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Illustrated Guide to Carving Tree Bark: Releasing Whimsical Houses & Woodspirits from Found Wood Paperback – July 1, 2004
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From the Back Cover
When You Carve Tree Bark, No Two Projects Are Exactly Alike! In medieval times, shepherd peasants believed that a spirit dwelled deep within each tree. If a shepherd carved a face into the wood, the spirit would be relaeased and good luck would be bestowed upon the carver. Award-winning carver Rick Jensen-with the help of carver/photographer Jack A. Williams-helps you release the inner spirit from tree bark in this new book. The natural beauty found in a piece of weathered cottonwood bark provides inspiration and direction to create something new and original each time. Inside, you'll find step-by-step instructions on carving a whimsical house and a tree, plus detailed advice on painting and finishing your carvings. You'll learn abou the various species of cottonwood and their particular carving characteristics-plus tips on where to find your supplies. You'll find a chapter on bark carving basics, including: *Cutting cross-grain *Carving soft areas *Proper bark carving tools, such as hand tools, power tools, glues and more Learn from the artist how to sketch out your ideas before carving or follow along with a series of detailed patterns of a variety of wood spirits. You'll be guided through each step of the finishing process, to gain a soft, touchable finish by using a unique combination of lacquers, waxes, shoe polish and paint. The authors are both nationally known carvers with numerous awards to their credit. Rick Jensen has competed at woodcarving shows throughout the Midwest and Canada, and has won numerous Best of Show, First Place, People's Choice and Judge's Choice Awards. Jack A. Williams has been carving for more than 30 years, and his artistic talents have been demonstrated with several Best in Show awards for caricature carving and wild fowl carving. Jack coordinates the woodcarving show at Dollywood, wihich hosts National Caricature Carving Competion and Exhibit.
About the Author
Jack A. Williams is a commercial photographer working from his studio in Knoxville, Tennessee. Photography was once a hobby for Jack until he discovered he could make a living doing what he enjoyed. He then needed a new hobby, so in 1973 he started woodcarving. His artistic talents have been demonstrated with a third Best of Show in the first National Caricature Carving Competition held at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri; a Best of Show at the Ward Wildfowl Carving Competition in Ocean City, Maryland; Peoples and Carvers Choice and Best of Wood Sculpture at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; and Best of Division at the International Woodcarvers Congress in Davenport, Iowa. Jack also won first place in the Flex-Cut Tool Internet Carving Competition in 2001. The year 2003 marks Jacks 12th year to coordinate the woodcarving show at Dollywood, which hosts The Great Pumpkin Carving Competition, and to coordinate the National Caricature Carving Competition. In 2003 Jack was elected to become a member of the Caricature Carvers of America and is President and one of the founders of the Tennessee Carvers Guild. Jack now spends a great deal of time photographing carvings at shows and for friends, and his photography appears frequently in many magazines on woodcarving and other subjects. Jack is a co-author of Carving Found Wood with Vic Hood and of The Illustrated Guide to Carving Tree Bark with Rick Jensen, both published by Fox Chapel Publishing Co., Inc.
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The very detailed step-by-step demonstration on carving tree bark begins with examining rough bark to determine where your roof line, chimney, steps, etc will be. Specific guidance is given on how to carve roof shingles, doors and windows, how to hollow out the back of the carving, texturing various surfaces into the bark and emphasizing the importance of avoiding drawing straight lines. Cleaning up your carving, the final sanding and finishing techniques are also covered in detail. The book also shows how to make use of natural shapes in the bark and where you can leave rough bark areas to transition from one area in the carving to another.
Another demonstration shows how to carve a bark trees from leftover wood.
Carving woodspirit faces is lightly covered as are sources for cottonwood bark. FYI, I ordered cottonwood bark from one source (Art Olver) listed in the back of the book. I got amazing 5" thick cottonwood bark from him, carved three whimsical cottages in one piece of wood and won a prize in a local art show. It was so much fun to carve, and frankly, I would not have done it without this book.
Definitely an excellent choice if you're looking for a carving book to give to a friend/family member as a gift. Not only does this book inspire a carver to have fun with cottonwood bark, it is an excellent reference book that affected how I carve basswood as well. I'm still getting ideas from it!