to the Jim Willis web site!!
It's hard to believe that I've been actively carving for 35 years. My
early carving ventures were neckerchief slides in Boy Scouts and caricature
animals in a high school craft class all with only a pocket knife.
Years later, I heard about a woodcarving show in Kansas City, MO so my
wife, Ellen, and baby girl and I went to see it. The carving bug
bit big time, and for the past 35 years it has still been biting.
My main focus has always been on realistic subjects whether it's animal
or human. For the past several years, I have ventured into stylized
animal carving. The past six years, 2007-2012, I have been fortunate
enough to win the Walter Grether Award for stylized carving at the Dayton
"Artistry in Wood" show. The Lynx mask and Morning Stretch-Lioness
were also Best of Show at the Kansas City Chippers show in 2009 and 2010.
Another diversion has been mini-caricature bottle stoppers which
have done well at the AIW show and the Kansas City show as well. I
was also honored by the CCA members at the AIW show with a Merit Award
for the bottle stoppers. I still love carving Santas too and I have
been adding a few of them to my rough out supply.
In the Fall 2010 issue of Wood Carving Illustrated, I had an article on
3 view band sawing of blanks, and in the Summer issue of 2011, I had an
article on carving American and Canadian flag pins. My Tequila worm bottle
stopper was in the Spring 2012 issue 58 of Woodcarving Illustrated. It
has been a big hit.
I am always working on more animals for upcoming seminars at Woodcarving
Rendezvous in June and October. I taught at the Silver Dollar City
seminars for 2 years and it was changed to the Ozarks Woodcarving Seminar
in Springfield, MO. I have been teaching there for the past 2 years,
and I will be there again in March of 2013. For the past 6 years,
I have been teaching a seminar for the Bolivar, MO carving club which
has been a great experience as well. Please contact me for a weekend
seminar at your club! The new projects in the works for this years
seminars will be a bobcat figure and a mustang bust. Look for them
and I live in Kansas City, MO along with our 2 grown children and 6 grandkids.
Needless to say we are enjoying our Retirement!
The 2012 Walter Grether Award
at the Dayton Artistry in Wood Show