Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Woodcarvers to Show Their Work and Methods at Art Show; the Exhibit of Their Art Is Scheduled for Saturday in Arlington

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Woodcarvers to Show Their Work and Methods at Art Show; the Exhibit of Their Art Is Scheduled for Saturday in Arlington

Article excerpt

Byline: SANDY STRICKLAND

In their artful hands, a nondescript block of wood is transformed into a tiger with a haughty stare, a snow white magnolia with a bumblebee perched atop a petal and a sleeping piglet with a curlicue tail.

Some of their creations are whimsical, some regal and all so lifelike that you're compelled to stroke a feather, for instance, to assure yourself it isn't real.

They were created by a group of woodcarvers who want to share their techniques and recruit new enthusiasts.

"The nice thing about our guild is that nobody is interested in keeping secrets," said Fred Collins, a Deerwood resident and member of the Northeast Florida Woodcarvers Guild. "If somebody discovers a new way of doing something, we share it with others."

The guild will be sharing with the public at an art show from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Woodcraft Store at 9280 Arlington Expressway. Birds, wildlife, relief carvings, walking sticks, chip carvings, caricatures, Christmas items and flowers - some of them award winners - will be displayed. Woodcarving techniques will be demonstrated throughout the day, skilled artisans will answer questions and refreshments will be served.

Almost 50 people belong to the guild, which was formed 20 years ago and is headed by Bud Evans of St. Augustine.

Evans and Collins specialize in carving birds, a meticulous and time-consuming process done with power tools on tupelo wood and requiring a patience akin to watching paint dry. The most tedious - and most important - part is burning fine lines into the wood to replicate feather barbs, the men said.

The process, which uses a wood-burning tool, takes about 20 hours, and there are no shortcuts, Evans said.

"It establishes the detail that shows through the paint and furnishes the illusion that you're looking at feathers," he said.

But not all woodcarving is that intense. Some prefer to use a knife and hand-chisels to turn out wood spirits and caricatures. …

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