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Wood carvers discuss artistic process, technique

February 23, 2012

Scott Kuefler, of Michigan, carves outside the Elk County Courthouse in Ridgway on Wednesday as part of the Rendezvous festivities. Kuefler said he has been coming to Rendezvous for nine years and credits it with launching him as a career wood carver. Photo by Colin Deppen.

In a seminar at the American Legion building on Main Street in Ridgway Wednesday, two artisans participating in the annual Ridgway Chainsaw Carver Rendezvous, Roger Day of England and Bob King of Seattle, Wash., spoke about the processes involved in wood carving, as well as the technique and new technology geared toward the medium of wood.
Bob King, in his seventh year at Rendezvous, delved into the topic of spatial perception which he described as "something we all have in common, how we perceive objects in the world and their relation to us in space."
King said that carvers in particular utilize spatial reasoning in envisioning the sculpture in its entirety or completion before actually creating it.
"Somebody says they want a [carving of a] goat. A lot of you guys are able to visualize that in three dimensions with balance, scale, and anatomy. All the details that make a goat a goat," King said.
King said that a carver uses spatial reasoning often without realizing it as it is often an innate trait, but he said it is also one that can be learned and honed over time.
"Some of us are gifted with that and others have to work hard at it...That's why we're here every year to learn and share that," King said.
King also talked shop with those gathered, showcasing new technology and equipment of interest to the wood carvers in the audience, including a battery-powered chainsaw.

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