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Art vs. Craft
Posted On 07/08/2008 10:00:43

Personally, I would say I am an artist who also happens to be a capable craftsman. To me craftsmanship is taking something and making it fit perfectly where it should go while art is taking something that shouldn't fit and making it work regardless.

The following are excerpted from my free ebook on woodcarving "the state of woodcarving in America today" Chap.9 Art vs. Craft... You can read the whole chapter here



There are many things which are debatable in woodcarving circles but there seems to be one universal truth, and that is that the public, on the whole, does not view woodcarving as an art. Although it is usually said in jest, the only difference between art and craft is the money that you can charge for it. Yes, there are areas of the country where wood sculptures may command high prices. There are many wildlife carvings which sell for $10,000 or more. They are exceptions to the rule, rather than the norm. Woodcarving, in and of itself is a craft. There is no debating this. Woodcarving is all about technique, which can be taught and learned by most people. So are painting, clay sculpting and turning. They are crafts and in some cases, sciences. A painter or sculptor does not become an artist through technique, whether he/she perfects his techniques or not. A painter or other craftsman only becomes an artist when he unleashes his emotion and infuses it into his craft. You cannot use a pattern, carve it and then have it considered a work of art. Yes, it may be beautiful and you may have mastered the techniques involved, you may even ask for and sell the carving for big bucks but it is still not art. Art is original and emanates from the heart, soul and mind of the artist, and then translates itself down his arms and through his hands into his chosen medium. This is something that you must accept because it is what separates art from craft. Craft is technique and repetition of that technique. Can we all agree that a paint by number is not art, no matter how well done it is? Do Bob Ross’s painting techniques produce works of art? Is tole painting an "art"? Art must be distinct from craft, although the two frequently intermingle until where the craft ends and the art begins is completely obscured. Works of art must be unique, not particularly as to subject matter, but in sense of style and interpretation. Our handwriting is unique and when interpreted by those who study such things, it tells a story about who we are. It is the same with our artwork. There are little subtleties among the tools and techniques that we carvers use. When finished, our carvings should have their own signature look about them. It is fine for a hobby carver to use patterns and to look at other carvers’ works and try to duplicate them but an artist must truly create, not copy. Without an artists’ intention, the work may be a fine piece of craftsmanship, but in my opinion it will never be art.


How can woodcarving be perceived as "art’ by the general public when carvers themselves do not present it as art? The price of ‘art’ cannot be whittled down in order to turn a profit. Devaluing one small carving affects the price of every other carving in the marketplace. Electricians, plumbers and doctors do not discount their services to the general public, woodcarvers do. No surgeon ever said to a patient, "I usually get $6,000 to remove a gallbladder, but I can let you have it for $4,500 and if you come back at the end of the day and I haven’t made enough money yet, I will let you have the surgery for $3,000". If your doctor ever says something like that to you, run and don’t look back. Imagine a plumber says to you, I will do the job for half price but I will save on my materials and use inferior pipe. Would you want him to work on your house? Woodcarvers do it all the time. They try to guess how much a person will be willing to pay before they set a price rather than feeling comfortable with the value they believe their work to have. Mass produced carvings are imported from Thailand, Bali, Indonesia and other cheap labor countries. The items are hand carved but yet bear price tags of 14.99. These carvings are flooding the market and some carvers attribute the decline in appreciation of carving in America directly to the influx of imported carvings. What they fail to understand is that for a carver to be an artist, he is not really selling carvings, but is selling himself, his image and reputation and all the other carvings that he has ever produced in order to be who he is today. You would not know Andy Warhol’s name today if he asked $14.99 for his copy of a Campbell’s tomato soup label. You cannot compete with the mass-produced carvings and must offer something other than your carvings, namely yourself.


What’s the difference between art and craft?

About $1000

Art is not for the average person, craft is.

Craft comes with instructions and art doesn’t.

Crafts requires skill and art doesn’t.

Craft is external, art internal.

