Joe Dilletts’ Woodcarving Apprentice Program

     To achieve an Apprentice 1 level they began with a simple project that they choose. They learn safety precautions. They must be able to take a knife and gouge and V-tool from a wide blunt edge and get them razor sharp. All have certified through the sharpening. They are all working on carving moldings.
Each molding teaches them right and left hand carving, grain structure and direction of cut. The first molding is a chase carving with a V-tool or veiner (spoon carved design). The next molding is a row of small raised
buttons surrounded in a conceived circle. The third molding is a ropedesign. Two are still working on the rope design and the rest have certified through this point. Egg and dart is the next molding. A shell in the next
molding. The last molding will be their design. After completing all themoldings they must apply a finish. Then they must certify to knowing how to calculate mathematical ratios and proportions and certify to enlarging or
reducing a picture to create a pattern per my requirements. They must certify to knowing the common types of wood they will be carving and how tochoose the direction of grain to orientate a face or how to choose the bestand finest grain direction to orientate the carving. They must develop arespect for wood and the source it comes from through good conservation practices inside and outside the shop. Than they must complete a project.That will get them to Apprentice 1 level.

     Apprentice 2 level will have exercises that refine their chisel techniques,uses power to improve productivity and studies good design techniques and human and animal proportions. They must know how to construct a block for carving and good gluing practices by calculating how to even out clamping pressure. There will be much time devoted to drawing which will be taught from the book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards.They will be learning woodburning techniques and develop a wide vocabularyof texturing techniques by using chisels. They must develop the ability to make clean cuts in remote areas so to eliminate ‘hamburger’.

    To get certified to Journeyman they must have logged about 1000 hours of carving time, demonstrate originality and uniqueness of design. Capable of designing and drawing their own patterns from several sources. Produce a carving from real life, both in the round and in relief. Does not need instruction to design, carve and finish a carving. Understand the material of  wood and how it is effected by moisture changes, UV exposure, various drying techniques, strength and weatherability. Understand, know when to use different finishes and how to apply those different finishes. Able to make several carvings of the same subject, like an oak leaf, and express different feelings, such as serenity, anxiety, sadness, and joy . Knowledgeof all laws and regulations that apply to the carving business, such as sales and income tax, EPA regulations, MSDS sheets, different business structures such as s-corporation or sole-proprietorship, accounting practices as applied to running a carving business. Demonstrate a willingness to share their knowledge by teaching woodcarving classes.

     To achieve the Master Carver level they must have knowledge of good business practices, know how to quote jobs, write work orders/contracts, create invoices and estimate completion times accurately. Demonstrate good marketing skills. Demonstrated a desire to promote woodcarving and teaches on a regular basis. They must demonstrate a willingness to give back to their community by getting involved in community activities.

                                                                    Joe Dillett