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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014

Gualala Arts Workshop
Introduction to Woodcarving
Instructor: Jim Tackett

Friday, Saturday, Sunday
February 8, 9, 10, 2008
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Introduction to Woodcarving
Register by:   January 25, 2008
Tuition:   $120 members; $135 non-members
Materials fee:   $75 optional
Materials list:   Pay materials fee or
supply own tools (contact instructor)
Class size:   minimum 4; maximum 10

If you have ever wanted to carve wood, but didn't know how to get started, this 3-day course is for you. If you have done some carving in the past and would like to take it up again, you will profit from this course.

You will learn something about wood and the basic tools used for carving. This will be a hands-on course in which you will learn techniques used in relief carving and carving in the round. Although the emphasis will be on using basic hand tools; a knife and gouge, reference will be made to the use of power tools, woodburning and finishing.

After the initial introduction, material will be discussed and the students will be encouraged to select a simple project and pursue it at their own pace. More than one project will probably be completed during the course. Wood for these projects can be supplied by the course (bass wood) or the student can supply any wood of their choice.

Upon completion of this course the student should be ready to take on more difficult projects and participate in the woodcarving group at the Gualala Arts Center.

To participate in this course, the minimum materials requirement for a student is a carving knife and a carving gouge (a 1/2 inch #3 would be ideal.) Consult with the instructor if this presents a difficulty.

The Beginner's Handbook of Woodcarving The recommended materials include:

  • "The Beginner's Handbook of Woodcarving" by Charles Beiderman and William Johnston, Dover Publications, 1993;
  • A 5 piece set of Flexcut gouges - $45
  • A Flexcut carving knife - $10
  • A Flexcut honing system.- $10

The total materials cost is estimated to be about $75. When you register for the workshop, indicate if you would like for the instructor to purchase the recommended material for you.

About the Instructor

Jim Tackett, the instructor, has been carving wood for about eight years. Upon retirement from his job as an Analytical Chemist at a major oil company, he decided to take up chainsaw carving. He lived in Denver on property that had some beetle-kill pine trees. After completing several bears, winter set in and "inside" carving became more appropriate.

Jim took a class in detailed bird carving at a local WoodCraft store. After completing a black capped chickadee, Jim and his wife Carol moved to the Sea Ranch in 2000. Upon arriving in this area, Jim participated in the Point Arena chainsaw competition. He learned new techniques and acquired a lot of "scrap" redwood. Since that time he has made good use of that wood as well as other wood gathered locally. Now he makes limited use of the chainsaw to "rough out" larger projects and uses power and/or hand tools to finish his pieces.

He does not consider himself to be an expert woodcarver, but feels he has developed enough expertise to teach an introductory course. His work has been displayed in several Gualala Art Center exhibits and at the Gravenstein Apple Fair. Jim was curator of the Wood Creations 2005 and Wood Creations 2007 exhibits at Gualala Arts. He, along with Dave Windsor, has been instrumental in forming the Mendonoma Woodworking Group at the Arts Center. Jim is an active member of the Sonoma Woodcarving Group that meets in Santa Rosa.

The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email

Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.