Wood Carving Classes

Wood Carving Classes


Each year, AWC hosts a variety of wood carving classes taught by some of the foremost carvers in the world. Classes range from one-day to five-days; topics include wood carving, clay sculpting, painting, pyrography, and many more. There are often classes offered for the non-carving participant.

Anyone who is a member of AWC Ltd. can take a seminar. Membership is $25.00 per year (USA), $30.00 (Foreign) and runs the calendar year from January to December. You may join or renew your membership using the Seminar Registration Form below or the stand-alone membership form HERE


Impromptu gatherings of carvers during the evening hours offer many opportunities to socialize, pick up different carving techniques and perhaps a trade secret or two.


Information and Forms

2023 Class Descriptions and Registration Form. Click here.

We have added another instructor. Jeff Phares will be teaching a bark carving two 2-day classes. Monday - Tuesday and then Thursday - Friday.


You can read current seminar descriptions in November'22 newsletter here.

2023 Shirt and Patch Order Form



5 Day Classes: Monday, June 13 - Friday, June 17

John Engler – 5 Day Class

John has been a professional woodcarver for over 25 years. Born into a family of artist, he began carving while attending Southwest Missouri State University. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree while developing his unique style of woodcarving and watercolor painting.


John’s class will get you involved in all the facets of the art of medium relief woodcarving. A painting class will follow on Friday. No experience is necessary. A wide variety of subject matter will be available to students. These will include architecture (barns, cabins, mills, etc.), also animals (bears, moose, cougars, etc.), and many other interesting projects as well. Clear, concise and understandable instruction on relief carving techniques will be emphasized.

Please go to John’s website: www, johnenglerwoodcarvings.com to view completed projects that will be available to students. Pre-stenciled blanks will run $35.

Vic Hood - 5 Day Class

Vic has been teaching woodcarving for over 25 years and has won top awards in various competitions throughout the country. Vic has designed a class that encourages students of all levels to create their own piece of art. There will be a strong emphasis on design, creativity, and technical execution.


The blanks for the class will be made of butternut and large enough to carve a one half to three quarter size human bust. The cost of the blank will be between $60 and $75 dollars. This is not a portraiture class but subject based, for example, an American Indian, Sea Captain, Mountain Man, etc. It is up to the student to decide what they want to carve. The structure of the class allows for all levels of carving experience, from beginners to accomplished. There will be models available to help students to develop ideas and design.



Dylan Goodson5 Day Class

Relief Portraits from Photos Pick out your favorite picture of a friend or family member and learn how to turn it into a relief portrait carving! Dylan will handle creating the pattern from the photograph you choose before the class so that you can start carving right away. Well, after the discussion on how to create the pattern from a photo anyway. Who knows, there might even be an instructional video on that part of the subject.

The focus of the class will be on creating an accurate portrait that has as much depth and detail as possible.

Please provide your photo as soon as possible, no later than two weeks before the class so that Dylan will have enough time to draw up the patterns and prepare the wood.

If relevant, design elements from the photo other than the portrait can be included in the design.

Dylan will be using 2 inch thick basswood for this class. Project size will depend on the design, but will not exceed 11” by 17”

Materials are included in the cost of the class.

Contact Dylan if you have questions about the class or to discuss your portrait design ideas: 256-497-6797 or by email: dr_g@oldoakenterprises.com


Dylan Goodson started carving in 2000 and in 2005, took his first woodcarving class. Since then he has taken numerous classes learning about different carving techniques, even traveling as far as Austria to study at the Geisler-Moroder Woodcarving School. In the fall of 2007, Dylan taught his first class on relief carvings. Since then he’s taught classes around the country and has also exhibited his work around the eastern United States, garnering top awards at some of the major woodcarving shows.

Check out his website www.oldoakenterprises.com to learn more about him

4 Day Classes: Monday, June 13, - Thursday, June 16

Susan Hendrix - 4 Day Class: Woodspirit on aspen walking stick.

Susan L Hendrix was taught woodturning at BYU by Dale Nish during the early 1970’s and after marrying and raising her family in various states, returned to woodturning in 2005 when she and her husband happened to build a home across from Dale and Noreen Nish.

Susan has taught woodcarving for over 35 years, including woodburning and painting. She has had articles published in woodcarving magazines and is co-author of “Turning Christmas Ornaments” with Dale L. Nish and “Carving Woodspirits: Beyond the Basics” and “Carving Woodspirits: the Basics” with PJ Peery (of TreelineUSA). She coordinated the Utah Woodturning Symposium for 5 years before serving a mission for her church.

