Sally C. Brown
I have to go with this—that really nice, big, heavy, hand-milled wood ornament I have was sent to me for a few hundred dollars. It’s a lovely, big, heavy, hand-milled wood ornament, and all the pieces were hand-engraved and made by me—no machine-engravings. It’s a nice thing to give someone a gift.
The piece is in lovely condition, with a beautiful hand-engraved, hand-painted surface on the back. It’s been well-used, and there are only a few marks visible on the carving surface.
What’s the least-favorite craft you’ve worked in?
I’ve worked with quite a few different woodworkers and carving tools over the past few years, but one that I’ve struggled with the most is the small carving tool, the gouge. It’s pretty basic. I love a great gouge—I’ve used quite a few—but you can’t take it to a professional carver or have them take it to this one, and they only do it for one project. Even now, the gouge I’ve been using is a little old. I don’t really enjoy working on these tools, and I am getting very worn out. Sometimes I have to use them two or three times just for a few hours; that’s about the extent of time I can put into it at this stage—and I don’t ever want to use their tools when I’m tired.
What’s got you excited for next?
My next project is something I’ve been working on for the past two years, actually. It takes six months to learn to carve wood, but then I don’t get to use it for another 3-4 years.
What would be your advice to someone just getting into this craft?
I think it’s very important that anyone who’s just getting started to know as much about woodworking as possible, so that they have the information to make sure that they’re selecting the correct tools for the job. They may not need every tool, I don’t know that for sure—I’m sure you could find plenty of tools that work well for some woodworking projects; just don’t go down every path. For a hobby such as woodworking that takes a lot of time and effort, it’s really helpful to have a basic set of skills.
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