Posts from the ‘Classes & References’ 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,






*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

*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

*Carve-In Schedule is Indefinitely Suspended

Hello Carving Buddys: 

Now that we’re no longer teaching, that’s my new status. It feels pretty good. It’s difficult after 25 years, to focus inwards instead of outwards. That’s actually what was behind my decision to not teach next year. My own wood-carving was suffering a-bit from my own negligence and busy schedule.

My short-term strategy was to continue the mid-week Carve-Ins whenever the weather permitted. That was short-sighted of me because no-one ever really knew where they stood or, if I would be carving any particular week. I tried putting that on an RSVP basis. That doesn’t work after-all because that keeps me on call, should any-one call-in their RSVP. Poor plan all-round. Carve-Ins are indefinitely suspended. If, they are resurrected, I will notify accordingly.

I felt that this much more explanation was needed. There; we’re done. Best wishes to all for a Happy Thanksgiving. Call on me if I can ever be of assistance; one “Carving Buddy” to another.

Happy birding and carving,   Bill

Bald Eagle #3

Bald Eagle #3




*”Artistry in Wood”, Last Wood-Carving Show for 2012

2012 Middletown Show

This weekend we’ll be at Artistry in Wood, Vandalia, OH at the Dayton Int’l. Airport Exhibition Center. This is our last hoorah for 2012 and, we’re already penciling-in our traditional five shows for 2013. We’ve critiqued our selections (as we do from time to time) with an eye to cutting back a little more, all of the time. We can’t think of any we’d willingly give up at this time. This “cutting-back” has nothing to do with “diminished-capacity on our part (at least, not yet);  but, I feel that everything that we are curtailing, has previously diminished the level of my personal carvings. We also can not continue to offer the painting classes for such a low a flat-fee.  Some carvers took days to do their project’s painting.  Future painting-classes would be at an hourly-rate, should there be a need for them.  Distractions of all kinds are costly to the excellence of the carvings. See my point? It obviously remains to be seen if I am correct or not.

In the spirit of “cutting-back”, I don’t expect to judge or demo at any future shows, as we have over the past years.  We don’t expect to teach “group-classes” anymore, either. What we do expect to continue with-out much, if any, alteration, is our carving, painting, shows and weekly “Carve-Ins (in season).  I’m planning on taking my 2d work-shop with Bird-Carver Bob Guge, next October at the Sauder Village Woodcarving Show.

Church friend and neighbor, Tom S. “Gifted” me his “elderly” Rockwell table saw yesterday, which he has already replaced with a “still-in-the-box”, new one. I’ve wanted one forever and now, I have one. It’s primary use will be the same as my other “gifted” shop-tools; making bases for my bird-carvings. My friends have “gifted” so many vintage-shop-tools to me that I don’t know whether to set-up a “shop” or a “museum”! Just sayin’.

A last word about our Carve-Ins; These have always been available to only “Hamonhaus Carvers” and, they know who they are. They are anyone who ever paid class-fees to attend one of our regular woodcarving classes.  This keeps the sessions intimate and among old friends, not new ones. These Carve-Ins will dribble-down to nil eventually and become another foot-note to our Wildfowl Artist’s careers. How very appropriate.  Just like that old poem about the “10 little Indians”; “and then, there were none”.

We’ve surmised that we have processed hundreds of carvers thru “Das Hamonhaus” and, have carved several-hundreds of birds (they are all #’d, you know). We believe that there are many carver’s who will recall techniques from time-to-time, shared with them for the first time by the ol’ miesters of Das Hamonhaus.

Happy birding and carving,   Bill

Bald Eagle #3

Bald Eagle #3

*The Future of Das Hamonhaus, In the Near Term

The Hamonhaus Artmeisters

I’ll be going out there (my garage/shop) shortly and turn up the base-board heater to get things cozy. I’ll putter around moving my “stuff”; since it was mostly just unloaded from our Nissan when we arrived home from Sauder Village Sunday night.  I’d like to plow right into carving on my pair of Green Herons which are both coming along nicely. However; I first need to “jump” on several bird-carving-repairs which I’ve agreed to do for perfect strangers in need. I don’t know how my name got out there (to several states) but, I certainly don’t have plans to do any more repairs (unless, I’m the carver who sold them).

We  plan to continue doing our five wood-carving shows per year; as well as our exclusive seasonal weekly “Carve-Ins” with the “Hamonhaus Carvers” . I said “with”, because, now I’m just one of the flock. If I don’t have carvers around me, everyone will wonder who I’m talking to!  The main difference  I’m really heavily counting on, is that I will  focus on my own carvings much more; and, not on my responsibilities to the students. Hopefully, this will have the desired affect of improving the out-come and quality of my own carvings!  I am no longer a member of any Carving Guild or Club; with the exception of the National Association of Woodcarvers (Chip-Chats), for the same reasons I am retiring from teaching. Distractions!  I fully expect to continue this blog inperpetuity.

I’m definitely available with-out a fee to any Hamonhaus Carver who has any current or previous carving-class project, as yet unfinished. June will be open (at previous rates) to assist or to teach the painting on these existing projects. She can not undertake teaching new projects unless the terms are increased to a reasonable amount for her time. This is how we are spelling-out our “retirement”. The Wood Duck project several of us are sneaking up on is a “Carve-In” project and has no fees; just individual material costs . Hopefully, we’ll be successful and possibly undertake future projects, as well.

I plan to attend Bob Guge’s Bird Carving Workshop for the three days prior to the Sauder Village Woodcarving Show in October of next year . I’m excited about that. This time of transition feels good to both June and me. We’re getting our Saturdays back for one thing. I’ve carved most every day for several weeks, indicating to me that my new motivation might just be “kicking” in.

There; I hope we’re all on the same page. As I always like to say and think, “we’re all in this together“!

Happy birding and carving,   Bill

Bald Eagle #3

Bald Eagle #3

*Audubon Field Guides for Your Mobile Device

I am an avid reader and always have been. My NOOK Tablet is my friend and I’ve just added a new “APP” to it which I’m loving. It’s My new Field Guide and it’s so impressive; for just $4.99!  Take 30 Seconds to learn more on this video:

Happy birding and carving,   Bill

Bald Eagle #3

Bald Eagle #3

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