Susan will teach classes about carving, using hand tools, and power tools (both high speed air tools and medium speed power tools). She also teaches classes on woodburning and other types of carving, such as: gouge carving, chip carving, relief carving and several other types.



3 Day Classes: Wednesday, June 15, - Friday, June 17


Michele Parsons : Pyrography (Woodburning): Open Studio.

Two Day Class: Monday-Tuesday

Three Day Class: Wednesday-Friday

In this class you will learn how to woodburn and/or expand your knowledge and experience using variable-temperature woodburning tools while creating an in-depth woodburning project under the guidance of a skilled instructor.

We will be using patterns in this class, so you do not need to know how to draw. Students will pick from a selection of wildlife, landscape, or portrait patterns that challenge their particular skill level. Michele wants students to work on subjects that they find interesting and is open to students sending her a picture they want to burn at least 2 weeks in advance of the class so Michele can make the pattern for them.


At the beginning of class, Michele will discuss various aspects of burning the patterns that the students are working on. Then students that are new to woodburning (and those that want a refresher) will be guided through the basic information about woodburning while advanced students move on to start their project. Basic information about woodburning includes safety, wood selection and preparation, equipment selection and care, burning techniques with different types of pens, transferring patterns, correcting mistakes, adding color and finishes. While students are working on their class project, Michele will be demonstrating techniques for burning parts of patterns and working individually with students. Note to interested woodcarvers: This class will teach you woodburning skills that are best to master on a flat surface before you start woodburning round/carved pieces.

Instructor: Michele Parsons is a professional pyrography artist and author for Fox Chapel Publishing's Pyrography Magazine, Leather Pyrography and Quick-Start Woodburning Guide books and contributed to the Big Book of Pyrography Projects. She is also a pyrography instructor for the John C. Campbell Folk School, International Woodcarving Congress, Southeastern Woodcarving School, the American Woodcarving School, and various regional woodworking shops and clubs.

Blanks/Supplies: S15.00 for wood materials

Tools Required: Enthusiasm and your variable temperature woodburning equipment and pens. Some equipment is available for loan on a first-come basis and equipment will also be available for sale. Check Michele’s website at www.ParsonsWoodArtistry.com and look under the Classes tab for a complete list of items needed for class.

Optional tools: Magnifying glasses or clip-on magnifier, a small fan (for pulling fumes away), lighting (small table lamp or clip-on flexible light), and an electrical power strip.

Skill: Beginner to Advanced.


Ryan Olsen - 3 Day Class

Caricature Class

Ryan returns after a very successful year at Congress last year. He has studied with many great caricature carvers, including Marv Kaisersatt, Dave Dunham, Cleve Taylor, and Chris Hammack. Ryan’s woodcarvings have won many awards around the country. He is known for his funny portrayal of opera singers. He is currently a high school choir and orchestra director in Idaho. His extensive teaching experience helps him to explain clearly and concisely. Ryan is a member of the Caricature Carvers of America. Projects will be chosen from a number of available roughouts. Individual instruction will be tailored to specific student need while group instruction will include design elements, anatomy, expression, style, tool uses, etc

Bruce Shostak: Problem Solving Carving 2023. - 1 Day Classes Monday-Friday :

So, you say you are having some problems carving?

Do you have a problem with a carving? Or do you just want to have some fun. Well, here you go!


This class is structured for beginner and intermediate carvers who need help solving problems in carving. Participants must be over 18 years old and have a protective carving glove and thumb guard. I will consider younger students if supervised by an adult. Bring any tools you may have but you will have use of the instructors tools to try to discover your preferences. Also bring something to take notes, extra lighting, power strip, and extension cord since lighting may be poor in our carving area.

In this class you could be introduced to a wide variety of tools and types of woods. Lecture and practice will start off the class to gain knowledge and get a “feel” for different tools, cutting grain, and woods. For those who wish I will have projects with a simple finish for you to try. Or we can complete something from your imagination from scrap wood I will bring.

Cutouts to cost $5, reliefs $2, and scraps are free.

It is my ultimate goal to provide a menagerie of different projects for students. Currently in my menagerie I have ducks, birds, frogs, swans, faces, owls, and reliefs for some of them. It would be helpful if you studied pictures of your preference to gain knowledge of their anatomy.