Craft has judges, art has critics.

Craft sells, art starves.

Craft is learned, art born.

mileposts in carving
Posted On 07/08/2008 09:29:12
Something inside me allows me to take on those carvings that I feel are way above my current skill level.  I find I learn the most from those.  Right now I am working with an antique dealer repairing the things that have been cluttering up his basement and garage.  It is mostly classical designs which have a piece missing here or there which need to be replaced and then recarved.  I have aspired to this type of carving for a few years now but this is my first real steps towards it.  The trick is to study the carvings and try to understand which tools were used to make the original and then to go ahead and match it with the tools I have available.  What I am learning is invaluable for my future in carving and I have been very proud to know that I am continuing what some other carver started 200 years ago or so and giving it another life.  I am the only one who knows where my mistakes are and of course they glare out at me but when a carving is finished that I know raised my skill level I simply want to admire it forever, feeding my ego and spurring me to greater heights.  I feel a loss when I sell them now.  I have never hated anything I've carved and have never trashed a single one and have often felt like going back over a completed carving to fix those things that bother me but,,,,,,,,,I have stopped myself from doing that understanding that each and every carving is just a milepost on the highway of my carving journey.  Learn to appreciate the journey and not worry so much about picking each finished carving apart.

always learning
Posted On 06/14/2008 17:40:40
.............I am on my way with a few years under my belt now and one of the most difficult issues I deal with is $$$$.....How much to charge.....how much for deposit, etc.  It is a learning game and I am learning all the time.  The best way to learn is to get burnt once or twice. There are so many variables that go into pricing a carving, such as size, detail, being adept(or not) with the subject matter, where it is being sold, who is buying it, the confidence of the carver, the skill of the carver, the rep of the carver,  the shop costs, the material costs.......and on and on. 

Putting it out there
Posted On 06/14/2008 17:33:30
I have recently met up with an antique wholesaler who travels the US and Europe attending auctions.  he has been in the business many years as a hobbiest but who recently retired and has aims to clean his house and garage up a bit.  My goodness, what a treasure trove.  He tends to buy 150-500 year old pieces that no one wants because the carvings are broken, missing or improperly restored.  he gets them for a song and within a short time of purchasing them, does all his networking and finds high end buyers for them.  Over the years he has run into pieces, so damaged or so involved that he could not find a carver who was willing to do the work.  That's where i come in.  My greatest asset as a carver..................I have no fear.
Now I am going to relate this to something wonderful that seems to happen in my life.  Its either a study in positive thinking or "ask and ye shall recieve" type of thing. When I separated from my husband many years ago, I did not have a job, no income at all and I had a three year old child to feed and clothe. I didn't care that I had no income, living with the man had just become intolerable and he just had to go.  I had been taken city tests for decent jobs for years prior to this happening, with nothing panning out and my future was looking grim.  Well within a month of him moving out, I received 2 city job offers, a bus driver, a toll collector, and 1 federal job offer.  I took the federal job.  I was quite amazed at the timing on all of this.  Well in the last few years, it has happened again, three times!!!   I was talking to a friend saying how I was bored with the things I was carving and would like to carve something big, perhaps something for a house. A couple of days later a man called to see if I would be interested in doing a mantle.   Okay, Coincidence at work I guess. But after doing that I decided that what I really wanted to do was a front door.  I said this at a family party in front of lots of witnesses.  I was left absolutely speechless the next morning, the very next morning, when I received a phone call asking if I would carve the panels for a big front door project on a millionaires house.
Make what you will of that but it has happened again.  While talking to the students of my carving class, they were asking me if I really thought that there was any money to be made from carving anymore, and I said I'm sure there is but the big money is in restoration work, furniture and architectural.  Well, I was a little late for the next class and when I arrived one of the students handed me a business card.  She said that a man had come looking for me and had left his card and that he wanted me to call him.  Later that day I phoned him, found out he wanted all this antique furniture repaired and carved.  I asked my students if anyone had told him about me and they all assured me that no, indeed he was a stranger.  well after years and years of just getting by financially, I am now telling everyone that what I really want is to have a big cash windfall so I don't have to worry about my retirement. LOL
Anyway back to the antique wholesaler............I was treated to a visit to his garage and basement today.  He has big plans for me and was showing me pieces of this and that that I was going to have to carve for him.  I already did two jobs, one was a fireburst around the outside of a 300 year old french mirror frame and the second was some gothic tracery work to replace a table skirt where half of the pieces were missing.  He was so impressed that he is now going full speed ahead.  My next projects for him are the fabrication of a missing  eagle wing on a 1783 federal mirror, and replacing missing scrollwork and lions heads on an oak table pedestal. He estimates the pedestal to be a baby at 100 years old or so.  Another great thing about this type of work is that we are taking the wood from other antique pieces that he says aren't worth repairing so I am using period wood for all of these projects.  What a difference to carve stabilized wood, crisp, clean lines.
Anyway that's my story and I'm sticking to it. wondering what else will randomly come my way along my carving journey.

