We are so glad you are here. My wifeStacey and I put a lot of work into the process of making each hand-carved and hand-painted piece of art. It is our goal to preserve one of the oldest crafts in the world.
Wood can be carved with a variety of tools, such as a knife, chisel, or power carver. Wood is an easily obtainable source. So, it has been a favorite material for folk artists around the world.
Take a look into our process below to uncover our unique view into the art of wood carving craft.
To start carving, it is always important to have a basic understanding of the tools and materials you need for carving.
There is a vast array of carving tools that are available and it can be overwhelming but I prefer a simple but well-made carving knife because I find it to be the most versatile.
Some other tools I use in my shop are: traditional woodcarving chisels. Wood carving chisels have been used for centuries. You can get many different shapes and cuts that cannot be achieved with the knife.
There Is a vast array of wood mediums for carving and I prefer Basswood for figure caving because it takes detail and paint very well. This is the same wood that was used in the great cathedrals in Europe.For woodspirits I prefer cottonwood bark. It has a great texture and color and always surprises you with the outcome.
For electric tools my favorites include my Luguna1412 bandsaw for rough cutting of blanks. For sharpening I use my low speed grinder with a soft and hard felt wheel. They are essential in my studio because I need to keep my tools sharp at all times.
For some of my work I make a pattern out of cardstock. The nice thing about patterns is that you have it for future reference.
I use a pencil to lightly sketch the intended cuts and gouges before picking up my tools. These lines create guides for my carvings that help me refine it later on.
To start carving, I work from large to small by shaping out the large details of the carving, then working my way into finer details with smaller knives. After the structure has been established, I can begin to put in the details. At this point, it is vital to keep tools razor-sharp.
When carvings are satisfactory, we paint with artists acrylics using several technics, dry brush, wet in wet, and unifying washes to get the desired look. Then each work is finished in boiled linseed oil and hand rubbed. For woodspirits we’ll use a woodburning technics to create shadow and volume and then finish the carving with beeswax.
Our carvings are then set up for display or shipped out to their new home.
We hope that you enjoyed a look into the M.D.Bair Studio process of woodcarving. If you are interested in learning to carve, you can email me to sign up for a carving class in my studio.
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