Leaf by Glynnis Cruice

Ivy leaf in bass wood 10 x 9.5  inches, painted and finished with beeswax.

I finished the carving and intended leaving it unpainted, but I had not realised that the undulations of leaf caused the danish oil to soak into the dips and it turned out patchy with almost black patches.  It looked like a withered autumn leaf.  I soaked it in white spirit and sanded it then decided to paint it green with acrylic paint and to give it a sheen I coated with beeswax, which gave it a better result.

Member’s work during Lockdown

Stuart Hood kindly sent in pictures of two carvings he has done during the lockdown.

He had been toying with the idea for a sign to go on my workshop door and came up with this.  There was a knot hole in the piece of wood, it’s yew by the way, so after wondering whether to fill it in or not, I came up with the idea to fill it with beer bottles. After putting on dainish oil it looked a bit dull so decided to paint it. It’s the first time I’ve ever painted a carving.

Stuart wrote that he was not sure what the wood is, I picked it up from Hollingworth lake at a woodland weekend when they were planking some logs. I saw this carving in a book at the club some time ago, and seeing as my surname is Hood and I am a direct descendent, I thought I’d have a go. I have asked if he is related to the Last of the Summer Wine character, Billy Hardcastle, who also claimed to be a direct descendant of Robin Hood. I have not got a reply, but do not expect much of a revelation as both Robin Hood and Billy Hardcastle are fictional, or so I am lead to believe

Zoom Meeting. 4/5/20

Some members managed to work their way through the technology and join in a Zoom meeting on Monday 4th May. Some did better than others. I am the one who just could not get my Apple Mac to recognise the camera. What I need is one of those know it all grandchildren.

Woodcarvings in Towneley Park. Burnley

Richard Colbran, one of our members sent some pictures of woodcarvings that have just arrived in Towneley Park, Burnley.

 Mr Joseph Barwise with dahlias
Another fairy in a tree
Fairy bench
Treble Clef

He wrote via email

“ Here are pictures of new carvings in Towneley Park, done by a chap called Richard Goodwin.  I haven’t seen them yet but the pictures look pretty good, and  we shall see how the ground level one’s fare over time! The guy called to see me a few months ago and we had a good morning talking about this and that.

A day or so later

Yesterday morning, we parked at Towneley top gate (opposite Towneleyside), and walked down to the Hall, then along the Small Lime Walk, round Thanet Lea and back up to the car. It was a tough walk for us, especially back up the hill to the Park gate, but well worth the effort. 

The carvings have been done by Rick Goodwin on a grant from Pennine Prospects, at Hebden Bridge

The head is in memory of old Mr Barwise, who ran the dahlia nursery at Boggart Bridge.- Now the car-park/play area We haven’t see this one yet.

He lived somewhere near the Royal Butterfly pub on Hufling Lane and used to walk up to his nursery every day, carrying a little case (probably his butty-box!)

He was a regular at St Stephens and I knew him quite well. He was a kindly man, and the first wood-carver to enter my life. I remember him inviting me into his little workshop hut and showing me his work on a lectern for the church, made from laburnum. I suppose I would have been .in my early teens at that time.

The two musical carvings, a violin and a treble clef, in oak, are related to the old Stocks Massey Open Air Music Pavilion, which was on the end of the pitch and putt course, and destroyed by fire in the mid 1960s.  I remember Sunday concerts being held there quite regularly..

There are three more carvings in Thanet Lea, near the Monks Well. 

It is nice to know that someone else is carrying the baton, as my carving activities become less adventurous!

Sat 22 Feb. First Aid Course

We now have 9 members who attended a First Aid Course by
our resident member Pete Davies, who is a First Aid-PDA
The titles covered were CPR, Recovery and Top ? To ? Toe
survey on breathing and circulation, with hands on
experiences with manikins and breathing techniques.
Tailored to our needs were hazardous toxins in chemicals
woodcarvers may use and how to combat the effects. Also,
techniques on using blades to avoid cuts and slashes.
A section on scalds and burns and causes and treatments
were also covered.
We also identified our own heart attack symptoms. Then
finally choking with the methods to remove the object.
Pete was very informative and along with funny anecdotes
made it an ?easy to listen to? course.

Sat 18th Jan 2020 Paint, Stain, Plain or Grain Talk by Gill Smith (member)

Gill started by asking a series of question. ? ?Finished your carving? ? ?Now, do you feel tempted to paint it, stain it or leave it plain. ? To paint or not to paint,? is?the most argued question, especially on the other side of the Atlantic.

British carvers, on the whole, are against adding colour to their carvings, saying that the natural colour f the wood is is now preferred. ? Up to medieval times most of the carvings were painted. ? The Americans do things differently as shown by this magazine cover. ? ? ?Bird and fish carvers are the exception and their carvings are beautifully painted.


Jill’s?thoughts: Am I looking at a painting of a duck made of wood? ??Or am I looking at a beautiful piece of wood carved into the shape of a duck?









Wood Grain can enhance a carving



















Grain can work in various ways, the piece of wood suggests a carving, or you choose a piece of wood with a grain that fits your ideas.

BUT The use of the grain has to be thought of before the carving is?started.

















If wood without a strong / interesting wood is chosen, then all the beauty and movement has to be introduces by the carver


You shouldn’t paint if??you can’t paint a picture on paper.

If the carving is going?into a competition

Paint can cover up mistakes ? it is a carving competition not a painting competition, so all else being equal the unpainted one is judged better










Sometimes you do not have to paint a carving, there is colour in the?wood’s hard dark inner heart wood and softer lighter outer sapwood that can be utilised














Some members brought their?painted / stained work in. ?Richard Colbran’s hares was carved from walnut, on ash background in an oak frame with some delicate staining work to bring out the detail.