Maura Carving in NYC

the power of positive thinking
Posted On 05/27/2008 11:21:05
Hi all, I have always stressed the importance of positive thinking and do believe that whatever you put out there comes right back around to you.  I was at one time frustrated with the things I was carving and wanted to carve bigger and better things.  Its amazing how this came about when I expressed to a friend of mine that what I really wanted to be doing was to carve a door. Well my thoughts went out into the universe and not more than 24 hours later there was a phone call from a stranger asking me if I would carve a door for him.  That was a couple of years ago and let me tell you that its just happened again.  This time I was saying that I would love to carve some classical stuff, like furniture details.  This time it took its time getting back to me, a few weeks passed and then I walked into the class I teach only to be told that someone had left their business card for me.  I got in touch with him and went to see what he had in mind.  Lo and behold, the man was an antique wholesaler and he had some antique furniture in need of repair.  The skirt of a 1840 black walnut table needed to be repaired.  It is gothic tracery work, can't get too much more classical than that.  Just goes to show the power of the universe at work.

Carving tools and odds and ends
Posted On 05/25/2008 13:35:06

Carving Safely


Be Alert!!!   Keep a well stocked first aid kit nearby as eventually you will cut yourself.   Keep you’re your tools sharp and in good condition.    Remove unnecessary items from your workspace.  Use carving gloves and tape to protect hands and fingers until you have the experience to go without them.  Pay attention to the direction your tool will take if it slips.  Protect your fellow carver when carving in close quarters.  Do not carve on your lap.  Keep all body parts out of a tools path.  Try not to carve towards yourself and if you must, use part of your arm/hand as an anchor to prevent the tool from injuring you.  Use hold-down devices such as clamps, vices, carving hooks/sleds, rubber mats or carving arms and carver’s screws. Remember that most carving injuries happen when reaching for and putting away tools.  If you don’t know how to do something safely, ask someone who does!!!


On Purchasing Carving tools


Unfortunately, buying carving tools is an area where it pays to buy the best. Buy one or two at a time when you can afford to. Buy quality tools by from reputable manufacturers.  A cheap tool is simply that: a cheap tool and it will frustrate you and not get used. Buy the best you can afford. If, as a new carver, you feel you must buy a set, do not buy larger than a 6 tool set.  When buying larger sets you will find that there will be a few tools you will never use.  Learn what the different profiles can do and buy tools for specific purposes. Keep track of which profiles you already own so you don’t duplicate them when buying new tools.  There are differences in handles and metal weights from different makers, ask other carvers if you may try their tools before deciding which to buy.  While it may take time and be expensive, one day you will have a set of quality tools which will suits you well in whatever type of carving you choose to do.


Odds and Ends


Most carvers are self-taught or taught by someone who was self-taught.  The problem with this is that bad habits are learned and taught.


