What do we teach in our classes?
Each year we teach several projects aimed towards building carving skills and introducing different types of carving, i.e., carving in the round, relief carving, chip carving, cottonwood bark carving, etc. There is plenty of variety to keep students interested throughout the season.
When are classes conducted?
All classes are taught in the evening, beginning at 6:00P and continuing to around 8:00P. Content is taught on Tuesday and repeated on Thursday in consideration of those who have prior commitments or work schedules that conflict. You do not have to commit to a single day and can attend either or both of the sessions. Current NAWA members can join in any or all of the class sessions.
How much do classes cost?
Classes are FREE but we do ask that students join NAWA. Dues are $20.00 a year and must be paid at or before the first class session. Instructors sell blanks for each project at a nominal fee, generally around $4 (except cottonwood bark or relief blanks which may be slightly more).
What tools are needed for classes?
A SHARP carving knife, optional chip carving knife, strop, and grinding compound, carving glove, and thumb guard are the basic tools needed. If you do not have these items and wish to purchase them at club cost, they will be available at the first class at an average cost of $45.
From time to time, we are made aware of special classes and/or workshops offered by one of our members or by area woodcarvers or organizations. If we find out about these opportunities, we will post them on our News page and in the Calendar.
We offer 2 beginner carving classes each year, January through May; one session on Tuesdays and one session on Thursdays, all at Oak Park Baptist Church.
You do not have to be a beginner to take classes.
The class times, dates, and projects are included in the Calendar (link above).
If you have questions or wish to sign up for our carving classes, please contact us below. Frank Thompson, our class coordinator, will contact you soon.
Carving Class Interest Form
Meet Our Instructors
D is ready to help anyone, any time, any place. All of us rely on his extensive knowledge and generous spirit. He spends an incredible amount of his own time cutting carving blanks for club members' use and in researching new projects for everyone in the club. He can usually be found wherever a few carvers are gathered together. An expert carver, he began carving back in the 80's. D can, and does, carve anything but is most partial to his stunning hummingbird and commemorative ribbon pins.
A charter member of NAWA, Phil has been carving just about forever and can carve anything you can imagine. He was a member of the group that carved the magnificent eagle that can be found in the lobby of the Guntersville State Park lodge and you can view a picture of the eagle on our ABOUT page. He is absolutely famous (or infamous) for his creative and humorous combo carvings such as the "Hummule", a hummingbird when viewed from one angle and a mule from another. He served as a proud member of the 101st Airborne Division and has many heart-warming and entertaining stories about those years. Phil is a warm and generous person and you can always count on him to offer a helping hand in any undertaking. Students (and in fact, all of us) are very fortunate to have his expertise and experience to draw upon.
Larry is retired from the Postal Service and is a long-time member of NAWA. He has been carving since 1987. His favorite subjects to carve are animals, especially horses, and his carvings of them are unbelievably beautiful. He also carves dogs so realistic that you want to reach out and pet them. In addition, he is also known for his lovely human bust carvings and has won numerous prizes and Purchase Awards as well the People's Choice award. He constantly takes top prizes in our annual shows. Go to any of the Show Winners slide shows to see examples of his stunning work.
Juergen is our newest instructor. A retired engineer, he is originally from Germany and came to Huntsville in 1950 when his father was brought here by Wernher Von Braun to work on the Redstone rocket program. Though he has been carving less than 3 years, the mastery he has accomplished is amazing. He professes to enjoying all types of carving but his bird carvings, for example, are simply beautiful. For his first teaching project, he taught a wonderful Scottie Dog, a version of which won 1st prize in the 2017 Show and Competition.
Jim is retired from teaching but we owe him a huge vote of thanks for all the years he devoted to teaching and mentoring our club members in Chip Carving. Jim started carving in 1989 when he lived in Minnesota and at that time carved mainly caricatures. Fortunately for us, he and his wife Ellie (who served as club secretary for many years), found their way to Huntsville where he joined the club and discovered Chip Carving. The rest, as they say, is history. Jim's body of work encompasses everything from ornaments, to plates, to eggs, boxes, and beyond. His precision and detail are breathtaking. Take a look at any of the Show Winner galleries to see examples of his incredible work.
Tom is a past president of NAWA and he and his wife Sandy, our Show Chair for many years, are long-time extremely active members of NAWA. Tom is a retired Navy pilot and has traveled extensively. While Tom truly carves everything, he says his favorite technique is relief carving and carving jewelry. He discovered pyrography a few years ago and has been winning awards in that category ever since. Tom is also a wood turner and especially likes turning pens. One example of his talent is the incredibly beautiful pens he has made with chittamwood scraps leftover from the club's walking stick project. He and Sandy open their home in Gurley almost every Saturday for Open Carving. They only ask that you call first to be sure they are in town and have no other obligations. Their contact info can be found on the Open Carving link above.
Phil is an incredibly talented individual. In addition to his carving and wood burning, he does beautiful, intricate ship models and is also president of the Living Art Bonsai Society. He has won numerous awards for his carving and wood burning and he is the only person to have ever won People's and Carver's Choice at the same woodcarving show. Though he can carve absolutely anything, his true love is carving cottonwood bark. The details he includes in his bark carvings delight all who see them. He keeps pushing the boundaries of what we think is possible. We are indeed fortunate that he is sharing his techniques with us both in the Beginner classes and in Advanced classes that he has offered in the past. In his "spare" time, Phil serves as both our current President & Show Chair.
Dan has been a member of NAWA and a carver since 1999. He is a very active member and has served as president of the club for 3 terms in the past. He is now invaluable in his role as Publicity Chairman, promoting and assisting with the annual shows and other activities. Dan has been teaching for several years. His favorite carving technique is caricatures, both human and animal - in the round. Students are indeed fortunate to have Dan as a mentor and will enjoy his creative class projects.
Jerry began carving in 2005 after attending NAWA's annual show. He believed that carving would be a great skill to develop for his retirement years. So he joined NAWA, became a student in the 2006 wood carving classes, and has been carving ever since. His favorite style of carving is deep relief. Jerry prefers relief carving from the sunken through low and deep to pierced relief presentations. He has found that relief carvings incorporate just about all the skills and techniques of the other styles and only requires attention to the carving details on one side! He has been involved with construction and renovation management for the Army around the world and finds many of his subjects during his travels. He and his wife Kathy came to Huntsville from Anniston in 2001 because of a job reassignment.