Sept Lunch & Learn

Close up of some of Bob’s critters.

Close up of some of Bob’s critters.

In spite of the questionable weather situation, there was a very good turnout for our September Lunch and Learn program!  Arts Council member Bob Heath gave an informative presentation (using both power point slides and a hands-on display)  to demonstrate his techniques for carving small wooden animals.  Bob has been carving in both wood and stone for many years and currently has a number of pieces in both media for sale at the Gallery of Dreams in St. David.  Bob says that he is basically self taught, and that he most often works in wood that he picks up “here and there” such as the New Mexico Walnut that gives a two-tone effect– allowing him to carve his White-faced calves without having to resort to paints or stains.  He also recommends Basswood as a nice workable material that is readily obtained.

The nifty box that Bob built to hold some of his carving tools

The nifty box that Bob built to hold some of his carving tools

Bob Heath talks about the importance of drilling “stop” holes while Daniel Hill looks on

Bob Heath talks about the importance of drilling “stop” holes while Daniel Hill looks on

  Using a band saw to make the initial blanks and rough cuts, he does secondary and final shaping with knives, gouges, and various Dremel-type grinding tools.  If necessary, oil-based paints are used to bring the animals to life once the carving is complete.  Bob emphasized the importance of safety while carving, and says he always uses a heavy leather apron, a glove, and a “thumb protector” while doing the hand work.  He also has built a “grinding box” to contain the dust and saw-dust while working with the electric grinders, which makes his wife happy…
  Inspired by Bob’s presentation, 11-year old attendee Daniel Hill  asked Bob to be his “mentor” and help him learn to carve his own critters.  Bob has agreed, and we have added a new pairing to our youth mentor program.  What an exciting development!!
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