Our friendship came to be about a year and a half ago when I had stumbled onto some information about a master carver who happened to live very close me. I was reading a blog called Wood bee carver. http://woodbeecarver.com/ When in the "about me" section I saw that he lived near me and that I could contact him about carving. So I did just that. After a wonderful chat on the phone with Mr Mertz. He offered to have me come over and show me a thing or two about carving. Well from there on out it has been a wonderful journey through the carving experience with a wonderful friend.
Don's approach to carving is like no other I have run across. And while I may view videos and write ups of other carvers. It is Don who I always come back to.
A little about the man. Don Started actively carving in 1975, when he joined the National Wood Carvers Association. Which also prints the Chip Chats magazine. Don's "whittle" style carving involves using a carving knife instead of gouges and other carving related tools. However he does confess to using these tools from time to time.
Don has seen his works printed in Chip chats, Wood Carving Magazine and Wood Carving Illustrated. And to see his collection of Carvings in his Carving room at his house is an amazing sight to see. Every time I go over it is hard not to just set and stare at them all! On September 26, 2009. Don was elected into the Caricature Carvers of American, An honor in it's own right. And has been a member and the elected Secretary position.
If you ever get the chance to sign up for one of his classes, I would highly recommend you do so. As you will not regret a single minute of time spent with a man who in my eyes has given so much to this wonderful hobby. Not to mention the knowledge you will walk away with :)
So to a wonderful I say thank you for all you have taught me so far :) And for the friendship that has come from it. Without this knowledge I would not be as far as I am today.