We all love wood carving but most of us all hate painting. I think part of the reason why is because we are not good at it. Painting is an art form of its own and just like wood carving it takes a lot of practice to get good at it. The area of painting that I really struggle with is doing fine detail work. Well thanks to my very, very good friend Ed Livingston there is a way to get perfectly detailed emblems and logos on your wood carvings without the hassle of painting. Ed has developed a system for transferring symbols and designs from the internet to your carvings, and has put together a tutorial on how he does it. So the following is Ed’s tutorial on “Making Emblems & Logos For Wood Carvings” which he has graciously shared with us.
Making Emblems & Logos For Wood Carvings
1. The first step is to go on-line and Google up a photograph or clip art of the emblem or logo that I need.
2. Then I import the emblem or logo into Microsoft Publisher and after measuring the actual size that I need for the caricature that I’m whittling I reproduce it a number of times using the sizing marks on the Publisher screen. I often will make a couple slightly larger and slightly smaller just in case I’m not satisfied with the size that I originally choose. At this time I will also create a text box and format it with color and writing as needed producing duplicates as I did with the emblems and logos.
3. Once I’m satisfied with my selection I’ll print the sheet out and spray just the emblems, logos, and text with a good coat of Krylon Workable Fixatif. The stuff is too expensive to waste so there’s no need to coat the entire sheet which will be trashed anyway.
4. Once the sheet is dry I cut out each emblem, logo, and text as required and glue them in place on the caricature with Gorilla Type II glue. The reason that I use Gorilla glue is that it dries whiter in color than Titebond. And of course the reason that I use a Type II is that unlike a regular white glue such as Elmer’s it’s water resistant.
5. The final step before I apply a finish to the entire caricature is to apply a full strength coat of what ever varnish I am going to use on the caricature, to the emblem, logo or text. I do this with one swipe of the brush. This puts a final seal on the emblem, logo or text. The reason is that I never apply polyurethane finishes to my carvings full strength. Most of the time they are mixed with water as much as 50-50 and sometimes, not very often, but sometimes, if the Fixatif isn’t applied evenly, the ink will still run with the heavy water mixture.
Thank you very much, Ed, for this excellent tutorial. I can honestly say that I have personally tried this method several times and it is easy to do and works like a dream.
Add Wrinkles for Realism
Clothing wrinkles add realism to your carvings. Try to add wrinkles to your carvings for a more realistic look. Use various sized gouges along with your carving knife to make cuts that go in different directions to simulate clothing wrinkles. Study pictures or actual clothing for guidance on how it drapes and wrinkles on the body as it moves, twists and turns. There are also some excellent artist’s books on clothing drapery and wrinkles you may want to consider purchasing for reference.
Questions & Comments
First, we have a comment from my good friend, Jim Babcock with a response to last month’s discussion on wood carving knives. Here is what Jim had to say:
Thanks for your latest blog; always find them to be a nice mix of show schedules & events, patterns, and carving tips. Nice to review your feature on knives. I think everyone gravitates to vendor tables to see what’s new; never can have enough knives ! I started carving with OCCT and own many that hold an edge and keep on going. Recently added a Helvie, which sure looks nice and came sharp and ready to carve.
Jim Babcock Columbus, Indiana”
Thanks for writing and for your nice comments, Jim. OCCT knives are terrific knives and I actually own several myself. Helvies, of course, speak for themselves.
Our next comment comes from Michael Woodard Photography who writes:
“Thanks for the article. Some thoughts and updates. I have also been an OCCT person, I have seven of their knives”
I appreciate your comments, Michael, and as I mentioned OCCT knives are an excellent choice for any wood carver.
Our next comment comes from my very good friend and frequent contributor, Dean Stewart. Dean adds some meaningful information to last month's discussion on cleaning strops. Dean writes:
Regarding the question about cleaning a strop. I found that a brass detail brush does a great job of cleaning out the old metal and compound. It restores the nap of the leather but doesn’t damage it. I found mine at harbor freight but I’ll bet they can be found in other stores in the automotive section.”
Thanks so much for your feedback, Dean. The use of a small brass brush is an excellent way to clean a strop and in fact, I have used one myself at times. I’m sure they can also be found on Amazon.
Next we have a question from John Nielsen regarding an old Japanese knife he bought and is looking for information on it. John asks:
“I bought some used tools and one of them was this skew knife. I enjoy using it and hoped to find one as a mirror image.
-It has no maker marks on it, only a stamp indicating it was made in Japan.
-It has a serrated skew blade and the long side is also sharp.
-The serrated blade acts like a saw & is great for removing wood in tight places.
