For the 2009 HotShops Omaha Show, I chose to practice my hand at chip-carving. In early 2009, I took a class from Wayne Barton through the Chicago School of Woodworking. After the class I made a deal with myself – not to begin practicing my carving until it was nice enough to sit on my porch. That way, if I didn’t have time to practice, there was no guilt for not keeping up with it. The second reason is that I don’t have a separate studio from my home. This meant cleaning up wood chips from the floor of my home if I carved indoors. Outside was just more appropriate, and the dead of winter was not a good time to sit outside.
Several months passed and soon the 2009 HotShops show with the theme of Labor/Labour came closer to its deadline. I thought to myself, summer is on its way, it will be nice enough to carve outside, I need the practice, and I want to do something labor intensive for this show. After carving as many blocks as I did, I found the ‘chore’ to be relaxing. But it is hard to do if you are new to the process, and it takes time and patience. I found my fingers grew numb after daily carvings. But the result of my persistence is evident as I look at the first block I carved compared to my most recent block. I’m glad I took the time to wait.