There is no “magic” tool which will make you a good carver, only knowledge, quality tools and practice will accomplish that.


Long standing techniques have come down to us through the centuries.  The reason why they are still being taught is because they are reliable methods that work.


A good tool is an extension of a carvers arm.  Tools by themselves do nothing but look pretty.  It is the carver who makes them work.


Modern carving tools have only been around since the Victorian era, before that Blacksmiths individually fashioned tools. Before the iron age, bones, obsidian and rocks were used to fashion carving tools.  Carving is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, craft.  The possessor of carving tools and skills assured himself a valued place in the harsh primitive times. A 6000 year old carver would recognize most of the modern profiles and would understand their purpose.


Carving tools are not disposable and are manufactured to last several lifetimes.  Pass them on!


Your carving Tools


The Steel


The Rockwell C scale is a way of measuring metals hardness and its ability to indent into a softer surface. The higher the # the harder the steel. Soft steel will not hold an edge for very long.  Harder steel will tend to be brittle and will chip and perhaps crack. A good carving tool will have hardness between 56-62 with most top quality tools at approx 59


Sheffield (English) and soligen (German) steel is the best steel available today. There once were over 2400 carving tool profiles known.  Half have been lost to history.  Approx. 1200 profiles are still being manufactured today.




Carving Knife
     Probably the first tool any carver starts with is a knife. Its primary use is for whittling and chip carving. The blade is about 1 1/2" long, and has a handle designed to fit the hand. Like gouges, it should be made of high carbon steel that will hold an edge for a long time.


Carpenter's Chisels
     These chisels have a flat edge (#1 Sweep). They are not usually used for sculpture, because the edge of a flat chisel tends to dig into the wood, twisting and plunging the tool deeper on one side than the carver may have desired. They can give a crude, unschooled look that may be desirable on some types of sculpture




     Gouges are the work horses of carving. U-gouges are designated by the width of the cutting edge (in inches or millimeters), the sweep, or amount of curvature of the edge (an arbitrarily assigned number), and the shape of the shaft (straight, bent, spoon, and back bent).
     Gouges can be purchased:
  - in widths from 2mm (1/16") to 60 mm (2 3/8")
  - in sweeps from #2 (a barely perceptible curve) to #11 (a very deep, half round curve)
  - in straight, bent, spoon, and back-bent shapes


     V-gouges are designated by the width between the top edge tips and the angle of the vee bottom edge.
     Gouges can be purchased:
  - in widths from 2mm to 30mm
  - in 60˚ (#12 sweep) and 90˚ (#13 sweep)



Bent and Spoon Gouges
     These specialty gouges are used to get into inaccessible spots on a carving that a straight gouge can't reach.
     Bent gouge: the entire length of the shaft is curved.
     Spoon gouge: the final 1 1/2" of the shaft is deeply bent in a spoon shape.
     Back bent gouges: a spoon gouge with the curve reversed so the cutting edge is convex instead of concave.
These specialized tools are seldom used, but when needed, are invaluable



 Skewed Chisel
     A skewed chisel's cutting is angled back from the leading edge at a 45 degree angle.
     They come in straight, bent, and spoon shapes and in varying widths.
     These are specialized tools and are seldom, if ever, used


Palm Tools
     Most of the above tool shapes can be purchased as smaller palm tools. A chip-carving knife and an assortment of palm gouges are all that is needed for creating small carvings in basswood or other soft woods.


     The traditional mallet for carving is cylindrically shaped and made from a heavy, dense hardwood.
     I prefer using a rubber mallet. While it doesn't have the driving power of a wood mallet, it is less noisy, easier on the chisel handles, and has some spring that brings the head back up for the next swing.



Basic Carving Strokes
Tool Patterns


As a beginning carver, the choice of carving tools available can be overwhelming. Which tools you really need to learn this craft and which tools you really will use can be a hard decision. There are several basic tool shapes that are standard to this hobby. The primary carving blade is the carving knife.




