Just came back from Marc Adams School of Woodworking. What can I say about this school? I am teaching in multiple schools and every woodworking school has its uniqueness. The location of it is kinda precious to me. I used to live in Indiana for 9 years. Not in Indianapolis but still it is Indiana. The small town of Goshen is about 3 hours north of Indi. A lot of cornfields. Very flat.
You would not expect that there is one of the best woodworking schools in North America. But yes! Right in the middle of the cornfields is where it is.
Every time when I am coming back as a woodworking instructor, I feel like I am in a special place.
If you would ask me what is so special about this woodworking school? People! People who take those woodworking classes and People who teach. The best in the world woodworking instructors teaching there. I like the fact that there are multiple woodworking classes at the same time. Another chance to meet another famous woodworker
I am teaching there every year multiple times. Of course, my classes are only wood carving classes. Every time when I come, someone, teaches wood turning, the school has a lot of woodworking equipment. To make my story short, you have to know about my love for wood carving mallets. So there is a tradition at school, when I am teaching wood carving, a woodturning instructor turns a specialty wood carving mallet on his lathe for me.
This time John Beaver very well-known woodturner made for me a specialty mallet. I am sure I am not going to use it and keep it only in my growing collection of Mallets.
Now about what we worked on.
Every year we are working on absolutely different projects. This year it was Carving in Grinling Gibbons style. We took the idea from one of his frames. If You don't know who was Grinling Gibbons. Grinling Gibbons was born in Rotterdam on 4 April 1648. But he became famous in England.
Gibbons has often been called the ‘British Bernini’ and shared with the great Italian an ability to breathe life into still material. Carefully carved cascades of fruit and flowers, faces of cherubs with puffed out cheeks, crowds of figures and flourishes of architecture – a tumultuous world of pure energy and animation – were to tumble from the hands of Gibbons to grace stately homes and royal palaces across the country. Where Bernini worked with marble, however, Gibbons was a woodcarver; he was neither a joiner nor a carpenter. A more apt description would be that of art writer, William Aglionby (1641–1705), who called him the ‘Michelangelo of Wood’.
Rabbitts, Paul. Grinling Gibbons (Shire Library) . Bloomsbury Publishing.
Here results of this class
I teach for few years in MASW, every year multiple times, but never repeat the same project. My understanding of my work has evolved in recent years so that I do not ignore any new and unexpected thoughts that pop into my head just because they are irrational or do not fit within the narrow frame of my previous views. Instead, I give it my full attention and see where it takes me. The same happened this year. First I thought: we have only one week, can we carve something complicated enough but still finish it in 5 days.
Grinling Gibbon style of wood carving is not a single, but a multi-layer system. In this carving, we used 4 layers it is like carving multiple projects at once.
We used the same wood as Grinling Gibbons used.
The queen of carving woods, in all its pale glory.
…limewood is a patrician medium that, treated correctly, really will be an obedient servant.The Lost Carving – David Esterly
As You can see, everyone has done a great job!