Author: Harley Refsal
Published by: Fox Chapel Publishing
This just published book provides an entry portal into the world of whittling or what is here more correctly termed Scandinavian flat-pane carving.
Harley Refsal lives in the US and learnt woodwork on the family farm in Iowa from his father and Norwegian-born grandfather. Since the 1980s he is credited as being responsible for the revival of this Norwegian folk art tradition.
As the name of the style suggests, large flat planes are carved away, primarily using a knife but using also a few gouges. The style especially lends itself to carving character figurines and caricatures. Although the results appear roughly hewn they can, when skilfully executed, be remarkably evocative.
The book introduces the history and nature of the style, and the tools needed. There are four step by step projects that will teach you by simply getting you started: Troll King, Troll Queen, Java John and Mocha Mary. Each has great photos and sketches to guide you. After that the book contains over 40 patterns that can be traced and used to carve from.
This is a great style to learn, you don’t need to spend a lot on tools or timber and it’s the perfect pastime to take away on holidays. Those who are wheelchair bound or confined as far as space goes will find here an achieveable and affordable craft to learn.
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You can order the book direct from the publishers here