David's Mantle

Never letting inexperience get in the way!

SHOP OWNER: David Greenway
LOCATION: Port Orchard, WA

    This is a shot of only my third carving project. I realize that while these are not the best of shots and there are surely many carvers out there doing better work, I wanted to share this work to make the point that the fear of attacking a project that may seem out of reach need not always be the case. I was a cabinetmaker for many years. One day I needed to clean out a router bit burn mark. I went out and bought a curve-matching gouge (I still remember that it was a #8-10mm). That was my first gouge and, depending on your point of view, the worst or best thing I could have done. Since then, it's become a love affair and I've now completed several other similar carving projects.
    Unfortunately, I built this mantle and surround using material that I already had in my shop - ribbon mahogany. Dealing with the directional grain twists in the concave sections of the vase was a big challenge but taught me so many points of technique that I'm glad I made the mistake. You can tell that I enjoy my work but, I'd just like to say, don't let anyone tell you that you're not ready to attempt a project just because you don't have enough experience. Instead, dig in and enjoy the learning process. Read up on what you can, talk to others, and then put the chisels to the wood and go for it.
David's Mantle

    Currently I live in Port Orchard, Washington. I'm retiring in the spring and will be moving back to my farm in Pella, Wisconsin. I hope that someday in the coming years I'll be able to take a class or two from someone who knows classical carving. However, until then if there is something I want to try, the worst that will happen is that I'll end up with some firewood. You can bet that I'll have learned a new technique or two and have expanded my mindís eye to form style and sculpture.

. . . David Greenway



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