Stuart Hood’s Viking chair

Stuart says that there is already a photo of the front of his Viking Chair on the web site (see Galleries, Members Carvings, Stuart Hood) but the back was looking a bit plain so  he has carved a boat on the lower half 12in x9in. On the top part he has put my family tree dating back to 1765. Still a few more spaces to fill in.

Viking Chair Front
Viking Chair back

Martin Haigh’s Animals

Martin says the animals and birds he has carved ranged from 4” to 6” with one at 9”. They have all been painted so the next stage is to mount them in a frame. He will also include 4 Birds in Marquetry. Most of his work has been from photographs from Pinterest. He has had no drawing plans to work to so some of the finer details have been a challenge but interesting.

Richard Colbran’s Owls for a Bench project

Richard Colbran was requested to make this carving for a bespoke memorial bench.The subject  was to be “Two owlets, one winking”. It was carved on an oak panel supplied by the bench maker, which was then set into the back rest of the bench.

The picture of the finished product was supplied by the customer          The bench is by “Millennium Pond -Winterborne Houghton, Dorset “


Jason at work during the virus lockdown

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, he 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 he had  ever painted a carving.

Stuart wrote that he was not sure what the wood is, he picked it up from Hollingworth lake at a woodland weekend when they were planking some logs. he saw this carving in a book at the club some time ago, and seeing as hisy surname is Hood and is a direct descendent, he thought he would 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 of 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