Linda Louise Mecham-Rigsbee
Train carved from nylon bar stock
I had to have been old enough to be allowed a knife before I could have carved. I'm sure I was given one as soon as I expressed interest. I don't remember my first knife, but there have been many since.
I remember reading something once about carving being simple because you just cut away the part that wasn't the object you wanted. I thought that was a pretty good description. I saw animals in clouds and woodgrain. Some called me a dreamer, but maybe I was a seer. Ha ha.
The first objects I remember carving were made from soft pine bark. After that, I tried just about anything. When my father brought me an 8" length of nylon bar stock and asked if I could carve something from it, I immediately accepted the challenge. He liked old steam trains, so I carved one for him. Dad is gone now, but I still have that carved train.
One of my favorite mediums to carve used to be soap. I carved intricate deer with antlers, cats and many different animals. I don't have most of them now. Many were given away. Soap becomes brittle with age, so it doesn't last.
I have carved designs on wood as well as items from wood. Some wood is easier to carve than others, I have discovered. I have no formal training in carving and never had tools other than a utility knife or a standard jack knife. One thing my parents taught me was to use what you had, because there usually wasn't money to buy professional tools - or lessons, for that matter.