Wood Carving for Beginners

Our club is always interested in teaching folks how to carve.  We do this in a few ways.  In our club meetings we always have a program that usually lasts about an hour where club members carve some sort of basic project.  If you are a beginner we will mentor you through the entire process and show you a few carving techniques.  If you don't have carving tools, no worry, we have plenty to loan out during the meeting. We encourage folks interested in learning wood carving to attend a meeting to see to see if they'd like to carve.  Becoming members of the club is how most of us learned how to carve.

We also teach Beginning Woodcarving through Bloomington Parks and Rec.  The classes run Tuesday evenings, mid April through mid May, 7:00-9:00 PM, at the Lincoln Leisure Center, Bloomington, IL.

2002 Class

Students showing off their work.

 The cost is $45.00.  Class size will be six to fifteen students.  Ages 12 and up may participate.  Contact Bloomington Parks & Rec. at (309) 434-2260. A carving knife will be available for purchase at the class for an additional $10.00.

The class is sponsored by Bloomington Parks and Rec and teaches beginning students the basics of carving.  The first carving done by the students is a letter opener.  It demonstrates the basics of slice and stop cuts. 

From there the students learn to carve a doughnut from a shake shingle.  This is a real challenge and shows the students the characteristics of the grain of wood and how to carve with the grain and to stay away from carving against the grain.

Class Shot2

Bob Deibert, in the yellow shirt, gives Paul Fish some instruction on carving what else, a fish.


Next the students select one of the blanks furnished by the club so they can try some carving in the round.  The blanks vary from hound dogs, to owls, to fish, to many other animals, cowboy boots, and other things.  They are small, simple, yet challenging projects.

Class Shot1

Students work on their class projects.

To further carving skills we try and bring in professional wood carving instructors two to three times a year to conduct three day seminars.  Those are great learning experiences and really help to enhance your carving skills.  Many of the instructors we have brought in are well know throughout the country, and some are even world renowned carvers.  Examples of the instructors we have brought in are Kirt Curtis and Linda Langenberg, Phil and Vicki Bishop, Jeff Phares, Rick Jensen, John Engler, Debbie Edwards, Harley and Midge Schmitgen, Harley Refsal, Marty Dolphens, Floyd Rhadigan, Gary and Mary Ann Klinger, and many more...

We also taught a two hour class at the Normal Parks and Rec ARC recreational center.  Click here for details of that class...