Introduction to Figure Carving (SOLD OUT)

Folk Art School

Vesterheim Folk Art School

Introduction to Figure Carving (SOLD OUT)

Wednesdays February 3, 10, 17 (6:00 PM - 7:30 PM CT) with James Miller

Level of Instruction
$120.00 Members
$120.00 Non-members

In this class, students will learn fundamental techniques inspired by Nordic tradition by carving a familiar animal: a red squirrel. This fun project is suitable for beginners, yet presents plenty of room for expressiveness and simplification of details. Students will develop a comfortable knife grip, learn effective sharpening methods, and explore various methods of texturing. At the end of the course, each student will get the chance to bring your squirrel to life through a unique painting method. Instruction will be provided via Zoom meetings and also through instructional videos provided by the instructor. This class is perfect for those who have never carved before. Together, we will go through safe knife holds and the steps to carve safely and efficiently. Carving is just as safe as cooking at home. Students only need good hand strength and some flexibility.

Please wear pants and close-toed shoes.

This class includes a kit shipped to your home with a squirrel blank, an OCC 1 7/8 inch straight knife, carving gloves, acrylic paint, brushes, and a special treat from Vesterheim (a $55 value). Kits will have everything you need to continue carving, long after class.  If you are left-handed, please email to make sure we get you the right tools!

If you are registering for this class in a location outside the contiguous United States, additional shipping charges may apply. Please contact when you register for more information. 

Supplies: A computer, laptop, or tablet with a camera and mic as well as a fast, reliable internet connection.

Special Instructions: You will receive a link to the Zoom sessions by email sometime during the week prior to the first group meeting.

Enrollment Deadline: January 23, 2021

Registration for this class has closed.

About the Instructor

James  Miller

James Miller

James Miller started carving at age 11 under the tutelage of a supportive Community Education carving group. The members of this group introduced him to the flat-plane style, which sparked his ever-expanding interest in Scandinavian culture as a whole. This interest, along with the support of mentors, family, and friends, led him to become the youngest Vesterheim Gold Medalist woodworker, teach several classes, demonstrate in various small-town events, and even travel to Norway. Since then, he has written several articles for Woodcarving Illustrated and an instructional book titled Whittling Flat-Plane Animals, featuring 15 how-to Scandinavian animal projects.

When he’s not busy with handcraft, exploring the outdoors, or spending time with friends, James is at work developing software, where he also happily faces the same challenge he finds in his woodcarving: simplifying and abstracting ideas in unique ways. For more of his work, visit his Facebook page