WoodCentral's Book Reviews
Woodcarving: Book I, Basic Techniques

Woodcarving: Book I -- Basic Techniques
by Ian Norbury

Linden Publishing: 2002
Paperback, 86 pp., $15.95
ISBN 0-941936-78-3

     Ian Norbury is a master carver with several detailed and advanced carving books to his credit. In this new volume, he is backing up to guide beginners through small, quick projects to familiarize new carvers with tools and basic techniques.
     Norbury says in his introduction, "Twenty years of experience teaching in various countries around the world has taught me a number of things. First, most carvers do not have a lot of time to do it. Second, most do not have dozens of tools...and third, they want to make something and enjoy it, not agonize for weeks and probably give up when it does not appear to be working out. This book is about learning to carve in small bites."
     The author starts with tools and techniques, wood selection and sharpening. The seven weekend projects then progress through bowls and platters, a Haida mask, relief carving, cane handles, sealife and birds, a bust in the round, dragon coat hangar, a knife handle and a fine Celtic axe handle.
     Norbury offers complete step by step guidance, cautioning the beginner to pay special attention to details where necessary, and directing the cuts for best results. He discusses final sanding and finishing, alternate wood types and various uses for the projects.
     About half color and half black and white photography, this is one of the best beginning carver's guides I've seen. It is reasonably priced and is an encouraging way to attempt the craft and achieve satsifying results.

. . . Barb Siddiqui