can pick-up-to-work-on, the nearly finished Saw-whet Owls, Kestrel and Red-tailed Hawk. Oh, don’t forget my proposed Wood Duck Drake, Eagle Cane and Eagle Walking Staff (wood/blanks on hand). You can feel my frustration (and eagerness). I wouldn’t trade places with anyone.
Best wishes to all of our Carving Buddies for the rest of this Holiday Season. May all of you be equally challenged and re-gain your full measure of health and happiness.
Happy Carving, Bill & June
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