Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of wood do you use?
I use basswood for most of my caricature carvings. I use many different kinds of domestic and exotic woods to make the leaf and animal pins and magnets.
How long does it take you to make a carving of a stumpy legged coach?
If I have carved the coach before, it takes around five to seven hours of actual working time. Of course, because it takes awhile for finishes and paint to dry, it actually takes a few days to complete any of these carvings. If I have never carved the coach before, it takes two to four hours longer actual working time because I have to draw plans and I have to study photos and my drawings as I work.
Do you carve and paint all these coaches by hand?
Yes. Mostly, I use standard gouges, knives, chisels, etc. I do use a rotary tool for most of the sanding. The painting is all by hand using brushes.
Have you ever met any of the coaches that you have carved?
Yes. Woody Hayes and Jim Tressel.
Where did you learn to carve?
Some would say that I taught myself how to carve, because I did not go to school to learn how to carve. However, I would say that I learned from some really great woodcarvers and teachers by reading their books. "How to Carve Wood" by Rick Butz is the book that really gave me my start. It covers all the major types of woodcarving, and I highly recommend it. There are also some excellent magazines that cover woodcarving. Of course, I've also learned a lot from other woodcarvers at the various woodcarving shows. You'll find that most woodcarvers are very willing to share their knowledge.
How long have you been carving?
I have been carving for 27 years.
What kind of paint do you use on your carvings?
Mostly I use Jo Sonja's acrylic paint. It provides a matte finish. I also use Liquitex acrylic paint when I want a "leathery" look, such as on shoes.
Which do you like to do more - painting or carving?
If I have been doing nothing but carving for weeks on end, as is often the case around Christmas time, I like nothing more than to sit down in front of a canvas and paint something...or to do a pen and ink drawing or anything two dimensional. I love to do both and most of the year I am able to balance my "need" to carve and paint.
Where do you buy the wire glasses that you use in your carvings?
I make the glasses using copper wire, solder, and patience.