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Thanks for taking the beginner's carving class! 

I hope you enjoyed the time and found the instruction useful. 

Green woodworking is a wonderful craft that can provide years of engagement and growth. 

Here are steps to finish up your project and how to keep going with the craft.  

Complete the rough out 

Depending on how things moved along during class, you may want to do a little more work on your spreader at home.  Between carving sessions, wrap the blank in plastic and keep it in the fridge.  Aim to get things 90% done while the wood is "green."  Some small areas of tear-out could be easier to deal with once the piece is dry.  

When you're satisfied, leave your spreader out to dry for a few days.  Don't put it anywhere with direct sunlight.  When it no longer feels cool or damp, it's dry.  

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Finish work

After it's dry, it's time to do that last 10% ​of the work.  You can take really fine, slicing cuts with the knife, use the sandpaper from your kit (work from rough to fine), or a combination of the two.   

Finally, coat the piece with a thin coat of the oil.  It's food-safe linseed oil in your kit, but mineral oil or any cutting board product also works.  Wait a few​ days for it to dry and you're done!

Make sure to dispose of oily rags safely!

Keep carving!

It was great to start you along the green woodworking path.  Here are some resources you may find helpful as you continue to explore things.

Blanks:

Several carvers sell "green" wood blanks including Emmet (emmetvandriesche.com), Dawson (michigansloyd.com) and many on the spoon crank (thespooncrank.com).  I also sell spreader blanks for $5 and spoon blanks for $8.

 

Books:

There are many great books on green woodworking, unfortunately not many are carried in the libraries.  Some that are in my collection include Sloyd In WoodThe Handcarved Bowl, Country Woodcraft, and Greenwood Spoon Carving.

 

Community:

Green woodworking has a strong community around it.  There is fantastic collaboration and support on Instagram, as well as in-person gatherings (VTNYNJ).  

 

A robust, welcoming virtual community is Rise Up and Carve.  This is a zoom room that is always open for carvers to chat while they carve.  Mornings and after-work are the most popular.  If you sign in and nobody's there, hang around for a bit and someone may pop up - notices go out to regulars letting them know someone opened the room.  There are also periodic "challenges" where you can try a technique or shape and then share your work.  Check out the YouTube channel as well.

 

Inspiration:

Here are some carvers I admire; give each a google search to find their site or Instagram:  Danielle Rose Byrd, David Fisher, Joel Paul, Jody Neb, Kaylyn Messer. 

Tools:

If you class​ included tools, you should be set for a bit.  If you need to start building your kit, the Mora 106 straight knife is the way to go.  I'd add a cut resistant glove and a strop (can just be a block of wood with honing compound).  If you want to venture into spoons, add a Mora hook knife - they come in right and left handed versions.  To start axe work (please be careful or come in for a lesson!) Josh makes a great starter axe (based on word of mouth; I haven't used one); I use a Gransfors Bruk.

Further instruction:

If you'd like additional instruction with me, I'm always happy to schedule time.  A good next session would be taking on carving a spoon.  Axe work & safety would also be a useful session when you're ready to take that on.  Cost is $60 per hour, plus materials fees (starting at $10, depending on the scope and if you'd like me to procure tools to take home).  Two to three hour sessions seem ideal for most learners.  

 

I hope all this helps and you continue to carve.  Keep in touch and let me know if you have any questions.  Plus, send pictures of anything you finish!

 

Best,

Matt

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