The knife has a thin blade that will be about 1 3/4 inches to 3 inches long, and tapers to a point at the tip of the blade. The entire straight faced edge of the blade is sharpened to provide you with an ability to cut lines into the wood and to whittle away long slivers of excess material. Short blades are usually referred to as bench knifes where a longer style blade will be called a Sloyd knife. Carving knife styles are also marketed under the names of 'detail knives',  'whittling knifes', and 'straight knives'. Of all the tools that you will purchase, this one is the main stay of your kit and it is worth the investment for any beginner to begin with an excellent quality of blade. There are many fine examples of detailed carving that are done using only the knife.







The second style of tool that you will be using is the gouge. Where the bench knife tapers to a point, the gouges end with a blunt cut. The full length of the blade is either rounded for c-curve gouges, tightly rounded for u-curved gouges also called veining tools or parting tools. The final edge of the blade is sharpened to slice out the wood. Gouges remove great quantities of wood at a time and so are used to do the rough cutting in carving.




This tool comes to a sharp "v" point at the tip creating a deeply scored line in the wood.  "V" gouges are available in a variety of angles from very tight "v"s to widely open "v"s. Use this one to carve along joint lines in the design and for detailing as the beard and hair in a North Wind pattern.




Chisels also have only the final edge of the tool sharpened, however the end will be cut in a flat end or angled end. These flat blades are used for the stop cut in relief carving, for removing large areas, and for crisping corners. They are also excellent for scraping the final surface of your work to leave a clean smooth finish. Chisels cut at an angel are called "Skews"


There are many specialty carving tools that have been developed over the years. For undercuts and removing the background areas in tight corners you might want a dog-leg skew. There are also bent gouges, backbend gouges, spoonbit, and fishtails available for your use. As your craft is developed, like most carvers, you tool kit will increase with a variety or knife shapes. Tools also come in a variety of widths from the micro carvers that are used for very fine detail and miniature works to the large fish tail gouges and awls that remove great quantities of wood with one stroke.


Each tool creates it's own pattern of stroke in the wood. Use a scrap of softwood to practice and explore each of your new tools. Remember also that each individual blade style can create a variety of strokes depending on the depth of the cut and the angle of the blade entry into the wood. A c-curve gouge will make a beautiful tear dropped shape stroke that both tapers into the cut and then back to the surface of the wood. Yet if you hold it upright at a very slight angle and push into the carving you can make fish and dragon scales with the blades imprint.



Its a great day part 3.......a no nonsense jooltool review
Posted On 05/04/2008 17:32:24



The purpose of buying the Jooltool was to provide a carving class with an all purpose sharpening system that everyone could learn to use properly and easily. I was originally looking at the Burke sytem and other vertical wheel sharpening systems but went with a reccomendation from the vendor.  I was a bit skeptical at first but agreed to try this new horizontal abrasive system.


My expectations:  a fast, easy way to sharpen knives, gouges and other edged tools.


I opened the box and unpacked the jool tool and all the accessories.  It came with one backer plastic, lots of different grits 3m sand paper appliques(80 grit ceramic disk 1 - 120 grit ceramic disk 1-220 grit ceramic disk 1- A-5 micron Ninja disk 1 - Red (A-20 Micron) Ninja Disc 1 - Blue (A-10 Micron) Ninja Disc 1 - Green (A-35 Micron)), a buffer which needed to go onto the backer, 2 cloth buffingwheels and 2 hunks of white rouge and a dvd.  I then took the main unit out of the box.  The outer housing was a bright white and red plastic, which looked cool yet cheap at the same time.    Its footprint is 8" round so it doesn't take up much space.  I then popped the jooltool dvd into my player to learn what this new toy could do.  It promised to be a revolution in sharpening systems and showed  a wide variety of edged tools and bits being sharpened quite easily.  Would it work for me?  Only one way to find out.....now for the fun part.


