Annual Showcase – 20th October 2018

We had our usual great selection of carvings by our members.   The mayor of Rochdale came round and was very impressed.  He said that carving was one of the skills that was being lost and only kept alive by such clubs as ours.   Below are some of our stalwarts with their work


September Workshop – Bone Carving by Nick Pantelides

Today we had a presentation and a variety of topics from one of our long-standing members – Nick Pantelides

Nick’s morning session wasa discussion on carving in other media such as Bone, Alabaster, Soapstone, Ivory, animal horn and Antler.

Bones need a lot of preparation to ensure all the marrow is removed. this includes first boiling the bones in water, then boiling the bones in bleach and finally boiling the bones with salt and vinegar.

To cut bone Nick uses a hand fret saw, holding the pieces in mole grips or a piece of wood with a V-shaped rest.

It goes without saying that you don’t want to be breathing in bone dust – Always wear a mask.

Nick uses ground down chisels or a dremel for bone carving. When using chisels he uses a scoring action.

To finish off his work he sands to get a smooth finish and there are buffing waxes available.

For staining bone he has used concoctions such as onion leaves and coffee.

When asked about identifying bone versus ivory Nick sent around examples of both to illustrate that? bone has fine black spots and that ivory has a grain.

There was then a discussion Scrimshaw which is a form of carving developed?on whaling vessels and involves carving on bone or ivory and then using the soot from lamps to define the carving patterns.

Again ground chisels or a ground nail is used in a scraping fashion.

To replace the soot Nick has used black boot polish which is put on and then buffed off or black ink, the surface is then sanded to remove the ink from the raised surfaces.

9th Sept. Towneley Woodland Festival

Towneley Hall Woodland Festival 2018

Six of our members enjoyed putting on an exhibition of our work in the Great Hall at Towneley, Burnley.   The weather was mixed but we still had several hundred visitors.

Our display showed a great variety of carvings; we showed the work of our very talented carvers such as Nick Pantelides with his large carvings and we also had a display by two of our members showing their progress from their first simple carvings progressing to their current work.

We were once again joined by Martin Walker, a stick maker from Whalley Woodcarvers. He is now decorating his sticks with messages in illustrated manuscript writing. I liked the one which said “Ensure that your mouth is not writing cheques that your body cannot cash” However I’m not sure I should agree with the lower part of the same stick. The message continued with  “A friend in need is a damn nuisance!”

The photographs show


Our members who set up the show : Nick Pantelides, Bryan Greenwood, Glynnis Cruice, Brian Keating, Gillian Smith and Richard Colbran.


Richard Colbran had a display of photographs showing our carvings made for the woodland trail in Towneley. ( Richard spends many hours maintaining these posts and renewing them when needed.)

– by Gillian Smith

Saturday 18th August- Michael Painter- Master Carver

Saturday 18th August- Michael Painter- Master Carver

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 master 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

19th May 2018 – Richard Colbran talked about Relief Carving

Richard is a long standing member of the club with a wealth of experience.

He brought in a number of his relief carvings and gave us a talk relief carving.

He discussed a number of tricks and tips around adding dramatic shadow, the difficulty of perspective in high relief carving and thinking about the grain in three planes.



Richard discussed his use of colouring, the types of wood he uses and how he treats pieces differently for outdoor display on projects such as the nature walks in Townley Park.

He is a keen woodworker and likes to use these skills to make his own frames for the carvings, these enhance the carvings and are ofter tailor-made to match the images.



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