entered the world of woodcarving in 1970, with the help of a
family friend, Smokey Joe Briemuiller. He was one of those characters
who fascinated me as a child. He carved small animals, Indians
and Hill People. He had the aroma of wood and cigar smoke about
showed me the basics- how to make a pattern, how to cut out a
blank on a band saw, and how to make a knife from a straight
razor, the most important how to was to keep that knife sharp.
I used that knife and a box of patterns, and began to carve as
much as I could. In those early days, there were very few tools
on the market. A person could find full size mallet tools but
little else. So I relied on my homemade carving knife.
1973, I bought my first carving book, “HOW TO CARVE CHARACTERS
IN WOOD” by H.S. “Andy” Anderson. This really
opened my eyes to the type of carver I wanted to become. I carved
every project in the book. This made me thirst for more.
Harold Enlow came into my life, with his book “CARVING FIGURE
CARICATURES in the OZARK STYLE.” I thought I had died and
gone to heaven. Harold not only carved the way I wanted to learn,
but he also introduced me to palm tools. They were what was missing!
out with more books, each as exciting as the first. I carved
every idea in his books. I started to develop my own style, a
mix between Ozark and Flat Plane Scandinavian carving.
began to teach my style of carving in 1976 for the city of
Mt. Clemens, MI Adult Education Program. I moved to Warren,
MI and started to teach for the Warren Parks & Rec. Dept. In 1991, I moved
to Saline, MI where I started teaching a weekly class and began
participating in wood carving shows around the state, As my work
became known, my teaching increased. I started to teach at the
two major woodcarving seminars in Michigan, “Creative Woodcarving
Seminar” in Cadillac, MI (which I now run) and the MWCA
(Michigan Wood Carvers Association) in Midland, MI. I now instruct
annually at the Wood Carvers Round Up, in Evert, MI and the North
East Carvers Round Up, in Honesdale, PA. I was honored to teach
in Twin Falls, Idaho, with the CCA. I am excited about returning
has opened many doors for me and I have met the greatest people
in the world. I had the honor to win Best of Show in the 2005
CCA Carving Competition. The biggest honor in my career was to
become a member of the club all my heroes belong to, the Caricature
Carvers of America.
I have a lot
more to learn on this journey. May we meet and carve together
along the way.