Monday, July 12, 2010

"So You Thought You Couldn't Cut It; A beginner's guide to woodcarving" August 2011 update

I am very excited to tell you that I have agreed to do the Photo illustrations for Jim Calder's and Jen Coate's new book, "So You Thought You Couldn't Cut It; A beginner's guide to woodcarving". I am proud and humbled to be asked to contribute to this collaboration of such talented artists.

Jim Calder is a world renowned master carver and has been profiled on "ABC's World News Tonight" and "Master Carver" magazine. Jen Coate has just won First Place in the Schizophrenic Writer's “Speaking of Getting Paid for Writing” contest.

Bobbi Carducci, Founder/Director of the Young Voices Foundation has brought Jim and Jen together to collaborate on the wood carving book for children and kids at heart!

This morning we met to discuss the business details of the book. But a full scale teaching lesson broke out! Bobbi supplied Sweet Potato's and Jim supplied his talent and skill. Within an hour "I" had carved a Viking from the sweet potato! Jim really made the whole thing easy... really! I must say that I have a lot of practicing to do but his method of teaching really gives you the confidence to cut it up!

Above: Bobbi Carducci, Jen Coate and Jim Calder. The orange sweet potato lower right is my first attempt at carving... not bad huh?
Tomorrow, we begin shooting for the book. It should be fun but challenging. Lots of macro work for me and the lighting will be a tough thing to set up. I'll try to keep updating this entry to show the progress of the project.

Tuesday July 13, 2010:

Well, shooting began a little after 10:00am this morning. As I said yesterday, it was a challenge with the lighting but I think after a couple of hundred shots we've got some keepers! And the best thing is that with the lesson from yesterday, I could actually follow what Jim was doing! I know I've said this before but it really does pay off to do some homework before a shoot. I am so glad that Jim worked with us yesterday, teaching us before we attempted to do anything for the book. It really made a BIG difference for today's shoot!

Here's a few of the photos from today, I don't know if they will make the book but you can see some of the carving process:

Sketching the carving. (click on any photo to enlarge)

Pencil marks for my benefit.

The face is taking shape

Almost complete!

Thursday July 15, 2010
Tonight Jim held a class for children on how to carve a sweet potato. 11 kids and their parents took part in the class. From a photographers stand point, it was really difficult to shoot. I have always found it hard to shoot children. I can't seem to anticipate what they are going to do and when they will do it! Very unpredictable! But, as always, the smiles are genuine, and all the kids were fantastic photo ops!  I just had a hard time getting to the right angle at the right time to capture that BIG smile when they saw what they were creating! Here are a few shots from last night's class.

Jim started the class by showing what the kids were going to create.

Admiring her work!

The Kids were very serious learners!

The new carvers display their works of art!

I didn't post a lot of the pictures from the class. You'll have to buy the book for that! I can tell you that everybody had fun and learned a new skill!

Saturday July 24, 2010
Most of my work is done. I took about 800 photos all told. The next step is for Jim and Jen. They have the hard part of laying out the book. I'm not sure how long this will take but I'm really excited to see what they come up with. Once they have chosen the photos for the book I will then have to make them print ready. That will take some time to complete. The book will be mostly pictures showing the work flow on how to create the face both on a sweet potato and on wood. Then some pictures of Jim's work, for a little inspiration of what you can do with a LOT of practice!

The Young Voices Foundation was established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational charity to help finance our outreach to young writers.

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Follow Bobbi on Twitter: @bobbicarducci

Jim Calder, The Wizzard of Wood

To Order: "So You Thought You Couldn't Cut It; A beginner's guide to woodcarving"

August 30, 2011 Update
The book is finally in print! After more than a year after we first started the first shipment of books arrived today!
If you've ever wanted to carve the is the book for you. Step by step instructions from the Master Wood Carver... Jim Calder! It was such a pleasure to work with such talented people. I was happy to add a little something to the book!