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I wanted one of those hiking sticks with a face carved into the handle but didn't want to pay the prices they went for at craft fairs. After some searching, I learned those carvings are known as wood spirits. A bit more searching led to an excellent little booklet titled, appropriately enough:

How to Carve a Woodspirit in a Hiking Stick by Sklyar Johnson. There is no better introduction to wood carving. You can read the review I posted on that Amazon page.

Thanks to that booklet, with no experience and little effort I finally have that hiking stick, have given away a couple as gifts and, incidentally, found another excuse to buy more tools (including that nifty Flexcut Detail Knife you may be seeing as a cursor).

These represent some early attempts to learn basic wood carving.

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