Carving on turned work


The April 2016 workshop meeting was led by Adrian Carter.

As well as being a member of the Lancashire & Cheshire Woodcarvers, Adrian is a experienced woodturner and member of the West Pennine Woodturners group.

Adrian demonstrated turning a variety of items that can then be finished or embellished with woodcarving techniques, these included, fruit and bowls and platter.

The Session was then finished by Brian demonstrating a method for producing napkin rings, that can then be decoratively carved, and Nick who talked about two pieces he brought in that combine turning and carving in their design.


In memory of Danny

Danny was a popular member of the club, always happy, friendly and willing to help with anything that needed doing.   He passed away at a far too young age.   The club is carving three “In Memory” boards for the family, to be carved by club members.

John Adamson, a member who has done more lettering than most (see website had agreed to show he would tackle the work.   His is not the only way, or necessarily the best but the way he has found works for him.      He produces computer designed lettering to the right size.    In the case of Popples Close Farm the letters where twice as tall as normal, as the client wanted a clearly visible sign which was not too wide.

.Popplles Close Farm



It is difficult to carve in a position so that all the audience can see, so we had the work filmed and projected.  The computer print out is fixed to the board with photo mounting in a spray can.    The letters are carved through the paper.     Each letter starts with a vertical cut in the centre of the letter.   This should not be as deep as the final letter, as it is a “stop” cut to prevent the wood splitting when the side cuts are made.    The straight lines are easier and John has a set of chisels in various that he keeps just for lettering, so that they are sharp and the cutting edge square to the blade.     Curved parts of letters are more of a problem and John uses a flexicut chisel with a very rounded cutting edge, i.e. without sharp corners to the cutting edge.    A normal gouge would cut into the sides of the letter and spool the carving.

Filming of the event


John has produced one of the boards so that members can see what they are aiming forIn Memory of Danny

17th Century New England carving

From a meeting in March 2016

17 century carving

We watched a DVD on New England 17 Century carving by Peter Follansby. This was a bit controversial, as at previous meetings, when this had been suggested members had stayed away.  The DVD was very clear and introduced a subject that we are unlikely to get a speaker for in this country.  The laying out and carving were simple and much done by eye.  It seems from later experiments that the eye and the hand had to have considerable experience of the processes involved for them to be done with such ease.

17 century carving 2

The work was carved on green oak that Peter split direct from the log rather than sawn.  The outside was allowed to dry but the inside was green.   This apparently gave a crisp edge to the cuts, but an easy ride for the gouge / chisel through the wood.  The curves were scribed with  a compass with a sharpened metal metal points on each leg.  Only 6 tools were used. Most work was done with a V tool.  This looked easy, but a skill that must a have taken lots of practice. The straight lines were scribed using a try square.  Any other elements relied on that eye again.

17 century carving 3

The little ) ( marks were made with two cuts of a gouge, again by eye.   It seemed that it did not matter what you did as long as you repeated the action in similar places in each pattern.   So a “mistake”, in that it was not what you originally intended, does not matter as long as you made the same “mistake” on each repetition of the pattern.  This felt wrong, but as long as you have not told anyone what it was going to look like, it does not matter.  In all it was a refreshing change to our current practice


A Sculptor’s Progress by John Adamson

John’s work has been described as ODD, PECULIAR and QUIRKY, from admirers of his carving.

John Adamson
John has been producing various styles of sculpture for 60 years, since the age of 8 or 9. Having been surrounded by tools and wood in his pattern maker’s father’s workshop, but not allowed to touch. He made his own tools fashioned out of worn down clog iron heels made into knives.
Preferring to work with “found” wood, rotten wood and odd shaped cut off logs, he then branched out from that point.
As a child/teenager the book which he consulted was “Whittling and Woodcarving” from his local library and his first production was a leaf. Also as a teenager he learned to view what he wanted to “see’ from slide shows. Always carrying his sketch book and pencil he watched people on public transport and portrayed them for later use. Even now he always carries his sketch book and a Flexcut 6 Tool Carving Jack for drawing or whittling whenever he has a free moment.
Whilst attending a woodworking group he started with woodworking tools to produce an Otter. He enjoyed this style of work and wanted to advance further by joining a sculpture class where his unusual approach to sculpture was developed. He worked in different mediums such as wood, clay and aluminium producing abstract designs.
A discarded circular pub table top offered a beautiful wall plaque to show a furrowed field in a landscape with trees then stretching out to the horizon.


Plate Plaque - JA
As a mature student in his mid-fifties John attended university at which time he went on a 6 month exchange student programmein America. He found most woodcarving surrounded the theme of Christmas with decorations for trees and Father Christmas designs.


Using plaster moulds he sculpted faces and put different expressions on them during carving.









From finding wood he used the branches to provide inspiration for the designs. From laying a parquet floor there were several small square pieces left over, which he referred to his sketch book and produced a mosaic of heads which he fashioned together in a grid pattern.

As he got more adventurous he bought a chainsaw, attended a training course at Myerscough College and started to gain experience in tree sculpture, which many of his designs are still present.

The Globe Theatre approached the British Woodcarvers Association of whom John was a member and asked for a medieval group of people dancing.










John found a rotten piece of wood with a hole in the middle and produced a ring of dancers holding hands. He called it The Grand Chain.








He does not use glass paper to finish any carvings preferring a rustic appearance.

By this time John was not working and so developed a website and started to advertise his tree sculpture work which has proven to be productive.

In his mature years he has decided to scale down his work from 12 feet high tree sculptures for risk of injury and now talks and demonstrates his art.

Whilst staying in Orkney last year he attended a stonemason carving course, which has given him his enthusiasm for lettering.


So after more than 60 years The Sculpture’s Progress continues. See the websites below for further information.

Carving Picnic Tables in Padiham in 2012

The friends of the Memorial Park, Padiham asked us to carve something from nature on the ends of some new picnic tables

Lets hope that we get such lovely weather in 2021 and that we can meet up like this again soon.