Breathing Life Into Wood
A LIFE DEDICATED TO THE ART OF WOODCARVING
James has been carving since his early childhood, and has progressed from pocket knife, to gouge and chisel set, to carving with an chainsaw. James is an Scoutmaster, father and husband. He is in an apprenticeship to international renowned woodcarver and teacher, Rick Wiebe. Rick and James teach woodcarving courses and do commissions together as part of his apprenticeship program.
Our tradmark style at DukesCarving is using the chainsaw to rough out the form of our carvings, and then using mallet and hand-tools to refine the carving further. Working on our carving in this way with our gouges and chisels allows us to refine our artwork in a way that we could not do with power tools.
HOW DID YOU START WOODCARVING?
I started woodcarving at an early age from my involvement with boy Scouts, and from projects I did with my father. As a youth, I was approached by an elderly German gentleman nicknamed 'Crunchy' at an Scout Jamborree. We had left an number of spears around our campsite that my friends and I had carved to ward off bears...... should we ever see one.
Crunchy asked why I was making spears when I could me making something better, like the delicately carved staff he made that he carried with himself. He then sat down with me, showed me how to do the basic cuts with my knife, and set me loose on an project on an staff. Many books, courses, commissions, an apprenticeship training, and years of practice later, I am where I am today. I am indebted to the training given to me by so many excellent woodcarvers over the years that have taken the time to mentor me.