Add artificial snow to your holiday carvings and make them really stand out!
It’s that time of year again when wood carvers gear up to carving for Christmas, and if you’re like me your Christmas carvings include lots of snowmen and snow scenes. These carvings often require adding snow as part of the carving/project. One way (the easy way) to add snow is to paint it on, but there are better options.
Aleene’s “True Snow” – 4 oz. jar – $6.04…..is a thin white paste-like medium that spreads on and adheres to anything. Does not run or drip. Goes on smooth leaving a smooth finish. Spreads like thin frosting, dries white, cleans up with water.
Aleene’s “Glitter Snow” – 4 oz. jar – $7.76…..is a thin white paste-like medium with a very tiny amount of glitter in it to add some sparkle to your project. Like “True Snow spreads on and adheres to anything. Goes on Smooth leaving a smooth finish. Spreads like thin frosting, dries white, cleans up with water.
DecoArt “Snow-Tex” – 4 oz. jar – $7.76…..also available in 2 oz. and Jumbo 16 oz. jars…..”Snow-Tex” is a white texturizing medium that creates dimensional effects like snow and stucco on your projects…a little coarser look than True Snow. Somewhat thicker and harder to work with than “True Snow” and “Glitter Snow”. Dries white, cleans up with water.
DecoArt “Glistening Snow-Tex Paint” – 4 oz. jar – $6.17…..is a white glittering paint that can be tinted with acrylic paints. Cleans up with water. I have not had any experience with this product.
All of the above products can be tinted with acrylic paints to give added, desired effects to your carving projects. For example, my good friend Kevin Johnson from Pennsylvania tinted Snow-Tex with green acrylic paint to get a mossy effect on the roof of his cottonwood bark house.
Kevin even used Snow-Tex to add (snow) hair to his snowman!
Below are photos of how I used artificial snow on two of my winter scenes:
The first photo shows Santa pulling a snowman on a sled where I used Snow-Tex to add to the realism of the scene.
The second photo shows a snowman holding a birdhouse where I used Glitter Snow to embellish the scene.
Check out Snow-Tex, True Snow or Glitter Snow and make your holiday/winter carvings special!
I received a lot of nice and greatly appreciated comments from readers this week about my blog. The first one comes from Gary Baker who writes:
I appreciate this column and look forward to it each month”
Thank you, Gary! I’m glad you are enjoying Wood Chip Chatter.
The next comment come from Steinhart Raymond who I recently met.
“Hey Bob, it was nice talking with you at the Wayne Pal wood carving show. Look forward to maybe getting some tips from the master.”
It was a pleasure talking with you too. I always enjoy attending woodcarving show because I get to meet so many old friends as well as new friend such as yourself.
The third comment comes from my friend, Jim Shay who writes:
“Hi Bob, As usual, another fantastic edition of your Blog. Thanks for all your hard work. I’m slowly beginning to get back to carving after losing my wife and again, going thru Cancer treatments, which hopefully will be finished this next Monday. Fingers and toes crossed. I’m including a photo of some recent carvings I’ve completed. Some Santas, a Sunflower carved for a family member and Mr. Pear. All of them were inspired by someone but my memory has failed me again so will blame you as your Blog continues to be an inspiration to my carvings. Thank You for that. And Thank you for the face pattern. This will be very helpful as face proportions tend to drive me crazy. Respectfully, Jim Shay”
Thank you for your kind comments, Jim! I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your wife but I’m glad to know you are near the end of your cancer treatments. I too am a cancer survivor. It’s good to see you getting back into carving and thank you for the photo. Looks like you have been busy lately. I like Mr. Pear and the sunflower is terrific. I especially like the way you layered the petals.
The next comment comes from my good friend, Al Santucci from Rockaway, New Jersey who wants to let us know about a product he found that gives a nice metallic look to your carvings. Al Writes:
“I want to share a finishing detail I found out about. If you want a metallic look, I use Rub’nBuff from American Art Clay Co.
I just put it on the 1865 revolver I carved, to improve on the finished look.
I am very pleased with the outcome, it now has an aged look”
It looks like Rub ‘n Buff does a really good job. Your revolver looks great. I had the pleasure of seeing Al’s 1865 revolver in person at the North Jersey Woodcarvers show recently and have to say it looks even better in real life than it does in the photo. Al did a magnificent job on it. It’s not just a wood carving but a real piece of craftsmanship. Nice work, Al, and thanks for the tip!
I received a question about lighting from my friend, Patrick Weddle who writes:
Great to talk to you at the Conewago Woodcarving Show this weekend! Sitting in my shop afterwards though I realized that there’s an area where I could use some advice. The problem I have is with lighting for both carving and painting. I use a lot of LED lights for both, but I think the LEDs are too bright because everything looks washed out. There just isn’t enough shadowing. It makes it difficult for me to get shadows in the right places.
I’ve tried florescent lights, an Ott light and others, but I don’t seem to be able to get the right mix. Maybe the angles are wrong. Most of my fixtures are mounted above my work.
