Bill Hamon (2)

1.  Hamonhaus Carver: A “Hamonhaus Carver” is any carver who has ever enrolled and  participated in a scheduled class offered at das Hamonhaus (aka: HWC).


3. Bill Sez: Frustration: “Frustration” in woodcarving is the inevitable angst, invoked most often by the rite of struggling and stressing to master a complex new carving technique which causes ignoranceto seek to an exit from the brain. This condition can also be invoked in the process of attempting a seamless repair to a wood-carving that you may have previously and erroneously considered to be safe from injury. No carver is immune from this wide-spread malady.

4. Power-Carving: Traditional woodcarving utilizes conventional hand tools; i.e: knives, gouges, chisels, rifflers, etc. Contrary to popular impressions, so does “Power-Carving”!  However; power-carving utilizes a variety of electrical power tools to do a wide assortment of tasks in the removal, sanding and cutting of wood. Power-Tools arguably, can remove wood faster and can create detail on your carving in a manner  that can make the various tasks easier.  A “fast” knife” carver can possibly carve faster than a “slow” power carver and vice-versa; that’s not the point.  Traditional Power-Tools include:

* Flexible-Shaft Grinder with Assorted Bits  Mine is a circa 1988 Foredom “given” to me by my very first class of students.

* Micro-Motor Grinder with Assorted bits  Mine is a circa 1991 Foredom

* Band-Saw Mine is a Jet 14″ w/6″ riser-block, dolly, quick-release tension lever, ball-bearing stainless steel blade guides.

*Wood-turning Lathe Mine is a circa  2000 Central Machinery (Chinese) 14@40″ on a stand

* Dust-Collector#1  Mine is a circa 1991 Lap-top Model sitting on an aluminum “walker”.

*Dust Collector #2 Mine is a “No Name” Double Fan Table Model

cquired  for road-trips to take classes, etc. from others.

**Note: Both Knife-Carvers and Power-Carvers alike require the services of a Band-Saw and a Wood-Burner with Assorted Burning Tips. (I use the “Replaceable Tips” Handpiece by Colwood) To become a Power-Carver is merely the addition of selected Power Tools to your existing arsonal of knives, gouges, etc. Keep your favorite non-powered hand tools handy, because you’ll very likely need them.

5. Shop: Well, I have a shop, you have a shop and all of God’s Carvers have “Shops”!  However, our shops all differ in tool, size, etc. Years ago, We were participating in a show in Englewood. So was one of our students; Mary. She lived nearby and we visited at her request. Down in her basement, we found her “shop”. She had arranged a few sheets, suspended from the ceiling much as a “shower-curtain” in a small circle to hold the saw-dust in. An electric extension cord ran from the basement-wall to under the sheets. Inside was her wooden chair, a hanging-light-bulb on a cord,  T.V. Table and on the floor were her several tools. She was a pretty good carver and “THIS” was her shop. Your shop is probably a lot closer to being a shrine to you and your hobby.  Mine is a “2-Car Workshop” (our garage)! Actually, I  wish sometimes that I also had a “Shrine-Shop” too! Come over and see it some time. Looking back, some our best work was done in our previous home inside a “Walk-in closet” dedicated to my “hobby” and a-lot fewer tools. I would love to receive digital photos of your “Shop”.

6.  Bill Sez: The difference between Good, Better & Best is often just a speck of wood (less than a thimble of chips or dust) which has been strategically removed by an experienced and sometimes, talented eye and hand. My 102 yr-old carving-buddy Al Rose gave me this poem, given to him by his Grand-mother when he was a little guy:

                           Good, Better, Best

                           Never Let It Rest

                           Until, Your Good is Better

                           And Your Better is Best

Frame that on your wall, I did!

7. Bill Sez: (Bill overheard addressing his students) No matter how good that you make get at carving birds or other wild-life, how-ever  many years you may carve, your finished wood-carving will always  have been better if we  had been in the room with you!  Stick with me and I’ll stick with you! (up to a point!)


8.  Bill Sez: Sometimes I think that God made too many Duck Carvers and way too few who can carve an Eagle! I’m just sayin’…

9.  Bill Sez: Symmetry is always the responsibility of the student/ carver! If one side of a feature on the carving is different than on the other side, choose the side that you favor and modify the other (less-pleasing) side to look like it does! Now, the carving is pleasingly symmetrical!

10.  Bill Sez:  Basic “Bird Anatomy” is basically the same for most birds. For those who specialize in Bird Carving, a check-list develops mentally of the essential anatomical components & features required to carve a bird. This principle flows even to feather groups and layouts. For this reason, looking back over nearly three decades of bird carving, I feel sometimes that I have been carving the same bird the whole time!

11″  Bill Sez: Tho, in the recent past,  I would sometimes be badgered by some to carve subjects other than birds, I  resisted strongly. My reasoning was that diversity could weaken my focus or whatever edge I may have developed in my knowledge and carving of birds. Besides, with the possible exception of a certain little white Toy Poodle, I loved the  Birds the best. Now that my teaching days are behind me, the doors have finally opened to other animals and creatures, as well.

12.  Bill Sez: Drawing a Centerline all of the way around your bird-blank& preserving it throughout the early stages of a new wood-carving is not something just for the teacher to say and do!  Most carvers who appreciate the benefits of this practice, even draw an abreviated centerline on the sides of each bird-carving. Assuming that your band-sawn bird-blank has carefully outlined the true top & side profiles of your project-bird, to carve into the centerline would always disfigure the true profile of your bird.  The Centerline is your compass to keep you from getting and staying lost as you navigate through the otherwise uncharted landscape of your birds numerous features. The centerline is the key to the symmetry of your carving. Respect it for it’s vital merits because “symmetry” is the responsibility of the carver, not the teacher! I have often stated that should one notice that one side of your bird pleases you more than the other, alter the “other” to resemble the better side.

13. Carvingmeister or, Paintmeister: Some of the National Carving Competitions may have requisite prior  Awards Requirements to hold in order to compete as a Master Carver.  We, at das Hamonhaus do not compete with those we endeavor to assist and instruct! We attempt to bring to the fore, information, techniques and projects that would have otherwise, and most likely,  eluded our carvers indefinitely; or, at least, for many years of struggling (as we have done) to learn on their own. Hence, over the last several decades of teaching others, we have assumed our current roles as the “Meisters”, at the very least, in and of  of this “haus”!

14.  Bill Sez: Avoid referring to a U.S.Marine as having been in “the service”, or as a “soldier”! To suggest to a Marine that he was in “the service”, implies that he will always play well with others and can get along with almost anyone. To call him or her “Marine” is the highest accolade you can direct towards a Marine.  Semper fi

15.  Bill Sez:  Sometimes, I am obliged to “go with the flow”!  Sometimes, the “flow” just has to  make  way and go along with me!

16.  Bill Sez:  There are just two kinds of people……….and, you’re one of them!

17.  Do you know what to call a “sticky-black-bird”?  A “Velcrow” dummy!

18. Others are watching you! You may be the only Bible they ever “read”! Attend to this:

Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

19.  Bill Sez: “Sometimes, too much of a good thing may be just enough!”

20.  Bill Sez: “Are you a hoarder; Don’t ‘STACK’ your stuff! Use it or lose it!”

21.  Bill Sez:  “Your Brain is a Sponge; Get it Wet!”

22.  Bill Sez:   “Beauty is in the Symmetry, Life is in it’s Balance; it must remain very ‘Lop-Sided’ Spiritually in God’s favor to even begin to approach perfection”.

More to come….

Wildlife is for Carving, Bill