Dixie Biggs has been a full-time studio woodturner/artist since 1989. She grew up with a love of carving and a fascination for working in wood. Her interest in woodturning began in 1979 when she taught herself to use a wood lathe so she could duplicate a chess set her grandfather had made.
Power Carving and Pyrography with Dixie Biggs
Explore power relief carving and pyrography techniques commonly used by woodturners, furniture makers, and other wood artists to expand the visual impact of your pieces.
Dixie will demonstrate embellishment techniques with a micro-motor rotary power carver, wood burning with a pyrography pen to add texture and detail, and the dry-brush method with acrylic paints to incorporate colour into your work.
Knowing how to use a lathe or other woodworking machines is not required. Dixie will be only using a power carver and pyrography pen to demonstrate her process using sample discs and blocks provided by the School.
Class Learning Objectives:
Taking the mystery out of power relief carving
Exploring several new relief carving approaches
Developing tool control
Modifying carving burrs
Experimenting with textures using a variety of burrs
Proper sanding techniques
Incorporating newfound skills into other projects
Woodturners: bring turnings ready to carve (see notes below).
Furniture makers: bring something of a manageable size you would like to carve on.
Sculptors: if you have a piece of wood you’ve wanted to work on, bring it.
Woodcut Printmakers: we will have boards you can use or bring your own.
Everyone Else: there will be turned sample discs and blocks provided to you by the School.
Additional Notes for the work you bring:
Select wood with fairly tight grain; open grain can cause problems for beginning students. Have something that is straight-grained and rather plain. Cherry or maple would be good choices. You don’t want figure or colour variations to compete with your carving.
Please don’t bring exotics because some class members may be allergic.
Woodturners: Thicker is better. Size doesn’t matter; it just depends on your ambition. Any bowls, vessels, or platters with a wall thickness of around 3/8″ works well. You might want to carve the whole thing or leave a wide band that is thicker around the piece where you can do the carving.
For rotary power carving, the sample pieces must be thoroughly dried (no green wood). Wet wood will gum up your carving burrs.
Materials & Tools: The School will provide the rotary power carvers and pyrography pens, but feel free to bring your own.