20Jan Amber, Jet, Jade, and Ivory. Talk by Gill Smith (member)

Gill Illustrated her talk with slides and souvenirs from her holidays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amber is a fossilised tree resin that is easy cut by hand or with a flexible shaft tool.    Usually a rich yellow but can be red or blue.   If it happens to have an insect trapped in it, then the value rockets.     We were shown some photographs of the amber rooms in St Petersburg where whole rooms are covered in carved amber.     Warning – There is fake amber on the market.

Jet  is fossilised Monkey Puzzle tree, rather like coal.    It has been used for jewellery since Roman times, became very popular in Queen Victoria’s reign, and has come back into fashion through the Goth movement.     It is illegal to mine it, but it can be picked up (if you are very lucky) from the beach after storms.     It is soft but brittle and takes a high shine.

Jade comes in various colours green, lavender, red, yellow, white and black.      It is very hard and can only be shaped with abrasives.   It has been carved in China from the Neolithic Period (c. 3000–2000 b.c.e) onward.   In early times the abrasive used was sand which can be worked into the jade with a wood or copper tool, now diamond tipped tools are used.   We were shown a carved ball with more balls inside, and Nick Pantildes explained how this was done .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ivory from elephants is now a restricted material, so most examples date from before the laws about sale of ivory were enacted.     Ivory can also be obtained from  walrus, and mammoths.      There is also false ivory which is a resin based material.    One interesting fact was that elephants are evolving, and tusks are getting smaller because the gene pool for the larger tusked elephants has been reduced by poaching.

Saturday 16th June. Ray Ashton, a retired woodwork teacher talking about Wood and Machines

I worked out that Ray is about 90, and he had a wealth of knowledge of how wood has been used.      He started as mater craftsman, but saw an advert for woodwork teachers in the Manchester Guardian, applied and got the job.     He retired early as teaching was no longer but occupation it had been.   His talk was of woods he had used, where they came from and jobs they had been for.     It is difficult to write a detailed report of his talk as it ranged over such a wide

17th March Annual General meeting

17th Feb 2018 Carving for Towneley Park nature Trail by Richard Colbran (Member)

The notes below have been taken from the Towneley News 2018

Smallholdings Trail

This nature trail was instigated by a Park Ranger about seven years ago, in collaboration with the Friends of Towneley Park. It provides an easy walk of about 3⁄4 mile, on good paths, starting opposite Riverside Car Park entrance.

There are ten marker posts around the trail, each capped with a carving representing a natural creature which might be seen nearby, namely speckled wood butterfly, heron, fox, frog, swallow, toadstool, rabbit, wren, dragonfly and hedgehog. The carvings were done by members of Lancashire and Cheshire Wood Carvers, but inevitably the weather has taken its toll, and some rot has set in.

During last summer, remedial work was started, involving three members from both groups.     Two carvings which were beyond repair (one having been vandalised by a woodpecker!) have been replaced and re-sited away from overhanging trees, to help the wood to dry out more quickly. The other carvings have been patched up, with some re-carving and use of filler. More new carvings are under way to replace any further write-offs.

One outstanding feature on this trail is the flowering of the Southern Marsh Orchids in late May or early June, and this is said to be the most northerly habitat for this plant. Riverside Car Park has picnic areas, toilets and a refreshment kiosk, as well as a children’s play area to enjoy on your return.

 

 

21st & 22nd October Annual Club Show

The club’s annual Showcase Exhibition was moved to Hollingsworth lakes, Littleborough to co-incide with their WoodFest weekend.     We had two days instead of our usual one and hoped to get in a different public.     Due to the inclement weather, the visitor numbers were low, which meant we had more time to talk to them.

One of our regular fans 

 

We had two members carving

Jill Smith our club secretary 

 

John Adamson carving a vase of hydrangeas!!!

One of the more unusual visitors was this member of the centre’s staff dressed as a butterfly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15th July 2017 John Adamson on Planning a Wood Carving,

John Adamson shared his knowledge from a lifetime of woodcarving. His motto for carving was “Planning time is cheap, time for doing corrections is expensive.”

John encouraged us to consider several things before we start to carve.

  1. Think carefully about perspective especially if copying from a photograph.

    The item in the photo may be foreshortened, such as in an animal’s photo taken from the head end – the back legs will be shorter than the front; or a photo of a person taken from above will appear to have shorter legs than in real life.  It may be more obvious on this box than on a real animal.    Even street scenes can have slightly curved vertical walls to the buildings.

  2. You need several photos or plans from different view points. A photo from above is not always available. Children’s plastic animals can be bought at charity shops, etc. If needed, very accurate plastic models of animals ,etc are available from Schleich.https://www.schleich.org.uk/.

  3. Making a clay model, if only a rough one, can help you to plan the whole or just a part of the carving. A small rough part model is good if you need to work out how something “works ” e.g. the folds of a dress” .

     

    Check movement of the legs and arms in relation to the spine – movement in the spine brings life to your carving. Look up Google “Zoological Skeletons” for accurate side views of animals. This is a good source for getting the right proportions. John also recommended Resource Box 2 in our library – a collection of useful items.

  4. Plan how you will hold the carving whilst working on it, such as leaving a part until the end just so there is always a place to clamp.

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  5. Consider how you will display your model when finished. E.g. What sort of base does it need, Will your relief carving be viewed from above or below. A carving should look good from whichever angle you look at it.

  6. Having thought of perspective, drawings, display, holding, and maybe a model, bring it all together and begin carving.

John finished his very informative talk by giving us many other little tips for carving including the use of cardboard cutouts to check the measurements of your carving against the original model or drawings