John Adamson’s hydrangeas were coloured blue with shoe polish, and the umbrellas in the background show how far he has got with recovering from an unfortunate experience with stain.









These are some Scandinavian flat cut figures which are traditionally painted with thinned ?down acrylic paint








21st Sept 19 Bob Burton – Journey to being a carver

Bob is a new member and told us about his first adventures in carving. ? ? One day, he had amazing luck, and found an advert in a carving magazine for a Furniture Making school that was only yards away from his front door. ? ? There he could make what he wanted with the guidance of Peter Shepherd, use professional tools and just soak up information. ? His first piece was a pie crust table. ? ? ?The top was made out of a solid wood, i.e. the crust was not carved separately and added to?the table top. ? The detail especially round the central column and the legs and feet is impressive. ? He took 12 months to complete the work, time well spent in creating an impressive job, and in learning everything he could














Under?the guidance of Peter Shepherd, Bob made a long case clock. ? More fine furniture making than carving with lots of fruit wood and laburnum veneers. ?? The curly edges of the?clock face?were first turned to be narrower at the top and then carved into the twisted format,











Unfortunately?Peter Shepherd left the country and Bob was left to his own devices, but he soon met up with a local group of artists and experimented with all sorts of materials.










This is an array of experiments that may one day be made in a bigger and better form. ? The heads are plasticine. ? The bird skull is real, and there is a version in wood. ? The two bits of wood and plywood, were made using the?drawing and plasticine model.









The jaguar head is a traditionally made sculpture, starting with a clay or plasticine master, a flexible mould, and cast in cement mixed with SBR (?SBR is more formally known as Styrene Butadiene Rubber. … When added to a standard mortar or concrete mix, SBR significantly enhances its adhesive strength ).









This gull has a wire armature with a builders expanded foam body, which has been shaped and coloured.









Thursday 18th July. Murray Taylor on Chip Carving

Murray Taylor covered 3 topics, Chip Carving,?Sharpening Knives, ?and Lettering with a Knife. ? There are no British books on chip carving but Murray hopes to remedy this in the near future, building on his articles in the Woodcarving magazine

Murray was aware that many?of our members consider chip carving to be boring, and set out to prove that it was not just a pattern of triangles; it can do lots of interesting designs, lettering, and pictorial work.

All the equipment needed is:-a?Pfeil chip? carving knife, a stabbing knife (don’t be worried – the blade is only 1?inch long), an ordinary ruler preferably with black markings on a white background, a T square, a mechanical pencil with?2B leads, a bow compass, a sharpening stone, a ?strop, and wood. ? Murray mainly uses Lime wood from the original Hobbies ?shop https://www.alwayshobbies.com??.Murray showed us his way of chip carving. ? Accurate?marking out is most important and he has designed a tool that ?marks 4mm dots from which a grid can easily be produced. ? ? A pyramid of 4mm is easier on the wrist than 5mm!! ? ?He showed us taking out the standard triangular pyramids. ?He has very strong arms and wrists from a life time as a manufacturing jeweller, but he showed us a way to apply extra pressure should we need it.




Some examples of various patterns that Murray uses.









For more adventurous work Murray uses a knife like a pen









The chip carving knife?lends itself to various alphabets







All this work needs a sharp knife, and Murray showed us his way of doing it. ? Although some knives are sold as ready sharpened, that do not come to his standards. ? He recommends ceramic stones that do not wear so are always flat!!


17th June 19 New Members Carving Journeys

Four of our newish members were very brave and told us how they came to join the club and how they were progressing with their carving experience. ? They were all quite different from each other. ? Nico Pantelides gives new members and introduction to carving, explaining the use and sharpening of tools, and setting fairly standard “first carving” projects. ? ? ?I was expecting that our speakers would all be at roughly the same stage, but NO.

Brian Grove had a walking stick that needed shortening, so he asked around. ? He?was put in touch with a club member and saw his work, got interested and joined us. ? He has now gone into industrial type of production of carved hedgehogs for his grandchildren. ? ?His next project is a howling wolf . ? He stressed the helpfulness and friendliness of the club members. ? They are always willing to chat and offer advice

Brian Grove’s work










Glynnis Cruice discovered the club at Towneley Hall in 2011. ? She had to be convinced?that women carved but was assured they did. ? A couple of years latter, when she retired, she joined and has tackled some ambitious work. ? Her next project is a chess set. ? I have?started?to carve a set several times and have always been dissolution by the number of pawns. ? I wish her luck. ? She appreciates the members help and friendliness.

Glynnis Cruice’s work

Glynnis Cruice’s next project

Glynnis Gruice Love spoon











Martin Haigh is self taught and came to carving as an extension of his marquetry work and is working towards a collage using a marquetry background with carvings of animals in front. ? He has stuck veneer to the back of some of his carvings to increase their sturdiness and prevent them breaking along the short grain.

Martin Haigh’s work







Mike Illsley trained as an architect and has brought those skills to the designing of carvings. ? ? His first work was a rocking horse, unusually he did not use?a kit or published design, but worked with the wood he had. ? ? He played around with the idea of spilt paint and other stuff. ? ? ?Has made lots of sardine coming out of a tin sculptures, and has progressed to carving a very realistic bison. ? ? ? His next project is wooden neck tie, and shirt.

Mike Illesey and his rocking horse

Mick Illsey portable paint pot accident sculpture

Mike Illesey’s work