-I have searched on Amazon by photo & description, and other sites under ‘carving’, ‘skew knife’, ‘serrated carving tool’, ‘pottery’, ‘wood tools’, ‘clay tools’ but unable to find it.
Appreciate your help in identifying it so I can order its mate.
That is quite a unique looking tool and is one which I have never seen. My first impression is that it was used as some sort of woodworking tool, more like for carpentry rather than for woodcarving. I can’t really offer anything more than that. Perhaps some of our fellow carvers can tell us more about it. Does anyone know anything about this kind of knife?
Our next comment comes from my very, very good friend, who at his request shall remain nameless. So I will just refer to him as I.S. I.S. has some significant information to add to our discussion from last month on wood carving knives for beginners. Here is what he had to say:
After reading through your latest Chatter I would like to add that BeaverCraft tools are available on Amazon, eBay, Etsy and from Woodcraft. I believe I also viewed some for sale on another carving tool supply website but I cannot remember which one it was. I was not paying attention that close.
Also, to your beginner suggestions don’t forget the tried and true low cost Murphy knife. And suggest a beginner clamp the knife handle, protected of course, in a vise, cutting edge down, and round off the back of the blade with a narrow strip of coarse emery cloth using a motion like polishing shoes, to make the knife travel smoothly through curved cuts.
I love what you are doing, keep at it.
Thank you very much for your input, my friend! That is truly important information. Carvers interested in BeaverCraft tools should definitely check out those other means of obtaining them.
The tried and true Murphy knife should always be part of any discussion on wood carving knives for beginners. They are sturdy and inexpensive (around $25), and are ideal for someone just starting out. In fact, the Murphy knife was one of the first carving knives I ever owned. I actually own several and they had served me well over the beginning of my wood carving journey.
“Photo Shop” is the section of Wood Chip Chatter where carvers can send in photos of their wood carvings for display. It’s your chance to show off your work…sort of a show and tell. The photos will only be displayed and no comments or critiques will be made. For critiques on your carvings send them in to the “Carver’s Corner.” Send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our first entries to the “Photo Shop” this month come from my friend, Tim Lassen who has been busy carving some amazing aquatic creatures as gifts for the family. Tim writes:
"Hi Bob..I really enjoy your blog and the work and thought you put into each endeavor. The penguin was carved from one of your patterns . Also photo of rainbow I finished at Christmas. Actually I completed two one for each of our sons. Again thnx..Tim"
Thank you for the photo entries, Tim! They are always greatly appreciated. Your penguin looks great and I’m glad you enjoyed using my pattern. Your rainbow trout, though is magnificent! The details are spectacular from the fins and scales to the spots and coloration. Even the rock habitat is a work of art. I’m sure your sons loved them.
The next entries are from my good friend, Vern Freer. Vern has been busy carving penguins and citrus fruit. This is what he had to say:
Just thought I’d share some photos from a few of my more recent carvings. The playful penguins were adapted from the pattern you shared with us back in September. They’ve been a great hit with family and friends. Thanks for sharing the pattern with us. The other photos are of Clem N. Tine. He’s the latest addition to the Citrus Gang. Thanks again for the time you take putting Wood Chip Chatter together, your critiques, recommendations, and all the useful information you provide to the carving community. I know that I have definitely benefited from your advice.
Thanks so much for the photos, Vern, and also for the kind words about Wood Chip Chatter. I work hard every month to put together a blog that I think is both informative and entertaining to my readers. You penguins came out terrific! I really like how you changed them up with different embellishments such as scarves, hats and sweaters.
Clem N. Tine, of course looks like a grand addition to your “citrus gang.” I have loved seeing each and every one of your members of the “gang” as you have posted them on Instagram. Perhaps you might send them in to Wood Chip Chatter for the benefit of everyone else to see. I’m sure they would all enjoy them.
Our next entries to the “Photo Shop” come from my friend, Kathy Savage who carved three bears (not the Three Little Bears) as gifts. Kathy writes:
“so I 1st carved this bear over 10 years ago , then decided idea to carve it again for the family Christmas yanke swap ( of course I had to carve a new one for myself)
I like the way I carved the tree in the newer ones
Wow! I love all three of them, Kathy! So much detail in them, and the painting and finish are top notch. Someone got a great gift in your Yankee swap.
The 2 ( one for my swap gift and 1 for my husband) of them got opened early and traveled around quite a bit
One of my adult nephews was amazed with the fur detail!
Last but not least we have an entry from my good friend and frequent contributor, Dean Stewart who carved an absolutely stunning bowl out of butternut. Dean writes:
“I wanted to share a picture of this trinket bowl I just finished. It’s carved from Butternut and finished with clear furniture wax. It’s the first time I’ve carved butternut but I’m now a big fan. I found it easy to carve but a little fuzzy. It took the sanding well.”