Any suggestions would be appreciated! Patrick”
It was great speaking with you at the Conewago show as well. Lighting is kind of a wide open topic, It’s pretty much a matter of what works for you. Ask 10 people and you will probably get 10 different answers. I actually just use desk lamps with LED lights. Nothing fancy but they seem to do the job for me. They’re probably not perfect but they’re portable, convenient and seem to work fine for me. I’ll admit the LEDs are bright but with my poor eyesight the brightness helps.
I found that positioning the lamp directly over my work works the best. If the light is off to one side or the other it creates shadows which I find annoying. LED desk lamps are not expensive. You can pick one up just about anywhere for around $20 – $30.
I’m by no means a lighting expert but I hope my answer was at least a little helpful.
“Carver’s Corner” is the section where you can send in photos of your carvings to have them critiqued by me and get my truthful opinions on what you did right and where you might improve next time. It’s an excellent opportunity to improve your carving skills! Send your photos to email@example.com.
My good friend Tracy Czajkoski has sent in photos of some carvings she would like me to critique. Tracy says:
Please critique my latest carvings:
I tried utilizing your making “dirt” tip from previous blog with the beaver.
My turtles seem so rough. I think I need to not only sharpen knife more but
perhaps be patient with more experience to get the cleaner cuts? How to get
into tight spaces?
I appreciate your words of wisdom to help me grow as a carver!
Thank you for the photos, Tracy! I’ll be happy to critique your carvings.
I like your beaver, Tracy! It’s a very cute carving. Your dirt looks great. Was it difficult to work with? I think the carving overall is good and my main concerns are with your design. To me he looks more like a gopher or woodchuck coming out of a hole in the ground. Beavers don’t live in the ground and without the classic beaver tail it’s hard to tell it’s a beaver. Larger teeth would have helped too. A large part of a good carving starts with the design work. Research and learn about your subject before you start carving, and your carvings will be more accurate.
I absolutely love your turtles! They’re adorable and very well carved and painted. As a caricature carving I don’t see anything wrong with this one. I love the way you carved and painted the shells, and how you crossed the legs on the one turtle. I like how you carved the hands, and the facial expressions really finish off the carving. Excellent job on this one!
I don’t think your turtles are rough. Your cuts look clean so your knife must be sharp enough. It’s always a problem getting into tight spaces. This is a time when a special tool such as a particular type of gouge or a knife with a longer blade might help.
“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.
This week’s entries are photos of some carvings done by Darlene Tarlton.
“Klingspor Extravaganza 10/22/2022 Catawba Valley Carving club
Darlene R. Tarlton”
Spectacular work, Darlene, and congratulations on all the ribbons. They are certainly well deserved. The wood burning you do on your animals is spot on!
News & Announcements
I’m announcing that I will be putting Wood Chip Chatter on a partial hiatus for the next few months. Fox Chapel Publishing (Woodcarving Illustrated) has asked me to write a small woodcarving book (booklet) which for me is both an honor and an opportunity I can’t turn down.
This project, which has already begun will take several months to complete, and will require nearly 100% of my available time. As such I will not have the time necessary to dedicate to writing Wood Chip Chatter every other Friday. Therefore, I have decided to temporarily publish Wood Chip Chatter monthly, on the last Friday of each month. This was a very difficult decision for me but I hope you will all understand.
The next issue of Wood Chip Chatter: Friday, December 2, 2022
Meanwhile, don’t forget the search button at the bottom of the front page of Wood Chip Chatter. You can use this button anytime to easily search for past blog posts which may interest you. Simply enter a key word or phrase for the topic you are looking for and the search will bring up one or more past blog posts on that topic.
As always, if you have any woodcarving questions don’t hesitate to contact me.
The International Association of Woodcarvers has upcoming Zoom meetings on the following Saturdays at 3PM EST with special guest presenters. Check them out…
11/12 – Jim Feather
11/19 – Ryan Olsen
12/3 – John Overby
12/10 – Jarrod Wood
12/17 – Neil Southerland
12/24 – OFF
12/30 – OFF
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WOODCARVERS
COME JOIN US!!!
Carving the Nellie Doll
Teacher: Janet Cordell
Dates: November 11, 14, 21, 28 December 2, 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)
Cost: $185 Including Roughout and shipping (US)
Location: Online (Via Zoom)
Contact Janet Cordell at: email@example.com
Teacher: Bob Hershey
Dates: December 3, 4, 10, 11
Time: Sat, Sun – Sat, Sun – 1:30pm-3:30 Pacific /3:30pm-05:30pm Central / 4:30pm – 6:30pm Eastern
8 hours (4 sessions – 2 hours each day)
Location: Online (Via Zoom)
Contact Bob Hershey: firstname.lastname@example.org
Teacher: Ryan Olsen
Dates: January 14,15,21,22 in 2023
Times: Sat, Sun – 9:30am-11:30 Pacific /11:30am-01:30pm Central / 12:30pm – 2:30pm Eastern
8 hours (4 sessions – 2 hours each day)
Location: Online (Via Zoom)
For details and to sign up email: Ryan Olsen email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Wishing everyone a Safe, Healthy, Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!
Keep a sharp edge, and keep on carving’!
A man knocked at my door and asked for a small donation for the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.