In March of this year I attended a five day class in Lebanon, Tennessee. The event is called the Renegade Woodcarvers Roundup. For the first time, this year’s class was followed by two classes on the weekend. I took the polymer clay sculpting class. The expectation for the class was to learn to develop ideas in clay that could become a model for a woodcarving. We used a product called Super Sculpey. Our instructor, Rich Wetherbee (CCA), provided everything we needed. We began Friday evening with a introduction to the basics. We learned about making wire armatures to support areas of the sculpture that would succumb to gravity. Also, we worked the clay with our hands and metal sculpting tools. We got down to business Saturday morning. All ten students completed at least one project. The completed projects were baked in a kitchen oven which permanently hardened the clay. Here are some pictures of my completed project. I wasn’t thinking about a project to carve but just having fun with the clay. I don’t know if I’ll do it in wood. My second project is still in progress.
The other class, being held at the same time, was a carving design class. Ten students each collaborated with Chris Hammack (CCA) to develop a pattern for a figure to be carved from a 4X4X8 inch piece of basswood. Everyone had a very unique project. I was really attracted to the project developed by Chris and Willie Thornton. I asked Willie if I could make a copy of his pattern and brought it home to work on it. I modified it a little but kept the same concept. It was a challenge but I enjoyed working on it. Here are pictures of the progress.