Back to woodcarving. We’ll do donuts in a minute.
But first, who took the “ugh” out of doughnuts. Dunkin Donuts, that’s who. My wife, the linguist, studies languages, how they merge and get tangled up, and how they change over time. Donut is a perfect example. Within most our lifetimes, the word has evolved, losing the “ugh” which was silent anyway. Thank you Dunkin Donuts.
It doesn’t take long for a woodcarving newcomer to find that wood has grain and that it’s important to understand how to treat the grain. One of Mary May’s begining exercises is a donut. It’s great for teaching how to handle grain. After lowering the background to leave a nice ring of wood, the donut is divided into 4 segments and each segment is marked for the optimal carving direction. There are 8 markings to remember. If you can only remember fewer then 8, too bad. If you fail to remember them, or fail to learn them, your woodcarving experience will forever be like rubbing a cat’s fur the wrong way.
Do it a second time, and it is much quicker. Do it a third or fourth time, and you’ll know the right directions without needing to mark them first. Do it once a day for a week (it really doesn’t take long) and you automatically start handling grain easily.
Mary has just opened her online “School of Traditional Woodcarving.” The online school is a membership site featuring video lessons from one of the few woodcarving masters that teach. The Donut exercise is one of her beginning lessons. The new school opens with 21 lessons ranging from this simple donut to a variety of carvings on furniture and architectural pieces. Go on over and take a look. The first 3 days of a new subscription are a no-risk trial period.