Introduction to Figure Carving: The Stylized Rooster (SOLD OUT)

Folk Art School

Vesterheim Folk Art School

Introduction to Figure Carving: The Stylized Rooster (SOLD OUT)

Wednesdays, April 14, 21, & 28, 2021 (6-7:30 PM CT) with James Miller

Level of Instruction
All levels. Beginners encouraged.
$120.00 Members
$135.00 Non-members

In this class, students will learn fundamental techniques inspired by Nordic tradition while carving a traditional subject – a stylized rooster. 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 for representing simplified details. At the end of the course, each student will learn how to decorate their project with folk-art patterns and motifs. 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. With proper technique, carving this project can be just as safe as preparing a tasty chicken meal at home. Students will need to have the same hand strength and mobility as is required to peel vegetables. Don't hesitate to contact Josh Torkelson, Folk Art Coordinator, with any questions you may have (,

This class includes three Zoom sessions Wednesdays, April 14,21, & 28, 2021 (6-7:30 pm CT), as well as time on your own, spent working on the stroke work and class project.

This class includes a kit shipped to your home with a rooster 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. Tools are required for this class and included in the class fee. 

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

Supplies: Please wear long pants and closed-toed shoes. Students will also need a computer, laptop, or tablet with a camera and mic as well as a fast, reliable internet connection.

Special Instructions: When registering for the class, please make sure to use the address you'd like the kit shipped to, and the email address you'd like the Zoom meeting invitations sent to. You will receive links to the Zoom sessions by email sometime during the week prior to the class. If this class is a gift, please sign up with the recipient's mailing and email addresses or be prepared to forward all communications and/or kit supplies.

Enrollment Deadline: March 31, 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