I can talk a lot about different tools, how to use and sharpen them. I will bring some finished carvings of each as “go bye’s”. It took me 5 hours to carve and finish any of them but I suspect you will take much longer. If you have any questions, contact me on my cell 712-541-8468.

I have been woodcarving since the 6th grade in 1965. Starting at a time when there were few books, no teachers, and poor tools. Starting with ducks and birds I progressed into relief, faces, golf balls, and have tried a wide variety of different types of carvings. I have won several Best of Group awards at the Congress and I am still striving for that Best of Show! Educated as a Civil Engineer I have a strong background in visualizing and completing projects.

Be prepared to receive a wealth of information on many subjects in woodcarving. Hopefully you will gain enough knowledge and enthusiasm to jump start your career as the next Congress blue ribbon winners!

Jan Jenson - 3 Day Class Old World Chip Carving

Old World Chip Carving patterns are more geometric than traditional chip carving. Patterns are applied directly to the projects so carving can start immediately — no drawing. Learn how to do Old World Chip Carving on a practice piece and then do a small project, like a 6” square box or a 8-deck card box (also called a single recipe box). Prices: $20 to $27, both will be available plus others. You will need a good chip carving knife and a good light. All other supplies will be provided. Several designs are available from which to choose.

Jan first started seriously carving in 2002 when introduced to it at an RV park in Texas. She quickly became intrigued with Old World chip carving and began creating patterns for it. She has written 2 books with a third “book” on a thumb drive. Teaching is something she truly enjoys. Eau Claire is her home, but she and her husband winter in Pharr, Texas.


2 Day Classes: Monday, June 13, - Tuesday, June 14

Ryan Olsen - 2 Day Class

Ryan Olsen is a high school choir and orchestra director in Idaho. Ryan takes this love and skill of teaching and brings this talent to his students. Ryan is well known for his funny portrayal of opera singers. Ryan is a member of the Caricature Carvers of America.

Projects will be chosen from a number of available roughouts. Ryan will share all of his techniques and methods from roughing to paint and finish. Students that work hard during the session will be able to finish a project in the two days.

Michele Parsons:Pyrography (Woodburning): Open Studio

2 Day Class




Jeff Phares a bark carving class two 2-day classes. Monday - Tuesday and then Thursday - Friday.

Jeff Phares began carving as a hobby in 1984. He showed such a natural talent in this area that he began carving full time by 1991, and quickly became known throughout he wood carving community as one of the Nation's best in his field.

Jeff has reflected his skill to such a level that he now works in many different mediums, and has developed the techniques in his art that are unique and unprecedented in his finished work. Jeff is currently promoting his work in bronze, however wood carving is still his major passion.

Jeff teaches classes and gives seminars in numerous locations across the Country during each year. It is apparent that Jeff wishes to suggest in his finished work the demeanor of the subject, and his intention to use the grain and natural irregularities for effect. Jeff motivates his students to learn this technique, and search deep for their own creativity, as he does with all his projects.


Old World Chip Carving

Jan Jenson - 2 Day Class

Old World Chip Carving patterns are more geometric than traditional chip carving. Patterns are applied directly to the projects so carving can start immediately — no drawing. Learn how to do Old World Chip Carving on a practice piece and then do a small project, like a 6” square box or a 8-deck card box (also called a single recipe box). Prices: $20 to $27, both will be available plus others. You will need a good chip carving knife and a good light. All other supplies will be provided. Several designs are available from which to choose.

One Day Classes: Wednesday, June 15

One Day Classes: Saturday, June 18

Ryan Olsen1 Day Class

Ryan brings his 25 years of woodcarving experience to his students. In this exciting 1-day class, students will get a taste of his process, techniques, and even a little of his humor. Students will choose from many different 3" figures, some old, some new. There will be go-by's and as many little people as you would like to carve in a day. Ryan is a member of the Caricature Carvers of America.

Michele Parsons - 1 Day Class

Intro to Pyrography: Leather

Have you tried burning on leather? Michele Parsons will teach the basics of burning on leather from her new Fox Chapel book, Leather Pyrography. Students will be using variable-temperature equipment, which is not the same as the craft wood burners that you may be familiar with from Scouts. You do not need to be an artist—if you can trace lines, Michele can teach you how to burn using patterns. Materials cost: Leather coasters, key fobs, bracelets, etc. ($3.50-$8 depending on your choices). Michele will send students a tool list in advance and has 5 woodburning units to loan on a first come basis. Visit Michele’s website at www.ParsonsWoodArtistry.com for contact info and to view samples of her work