Archive for November 2012

Carving a Santa Christmas Ornament – Introduction

November 7, 2012


I look at whittling as flat plane carving. The most popular results are seen as folk art with carving styles varying from region to region(French Canadian, Ozark, Scandinavian)

All you need is a knife and imagination and you are on your way.

Choosing a whittling project is a good place for anyone interested in woodcarving to start. The only tool you need is a knife and you learn the three basic cuts, the stop cut, push cut and the pull cut. The three cuts are used by all carvers in their projects. Learning the basic steps well and repetition of them is the best way in becoming proficient for future projects.

While applying the three basic cuts over and over again to shape your project it is important to “stop and strop”  the knife. 

The importance in keeping a sharp edge on your knife cannot be stressed enough. When buying tools, it is best if you select the best tools you can afford and make sure they come not only sharpened but honed as well.

Get in the habit to “stop and strop” your knife every half hour. It gives you a break from the project.

In keeping a sharp edge on your tools is an important part to enjoying woodcarving and more importantly not hurting yourself.


Always maintain a clean, clear, work area that is well lit. If you are limited to carving in the kitchen or dinning room make a small carving board or use a thick mat(Olfa product) to protect the table surface 

Wear hand protection. A kevlar glove, thumb guard or tape will save you from cuts and kicks. 

Never carve if you are tired or on medication that may affect your vision and coordination. Remember, woodcarving requires total focus and concentration.


7/8″x7/8″x3-1/2″ basswood block

black stove wire

acrylic paints


Detail knife

5/64 drill

protective glove



Carving a Christmas Santa Ornament – photo series

November 6, 2012
Pattern for Santa Ornament

Pattern for Santa Ornament

back and front templates were made to for marking reference points on corners of wood. reference markings have been applied to the back and front of block the first cuts will establish reference points for developing the orniment. draw a line to mark the hat and top of the fur lining remove wood from lines, this will define the hat. hat is carved mark top and bottom for nose and remove draw line for upper moustache and remove wood draw hair and hair to establish outline of face mark locariion for lower edge of collar on back view mark hair line and lower edge of collar remove wood to define hair line and coat to suit round beard to coat and draw eyes round hair to collar and collar to coat draw hair and carve draw lines for hair, moustache, beard and carve back view – hair has been carved and the bottom can be rounded to suit for painting Front view – the bottom can be rounded to suit – ready for painting

There are two great videos on YouTube that may help you with your Santa Ornament.

The first is “Guide to woodcarving Faces”  by SharonMyART.
The second is “woodcarving a Santa Face” by Scottcarving
Every instructor has a different approach in explaining how to carve a face but both are similar. I find it is good to listen to as many methods as possible before the magic of understanding clicks in and you say “of coarse I can see that now” and the feeling is good.

Carving a Christmas Santa Ornament

November 1, 2012

It is the time of year for me to start to get ready for Christmas. I started carving Christmas ornaments a few years ago. Carving a christmas ornament is great for anyone interested in learning how to carve and for those who just wish a simple project for practicing basic carving techniques.

Using a block of basswood, 7/8″X7/8″X3-1/2, it is my plan to carve one simple Santa christmas ornament every day for the coming week. After which I should have my version of this popular subject written as a step by step project.