The SET UP- The unit needed to be mounted onto a piece of plywood or benchtop in order to stabilize it.  It comes with two screw holes to make this easy to do. Then onto setting up a disk. You simply peel and stick a sandpaper disk onto a plastic backer disk, you then screw this assembly onto the tapered spindle until hand tightened.  The abrasive surface is mounted down. You reach around and turn the variable speed unit on. You take your tool to be sharpened and approach it from underneath the spinning abrasive.  The unique cut of the 3m pads allows you to see through and watch as your tool comes in contact with the abrasive.


What I liked about the system:     Its bright plastic outer housing is pleasant and inviting as a toy would be.  It seems less intimidating to approach, especially for the women who may shy away from shop machinery.  The set up was quick and easy.  There is a slight learning curve for those who are new to sharpening and a retraining of the mindset for those used to vertical sharpening systems. It requires a slight bit of practice to bring the tool up properly to the abrasive pad but once this is mastered it is quite easiy to follow the bevel of the tool.   it also comes with some heavy duty diamond abrasive pads which make grinding simple. It is able to sharpen any edged tool and/or bit that will fit into it.  it can be used on a variety of materials, metals, woods, ceramics and can be used for sanding smaller objects. The see through capability and the bottom up approach work together well and allow you to view the edge of your tool as you sharpen although the visibility is only as good as the overhead lighting in your work area.  I do like that the unit is on a slight tilt towards the user, making it more comfortable to use. It did sharpen quite well, fast and efficiently.  I started with a coarse grit and stepped down through a medium and fine disk and followed that up with a buffing pad with rouge.  each step took less than 30 seconds.  Changing the backer disks was quick and simple(2-3 seconds) and required no tools.  It works in a standard outlet.  It takes up very little bench space.  It comes with lots of bright colored cool accessories and disks.  3M produces the sanding disks and they seem to be a high quality product.  The design of the disks allows cool air to circulate up and around the abrasive disk and tool being sharpened to lessen the possibility of burning or losing the temper of the tool being worked on.  I did find that my steel stayed relatively cool.  The unit was quite quiet and smooth sounding.  There were no complicated controls to learn, just one variable speed power knob.  There is an easy to access fuse panel.  The unit creates very little dust or dirt as rouge is used only in the final polishing stage. It does have a hood around it to keep any debris from flying away. There is a vacuum connector built in if you wanted to do some wood sanding or other dust/dirt producing application. It easily sharpened and polished various gouges and chisels and  it removes the hollow grind that is inevitable with a vertical wheel system. 


The things I didn't like:  The price of the unit $279, the price of accessories $16-40 each. It really requires more items in its standard package. It may price itself out of the market of the average hobbiest.  In order to make good use of this machine, more than one plastic backer is required but thats all that comes with it.  I had the good sense to preorder an additional 3 set of plastic backers (around $38) to give me a total of 4 disks on which to apply the sharpening disks and buffing pads.  Honestly, I could have used another 3 at least. The price of extra abrasive pads varies according to the grit but are a minimum of $16.  All in all, the initial outlay for this unit was approx. $400.  Switching between the different grits if you only have one plastic backer disks seems like it would be a pain in the butt as you will have to peel one off and replace it with another.  I can't imagine how many times you can do this before they no longer stick or until you tear the pad.

Even though I said I liked the red and white outer housing I also didn't like it because it looks a bit cheap and flimsy, and men who are used to heavy duty looking machines in their shops will be taken aback by its appearence. 

Care needs to be taken when sharpening double sided knifes as a rotation problem may cause the blade to catch the edge of the abrasive pad, it can kick the knife back and/or chew up the pad.

One thing that particularly irked me was to have the variable power switch set on the back of the machine so that you had to reach around it to turn it on or off and to adjust the speed. 

One other thing I didn't like is that there is no where on or in the unit to store all of the accessories that should be at hand.


