Woodworker's Central
Woodworker's Gazette
Gazette Archive 1/15/01

A book review: By Eric Smith

Title: High-Relief Wood Carving

William J. Schnute

Published by: Sterling Publishing Co. Inc.
387 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016-8810
ISBN 0806993367
Price Softcover: $14.95 (Canada $21.95 )
160 pages, 8 in color/200 B&W

In this book Mr. Schnute takes both the craft and art of carving, and creates very tangible examples of how things can be achieved in this medium.

In the first chapter he gives a great layout of how a wood carving studio (or shop for us more humble artisans) can be set up. It seems to be a good layout for wood shops in general. He does have one curious but great fixture in his shop, an old operating table! This allows great versatility while supporting both large and small pieces of work.

The book then goes through methods of work with a good deal of photographs from Mr. Schnute's folio. The pictures and text are extremely well matched and simplify the points he is making. He covers wood and the various ways which it affects the carving as a whole and how some are more suitable than others at certain times!

He goes on to cover adhesives and tools and finishes for carvings. It is all done in great detail, and applicable to his interests. He ends the book with a chapter about a commission he received to do a large carving called "The Mississippi River Bank". It was an ambitious project that boggled my mind with its complexity and craft. It, in itself, is worth a peek!

I enjoyed reading Mr. Schnute's book. It demonstrates a clear understanding and passion for his subject. It also makes it an achievable goal for people to try carving without mystifying the process.

Eric Smith

Editor's Note: Sterling Publishing has graciously donated several books for review which are passed on to our members free of charge in exchange for thoughtful, honest reviews. Thank You! And you can usually find their titles at a discount from Barnes And Noble

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