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Buels Gore Wood Carving

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About Buels Gore Wood Carving

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  • Birthday 04/26/1943

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  • Location
    Buels Gore, Vermont
  • Interests
    Converting hardwood burls into human figures
  1. Buels Gore Wood Carving

    Self-taught vs. having had a teacher

    I am still self teaching. I find that blundering through a new project gives me lots of reason to reach out to others for better ways to do the job. Formal training would have may have helped me avoid some of the problems I confront, but there is a certain efficiency in finding information that has a purpose right now. John
  2. Buels Gore Wood Carving

    Repairing split pieces

    Janel, The coffee sounds good. And so does the guidance. I really would prefer not facing a crack, but as you, Phil, Mike and others have pointed out, the cracks may not be a huge problem. I look for burls in the woods, hard maple, cherry and yellow birch, but also fall for strange contortions in any tree that has a human look. The burls may be as large as 4' in diameter, but usually are about 14". Burls do not seem to split, themselves. They also seem to dry fairly quickly. But, the trunk on either side of the burl will split. Anyway I pile them for a year, with their butt ends painted, then hang them in the shed for a year or two. Typically, the bark has fallen off by then and the wood may have begun to crack, or not. With the chainsaw, I try to find human forms. Then, I may carve a log to less than 1" in diameter, for legs and arms and such. At that point, I am looking at pith and heartwood, maybe with sapwood for color. A piece may hold up fine during carving in the shed, but split all the way when I take it in the house. (Wood heat -- lethal) Maybe the outer layers are drier than the inner core, which splits when air quickly draws out moisture. Someone in another area recommended soaking a piece in oil at intervals. Maybe, as you suggested, I should let the cracks form, then use them in the design -- if they show quickly enough. ? Thanks for the careful thought. John
  3. Buels Gore Wood Carving

    Repairing split pieces

    Thanks, Mike. I feel absolved of my crimes. I will pull my Gorilla Glue out of hiding and sweep up another can of saw dust. One of the things I discovered about glue and sawdust -- or maybe others do it too -- is that hammering sawdust into a crack filed with glue seems better than just pressing it in. I borrowed that idea from nineteenth century sailors who have to beach their ships once in a while to hammer tar-covered ropes between the planks.
  4. Buels Gore Wood Carving

    Repairing split pieces

    I get all of my wood wet from the local forest, so it may crack upon drying, especially after I have taken off a good deal of material. Also, I have cracked a ffew pieces at the end of the carving process. Although I have become fairly good at repair, I feel some guilt as I put on the last coat of oil -- particularly if I have managed to make the flaw almost disappear. Can anyone comment on the morality of showing a complete wood piece that has a hidden flaw? John Clarke
  5. Buels Gore Wood Carving


    I understand what DW means. I have a lot of stuff in the shed that should never see the light of day, but I have discovered a motto for figure carving: "Keep going." It seems that my human figures have to repeat the entire sequence of evolution to arrive at some presentable form Blob Amoeba Pig australopithicus hominid Neanderthal Cro magnon Modern human does not come easy. To produce something that doesn't look like it wants to eat my grandkids, I have to keep going. Somehow, the early traces of heritage still show after eons of painstaking adaptation in the shed: fat brow ridges, jutting jaw and bulbed nose. I try to shape them toward modern expressions of desire, mystery or love and I sometimes keep getting closer. Keep going. John Clarke
  6. Buels Gore Wood Carving


    Hello, I carve human figures from black cherry or sugar maple trees from the woods in a small slice of mountain near Appalachian Gap, Vermont, US. Wandering around the forest, I look for burls that show a notable resemblance to human forms. Hardwood burls put up a bit more resistance than softer trees, but I like the rich tone that shows at the end, with all the color variation that occurs in contorted parts of trees. I am hoping to find other wood carvers on this site.