My conclusion:  All in all, I would give the Jooltool a 4.3 rating out of 5.  It did meet my sharpening expectations. It is a nifty, lightweight, possibly portable sharpening system. You cannot beat seeing the surface of the blade that you are sharpening. It is easy to setup, easy to understand and use. It is highly efficient and puts a nice edge on a carving tool but as with every other sharpening system, the skill of the user has to be taken into consideration also.  It is quiet, relatively clean and takes up little space.  It may justify its price by its promised longevity and durability but that remains to be seen. Also, as my unit is new, I cannot attest to the life of any sanding disks. I sharpened roughly 10 or so tools and there doesn't look to be much wear on them. If you are a tool junky, like myself, it is a really cool toy and I would  imagine that as more people acquire these machines, more and more accessories will become available as happened with the dremel.  I hear a flexshaft is in the works now.  It looks promising for the future.  


My recommendations:   The on/off switch needs to be moved for both safety and comfort reasons.  Also for safety reasons, it should be advised that double edged knives should only be sharpened at higher speeds.  it is too easy to catch the blade when the pads are spinning at the slower speeds. The basic package needs to be beefed up to include more of the plastic backer disks.  And if at all possible there needs to be a built in light or a fitting added which would allow a light to be added in some way.  While understanding that the system and its accessories are new to the market, perhaps as more are sold, something could be done to lower the cost of the accessories. 

Tags: Jooltool Review Jool Tool Sharpener Sharpening System

Its a great day......... opening the box pt. 2
Posted On 05/03/2008 15:30:15
All the carvers gathered round as the new carving supplies were taken out of the box. They really liked the Japanese power grip tools.  The handles were a bit smaller and shaped differently from any other carving tool I had seen.  The women especially liked the way they fit their hands and even some of the men commented on how comfortable they were to hold.  Even better, the tools arrived quite sharp.  They passed the 3 study sticks around and told me what a great thing they were.  They all approved of my purchase of the Murphy knives, as well, knowing that we could now provide any new carvers with needed beginners supplies. There were lots of other little doodads in the box but the best was yet to come.  I lifted the shiny new sharpener up and out of the box.  "Wow, whats that, the carvers' curiousity was piqued.  I said this is our new sharpener.  Boy, did that make the group happy.  It was the Jool Tool, a system that was just coming out in the carving world and was being hawked in every magazine and at every carving and woodworking show.  Originally, I was not going to purchase this because it was so new to the market, opting instead to go with The Burke system but Larry at the Woodcraft Shop steered me to the Jool Tool and said I would not be disappointed.  I decided the only way to get the sharpening system ready for the other carvers to use was for me to take it home, watch the video, set it all up and see how it worked.  Thats just what I did....................To be continued

Tags: Power Grip Carving Tools

Its a great day.......when you recieve your big tool order pt.1
Posted On 05/02/2008 17:47:14
As carving instructor for the NYC parks dept. I was afforded the opportunity to put together an order for supplies.  The program had been existing on a wing and a prayer but when I took it over, I approached those in charge and simply asked for some funding.  Presto, it appeared.  I spent days deciding how the money would best be spent. I contacted larry over at THE WOODCRAFT SHOP, chosen because of his knowledge and excellent service.  I ordered 6 sets of Japanese powergrip tools, 6 murphy knives, 6 carving gloves, strops, graphite paper, rubber matts, vet tape,study sticks and other smaller items.  The crowning glory was the ordering of the fancy new sharpening system and many needed accessories, the Jool Tool.  I submitted the order, asked when we could expect the order.  My answer was a shrug.  Over the next 7 months, I asked many times what was going on with the order and advised that this or that procedure had to be followed, vendors approved, licences checked. Generally, any red tape it could be mired down in, it was and then again.  Finally taking a relaxed fatalistic approach, I decided to just forget about the whole thing and began side stepping questions from the students about the promised order.  Friday, as I sat carving at a table , a man simply walked up and plopped this large box in front of me.  Boy did I do the happy dance.  It was like Christmas...........to be continued

Tags: Jool Tool Woodcraft

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