That's an absolutely gorgeous bowl, Dean! You did a magnificent job on it. Butternut is a great wood to carve and a nice change from basswood. It carves fairly easily and holds detail reasonably well. Although it can be a little splintery and fuzzy at times it sands and finishes nicely. Butternut has a beautiful grain, much like Black Walnut and in fact, is often referred to as "white walnut."
This month we have a pattern for all you relief carvers out there.
Upcoming Workshops & Seminars
Woodcarving the Waving Walker
Teacher: Dave Stetson
Dates: April 22,23,29,30 May 6,7
Times: Sat, Sun – 9:30am-11:30 Pacific /11:30am-01:30pm Central / 12:30pm – 2:30pm Eastern
12 hours (6 sessions – 2 hours each day)
Location: Online (Via Zoom)
For more details and to sign up email Dave email@example.com
Woodcarving Old Faithful Horse
Teacher: Janet Cordell
Dates: April 24, 28 May 1, 5, 8, 12
Times: 2-4 p.m. Pacific Time, 3-5 p.m. Mountain Time, 4-6 p.m. Central Time 5-7 p.m. Eastern Time
12 hours (6 sessions – 2 hours each day)
Location: Online (Via Zoom)
Contact Janet Cordell at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Online Classes With Chris Hammack
Teacher: Chris Hammack
Chris Hammack is offering a new series of online classes to help students learn and sharpen their woodcarving skills. Individual and Group Classes are available through his web site chrishammackart.com/groupclass
Teacher: Dwayne Gosnell
Dates: Two – 2 hour classes each month on Wednesdays
Location: Online (Via Zoom)
To sign up contact Dwayne Gosnell via email email@example.com
Bob Hershey has released his “Woodcarving Louisa Mae” Workshop recordings. All 8 parts have been uploaded. Bob takes you through his process of carving the wonderful “Louisa Mae bunny” just in time for Easter.
Reminder! we have added a Facebook group that is dedicated for students to share their creations that are based on their learnings from the Woodcarving Academy’s videos. If you are a paying subscriber please join us by clicking If you are a paying subscriber please join us by Clicking Here and ask to join the group.
News & Announcements
The International Association of Woodcarvers has upcoming Zoom meetings on the following Saturdays at 3PM EST with special guest presenters. Check them out…
3/4 – Jarrod Wood
3/11 – Bruce Ankeny
3/18 – Tim Perry
3/25 – Raymond Kinman
4/8 – Van Kelly
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WOODCARVERS
COME JOIN US!!!
Lancaster County Woodcarvers Zoom Meetings
(Informal meeting – Open to all)
Tuesday, March 14 at 7PM EST
Tuesday, April 11 at 7PM EST
Tuesday, May 9 at 7PM EST
There are no meetings in June, July and August.
Come join the fun…and you might even learn something
The Jersey Hills Wood Carvers (JHWC) club is a small but growing group of wood carvers sharing their time, knowledge and joy of woodcarving. The JHWC generally meets from 7:00 PM EST to 9:00 PM EST on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Thursday of each month (when school is in session) at the Jefferson Township High School wood shop classroom.
Membership is “FREE” and open to anyone interested in woodcarving regardless of their ability.
JHWC’s Upcoming Meetings and Events
Mar. 16th, 30th
Apr. 6th, 20th
May 4th, 18th
June 1st, 15th
For more information contact:
Al Santucci firstname.lastname@example.org President
Bill Brunner email@example.com newsletter/website editor
We are always looking your contributions to Wood Chip Chatter. Your questions and comments help to keep this blog active and going! Effective discussions are one of the best ways to learn about the topics that interest you. Remember, there’s no such thing as a dumb question. Plus we would all love to learn about the unique tips, techniques and products YOU use in your woodcarving process.
We can also use more photo contributions to the “Carver’s Corner” and “Photo Shop”. My “Carver’s Corner” is a great way to get constructive critiques on your carvings so you can learn where to improve on your next ones, and I’m sure you all have some terrific carvings to share in my “Photo Shop” section. Photos of your carvings liven up the blog’s appearance and make it more interesting.
Send your questions, comments and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. They will all be greatly appreciated.
Does your club have a show coming up this year? Email me your brochure or send me your information so I can advertise it in Wood Chip Chatter.
The next issue of Wood Chip Chatter will be posted on Friday, April 7, 2023. Keep a sharp eye open for it!
Keep a sharp edge, and keep on carvin’!