WoodCentral's Book Reviews
Carved Gifts For All Occasions

Carved Gifts For All Occasions
by James E. Seitz

Linden Publishing: 2006
Paperback, 88 pp., $17.95
ISBN 0-941936-95-3

     This is not a 'how-to' book for carving, but is a collection of carved gift ideas with tips on how best to produce them. The author assumes common carving knowledge and use of woodworking tools. He uses a scrollsaw for most rough outs, and a drum sander on the drill press for dimensioning timber. Most projects are relatively small, and would serve as nice ideas to use up any accumulated stock in the scrap bin.
     One thing that strikes me about Mr. Seitz' projects is that the jewelry items are not thick and clunky. Lapel pins are refined, and earring pieces are either detailed enough to be attractive, or plain enough to show off fine wood grain. Another nice thing is the alternatives he gives: when illustrating a simple heart to hang on a chain as a pendant, he also shows the design set onto small blocks, threaded with alternating beads on either a necklace loop or an elastic cord to use as an expandable wrist band. This leads to coordinated jewelry sets carved on a common theme.
     Mr. Seitz has ideas for practical gifts such as walking canes or carved bowls and platters, wall plaques and chip carved boxes, and humorous gifts such as a carved frog that overhangs a shirt pocket, or a six-inch whale with a recorded voice box inside, "Help! Let me out of here!" There are bolo tie slides, napkin rings, bracelets, letter openers and back scratchers, as well as a free-form sculpture and laminated jewelry. If you are a carver looking for gift ideas, this is the book.

. . . Barb Siddiqui