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06.03.2013 admin
My wife, Carrie Camann and I have been hard at work developing our new website: "Chris Pye's Woodcarving Workshops" and are still on schedule to launch at the beginning of the New Year. Our young, hot web design team, Mentor Digital of Bristol, have impressed us with their ability to collaborate, to get what we believe woodcarvers want in the way of an instructional site, and their willingness to adapt to our 'old school' aesthetics. The course will be basic relief carving and follow the plan in my Relief Carving book (aka.
For the 14th year I'm instructing in woodcarving at the wonderful Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, Rockport, Maine. Participants develop their carving skills through the process of designing and carving a traditional European Green Man. Just to be clear: We'll be carving the European, traditional Green Man with foliate face, not the modernistic, bearded 'Wood Spirit' resembling some old mountain man. I have created both a book and a DVD on lettercarving itself so I'm not going to say anything about that here.

Some climates are harder on timber, others less; some woods are more resistant to decay, some less.
Whatever wood you choose for your sign, it'll survive better if air can be allowed to circulate around it and any part is not left in prolonged contact with water. The paint in incised letters is tucked away below the surface of the wood and will weather far better than paint on the surface.
Over the years I've moved away from varnish, which eventually peals, to oiling wood with Danish or Linseed. Please forward this newsletter to a woodcarving friend, and anyone else you think might be interested. The best way to learn or improve your carving is to join me in my studio for intensive, custom tuition, tailored to exactly what you need. The wood we normally carve is dead and as such waiting to decompose and return to the earth from which it came.

Otherwise, you need to find a wood with natural oils in it: Teak, Iroko and Mahogany spring to mind. Oak), the cut end-grain fibres of the carved letters suck the paint up by capillary action, resulting in little lines of colour bleeding from the painted letters into the board surface - very noticeable with white paint on dark wood! Decomposition is naturally accomplished by the weather (damp, frost), fungi and wood-boring beetles.

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