New Carvers


Are you a new carver looking for carving information to help develop your skills? Do you want to find other carvers, learn where to buy tools, and learn how to keep your tools sharp? We hope the New England Woodcarvers website will be a place where you can return often to find answers to your questions. Welcome to carving. Enjoy!


Current members are encouraged to send your suggestions to help new carvers, they will be added to what is below. Send suggestions to Kimberly at


Getting Started

  • Remember that carving is not about talent; it's about practice and experience. Even the best carvers started at the beginning. 

  • The best way to get started in carving is to make contact with a carving group, there are many around New England. Check out the carving clubs in our carving club list. You will find a group of friendly carvers, all very willing to help you get started.

  • If there are no clubs in your area, start collecting and studying carving books published in the type of carving you are interested in. Subscribe to some magazines in our list. You can also find various levels of online video tutorials on our list.



  • Often new carvers rush out and buy a set of tools. Don't do that! If there is a nearby carving group visit them for the first time just to get acquainted. Watch what tools they use and ask about what tools you should buy. Most carvers will share their tools so you can decide what works for you. Just don't expect to use their tools forever. Buy only the tools you need for your current project adding tools as needed for future projects. Tool vendors are listed under Resources.

  • If you are working alone from carving books buy only the tools listed in the book for the project you will be doing.



  • Sharp tools are the key to good carvings. Regardless of your skill level dull tools make the work more difficult and are more dangerous then sharp ones. So learn how to sharpen your tools and keep them sharp. Here again the best way to learn sharpening is by watching and being tutored by one of your new friends at the local carving group.

  • Books and sharpening tools can be found in our Resource listings.


Join New England Woodcarvers

  • Go to our Join NEWC page to learn the benefits of belonging to NEWC and complete an application.



  • Just because you are a new carver does not mean you should not enter your work into a competition. Start at the novice level, go to the show and compare your work with other entries. How are they different what do you like about other pieces, what don't you like about them?

  • Talk to the judges to get feedback about how they judged your work and what you can do to improve.

  • Practice, practice, practice and practice some more, the more you carve the more your work will improve.



  • Always! Always! Wear a carving glove and a thumb protector.

  • Remember a sharp tool is always safer than a dull one.

  • Learn proper carving techniques, they prevent accidents

  • Finally remember when you play with sharp tools you will eventually cut yourself so keep some band aids in you toolbox.