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First do you do much carving? I have not seen carvings on your sticks? The reason I ask is if you are just getting started I would in courage you to try and get up with a carving club near you. I know they have a real good group in Spokane Wa, just search carving clubs Washington. Not real far from Newport. It is really good to see the tools and get a idea what ones would meet your needs.You can spend a lot of money trying to find that out.though trail and error and you can learn ways of doing things that will save you many hours of experimenting. Back to your question. These are both good books. I have them both and refer to them and use their patterns. I think you can find them both on amazon.

Woodcarver's Workbook: Two Volumes in One!

Wildlife Carving in Relief, Second Edition Revised and Expanse Carving Techniques and Patterns
 
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What cv3 is saying is true. also i would encourage you to draw. this shows you how to carve /modify a existing drawing/design and will help you to get the look your after.

I had never carved until just before joining this forum.but i do have a art background in three dimensional design, which giave me confidence to tackle anything.

As for books heres a few i think are outstanding.My favourite is

Carving Gargoyles by Shawn Cipa he is a member on this site .i have done a few of his design , there different to the run of the mill stuff the step by step photots are brilliant and you would find them both challenging and interesting.

anoth one by shawn is " carving fantasy & legend figures in wood. both books have the patterns in.

i have modified his design to fit on some sticks and intend to do some more. cant recomend them highly enough

Another extremly good book is by Ian Norbury called "Sculpting the Female Face and Figure in Wood" again very good step by step photos with pattens.

And a classic stickmaking book called "Stickmaking a complete course" by Andrew Jones & Clive George you cant go wrong with this., but contains a lor of referance to working rams horn

but good luck with what your trying to achieve you wont do it overnight .But my carving has come a long way in a couple of years.

dont be afraid to male mistakes when doing it you willmake a pigs ear of some of them we all do. but draw as much as you can ,start by modifying other designs it makes it more interesting, dont fool yourself into thinking what you make will always be good its how we all learn .then ask yourself what should i have done or what eles could i do to make it better,

you do need to learn the basics to get you started, but main thing is have fun
 

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I suspect Chris Pye's Woodcarving Course & Reference Manual: A Beginner's Guide to Traditional Techniques would be worthwhile. He also has a subscription web site w. videos. His technique is quite fine, and the info can be generalized to work w. many different kinds of figures.

I was lucky enough to have first hand instruction by an accomplished sculptor. As CV3 says, if you can get to a carving club, seeing someone in action, and able to answer questions is much more informative than pouring over books.

Traditionally, working in 3-D was the last thing a student did. Years of drawing, starting from pattern books and gradually moving up to drawing from plaster statues was standard. Before I started w. wood, I spent time modeling clay and carving wax. Both are soft, and in the case of clay, easy to mend mistakes. Much of the early stuff I did was relief, which was not too different from wood carving for print making. Still, moving into works fully in the round was a big step.

And almost nothing I did was on as small a scale as stick carving.

So, don't expect quick results, tho' you might get the hang of it quickly.

This brings up a fond memory for me. Here is a shot of a statue my teacher did later in his life. It was a large challenge. He had only small, blurry photos to work from, and had done mostly abstract works for some years before. On the way, there were many small maquettes, and finally, a life size terra cotta bust. My recollection was that the statue took about 4 years. This from someone who had spent at least 40 years practicing various arts.
 

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Thats sound advice

I assume you have a basic carving set? a dozen chisel about 4 palm chisels and a few good knives will do , a good mallet is well worth while a ligna vita one are the best you would never need to replace it. For carving small peices say for toppers dont get a heavy one. but would advise a round one there better ballance in the hand

I would also recomend a clamp vice for small peices there very handy

I never let anyone use my chisels and never let anyone sharpen them although there is a standard way of sharpening everyone use there tools slightly different and you will find if anyone else sharpens then it may not be to the way you carve / and effects the way the angle you hold them.

A good cheff for instance will never let anyone sharpen his knives.for the same reason

Sometimes its better to dive into a project and learn from the mistakes we have all done it.

Also make good patterns there always useful to keep and modify. It will also allow you to place the cardboard template on the stick to get a quick visual which is a big help

thats a great carving something which takes a great deal of time to achieve
 

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As some have already stated a few good tools are a must. If you start with say just a pocket knife you can carve ( some very accomplished carvers use very simple tools) but chances are you will struggle, get discouraged and quit.

I am a relatively new carver, been at it a little over a year. I strongly suggest spending a little coin and getting the right tools for the job. After much online research I bought a few Flexcut tools. They are very good American made & affordable tools just right for the beginner. A beginners palm set, ( 5 pieces) a detail knife and a strop block cost me right around $100. As you progress you will undoubtedly find more tools you will like to add. The tools can get just as addictive as carving itself.

I am a self taught carver, but I did get a ton of information from watching tutorials of carving on You Tube and various web sites along with insight and encouragement from the members on this forum. That said I would have and still can learn valuable lessons by joining a carving club. If you can find one I recommend checking them out as well.

If your intent is to carve walking sticks then I would look into a book CV3 recommended to me, Carving Woodspirits Beyond the Basics by Susan L. Hendrix & Paul "PJ" Peery. The book is a step by step instructional with progress shots on how to carve a woodspirit on a walking stick, cost me about $18 at Treeline.

Finally however you decide to proceed keep safety in mind. Keep your tools sharp, they are less likely to slip, wear a cut resistant glove on your off hand and a thumb guard on your carving hand & keep the antiseptic and band aids handy! Good luck!

Mark
 

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miketrybarn

its a interesting subject where to start and what to use.

Think your doing the right thing to define what you want.Books are always a good place to start

I have a few books i used some are very good others a waste of money

then have a look at the advice of the other members once you have decided what you want to do,

and do look at utube and alike there are some good guidence on there as MJC4 , CV3 and gdenby has said

But what do you want to do with the carvings are they small to mount on a stick? or will the be free standing.

There are some good books out there and everyone will have a different opinionon them , depending on there interests

If small carving wood spirits then basically all you need is a few knifes as its mainly just carved into the stick with a restricted surface

if you want a topper then you will need a small set of small chisels from a gouge to v tools and palm chisels and a vice of some type to hold the work. most toppers cant be carved by holding them in your hand when using chisels and its asking for a mishap.If its a large free standing piece then you will need a large set and small set of chisels and a carvers vice.
 

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All the advice and recomendations above are good and sound.

Carving magazines have been great also, you can get e-versions of some now too. youtube has tons of tutorials

For me though, hands on is the best teacher.

My usual shpeel :)
Pen and Paper sketching

Using actual reference photos

most important: Cut some wood! get some scrap wood and just start cutting (and stropping)

Good luck and don't hesitate to ask questions!

Sean
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
miketrybarn

its a interesting subject where to start and what to use.

Think your doing the right thing to define what you want.Books are always a good place to start

I have a few books i used some are very good others a waste of money

then have a look at the advice of the other members once you have decided what you want to do,

and do look at utube and alike there are some good guidence on there as MJC4 , CV3 and gdenby has said

But what do you want to do with the carvings are they small to mount on a stick? or will the be free standing.

There are some good books out there and everyone will have a different opinionon them , depending on there interests

If small carving wood spirits then basically all you need is a few knifes as its mainly just carved into the stick with a restricted surface

if you want a topper then you will need a small set of small chisels from a gouge to v tools and palm chisels and a vice of some type to hold the work. most toppers cant be carved by holding them in your hand when using chisels and its asking for a mishap.If its a large free standing piece then you will need a large set and small set of chisels and a carvers vice.
As to your question I will probaly do topper to mount to my sticks or canes..
 
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