Many people ask how I got started with woodcarving. When our oldest son was born we spent much of our time pushing his stroller through craft shows. It was a way of getting out of the house and also a place we could take him. As a Captain in the Marine Corps and the Inspector-Instructor for 4th Bridge Company in Battle Creek, Michigan we went to this particular craft show in the fall of 1992 at the Kellogg Arena. At the show I bought this carved wooden box (middle left). Not sure who the carver was as he did not sign his work, but it was a relief carving in basswood. As I checked out the box, I said to myself "I can do that". First thing I did was buy a book and a starter’s woodcarvers kit. I carved a few boxes and gave most of them away.
I then decided to carve figures or what is known as ‘in the round’. I bought another book, this time “Carving the Civil War” by Tom Wolfe. I’ve been hooked ever since. I’ve carved many different things, but enjoy carving wooden figures the best. Here is a picture (bottom left) of my first carved figure in 1993. It is an 8" tall Marine Corps Captain and was carved in a vice with a flat chisel carving tool. I gave it to my mother and recently got it back when she passed away. It is one of my most cherished pieces probably because it was my first. You’ll quickly notice how basic it is and that it has no face. Faces were extremely hard for me back then. My carvings have evolved through many years of practice.
I took a psychology class at Western Michigan University in the 1994 and my professor said that making things with one's hands is a form a therapy. I think he was right. Woodcarving allows me to explore and see where my creativity takes me.
After spending 27 years in the Marine Corps and 9 more in Industry, I now have more time to spend woodcarving and I'm still a believer of exploring ones creativity. If you at all have an interest in woodcarving, or have ever said, "I can do that", you need to give it a try. You'll be surprised where your talents will take you. I hope you enjoy the website.