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Hi- I'm Jim O'Dea - welcome to my web site where I highlight the

Southwest Florida Woodcarving
Clubs, Shows and Classes


2017 Season Woodcarving Shows of interest to woodcarver's in the South Florida region click here

Woodcarving seminars held in the Englewood/Charlotte County, FL (between Venice and Port Charlotte) area in the 2017 season:

If you are looking for a place to stay in the area of Englewood, Fl the Gem Coast Inn is the closest Hotel to the class with Lemon Bay Motel being the next closest and there are a few others in Englewood along with 2 Time Share places at the Beach- other areas to look at are Port Charlotte, Northport, and Venice which are all equal distance away.

All Classes start at 08:30am with doors open at 8:00am. They generally go to 4:30pm or whenever you and the instructor agree. Best to bring a lunch (refigerator avaiable) but deli's and fast food are available within a few miles. Specific directions provided when you register for the class with Jim O'Dea (jeodea@aol.com). Class sizes are limited. Chairs are steel folding chairs so if you have a cushion or a favorite chair of your own bring it.

  • Kevin Applegate - Caricature - a 3 day class - This class is Full - I am accepting a waiting list, may schedule a 2nd class if enough inerest - email Jim at jeodea@aol.com

    Class starts Monday 16 January through Wednesday 18 January 2017 featuring a Caricature Bust or Bottle stopper head of a Fireman which you may personalize, such as with facial hair or not and other adjustments to the roughout, includes painting. Kevin will supply all acyclic paints, bring your own brushes & paper towels. Hand tools will be used - loaners available. Kevin's instructional methodology is "step by step", everyone will complete with a carving they can be proud of. Cost is $75 instructional fee which includes the roughout and paints needed. Class is held in the Englewood, Fl area.

    click on images for a larger view

    Kevin is a retired Palm Beach County Fire fighter with intimate knowledge of the fire fighter dress and insignias.

  • Leah Goddard - Realistic Animals - a 4 day class starting Tuesday 24 January through Friday 27 January featuring 2 animals for you to chose from that will include painting - a Fawn which is new and the Panda Bear pictured below. Students can choose from a variety of other animals but she will NOT be painting those.

    Click images for a larger view

    Using simple (hand tools knives, palm gouges, v-tools) and a wood burner, students begin from a basswood rough-out and learn the techniques of carving texturing and painting used to create all realistic mammals or caricature. Close attention will be paid to detail, texturing and anatomy. All painting materials for the Fawn and Panda Bear are supplied by instructor - no other animals can be painted in this class. Class cost: $160.00 plus rough cost- Panda is $20 and fawn is undetermined at this time. Interested students may contact Leah at leah3113@att.net with questions about the class and let her know what animal you would like to do. Click images for a larger view

    Leah will be doing a seperate class n ElJobean area on February 27th-March 2nd. Catching people for painting unfinished projects or anything else is exactly the class theme. The cost is $40 a day and she is going to keep it to a strict 8 limit as it it harder to teach. Contact Leah direct;y at leah3113@att.net if you are interested in any of this catchup days.

    Leah Goddard lives in Tennessee and is a professional artist, author and teacher. She has competed nationally and has won numerous awards as well as best of show at the "Artistry in Wood" show. She is a contributor to Chip Chats magazine and filmed for the DIY Network series "Wood sculptors" .

    Leah has had articles published in Wood Carving Illustrated-Issue 38 Spring 2007 (Realistic Rabbit), a Beaver in summer 2013 issue and the Stocking Mouse in the Holiday issue of 2013, as well as written her own book Carving Natures Rascals: Carving an Armadillo,Skunk,Mouse and Raccoon under the pen name Leah Wachter. Leah's strength is in her close attention paid to detail, texturing and anatomy of animals.

  • Chris Howard - Realistic Bust -Mountain man, Women, Indian and Wood Spirits -This is a 3 day class doing busts or the Cottonwood Bark projects any 3 days of your choice between Tuesday 24 January through Friday 27 January.

    Chris Howard will teach students the fundamentals of how to carve Realistic Faces in Basswood or Butternut busts and Wood Spirit Faces in Cottonwood Bark. Each student will choose the Bust of their choice or piece of bark and learn a step by step process of carving a human face. 3 day instructional fee is $125 plus cost of the Bust - roughoute are $35 -$40 AND bark $15 -$25. Let Chris know in advance what project you want to do so he saves roughout or piece of bark for you. Contact Chris at Chrishoward406@att.net

    Charley Phillips ALL CLASSES CANCELLED!!! Charley has had a personal situation come up preventing her from traveling to FL this year

  • Dennis "Butch" Clark Songbird - White Throated Sparrow and Habitat - a power carving class 27 Feb to 3 March. ( 3 spots left in this class)

    Butch will provide a Tupelo blank, eyes, feet, a pattern,and associated paints. First 2 days will be the habitat and last 3 days will be the bird. Bring a base (about 6-8 inch oval is good) and you will go home with a complete, painted bird and habitat.

    Bigger power tools like Foredom's are not necessay as this is a small bird - Ram like tools are best or smaller Dremel like tools. Loaner power tools may be available - ask Jim @ jeodea@aol.com Students can use hand tools if they prefer. This is a power class so students should have a dust collector - a 20 inch square box fan or smaller fan with a furance filter taped to it is fine. If you are flying in or don't have a dust collecter, contact Jim as loaners may be available.

    Cost is $250 for the 5 days with all materials included. If you are doing the habitat shown, It is a 7" long branch.

    If you would like to just do the habitat, the 2 days cost is $100 includes all materials.

    If you want just the 3 days of bird carving, cost is $150 includes all material. For those carvers who choose to bring their own completed or temporary habitat, they should make sure that it is large enough to mount the sparrow. You need the mount so that the legs can be bent to proper shape before insertion into body and painting.

    In Butch's previous classes with me, all students have been able to finish including painting and mounting on a temporary base that you bring. If you want to bring a permant base to mount it on that is fine.

    Contact Jim O'Dea @ jeodea@aol.com to reserve a spot in this class. Max of 8 students.

    Butch Clark makes his home in a wooded area of rural Darke County, Ohio. The surrounding environment is alive with inspiration for his artwork as it thrives with an abundance of songbird species. However, Butch's art interest didn't begin with woodcarving, or birds.

    Butch began drawing at an early age. He quickly realized his gift, and began taking professional art lessons at the age of eleven. After serving two years in the United States Army from 1966 to 1968, Butch evolved his artistic abilities. In 1976, he completed a four year International Correspondence commercial art course. Soon, his skills were being recognized locally. He began designing logos for schools, corporations, local organizations, and sporting goods suppliers.

    It wasn't until 1992 that Butch began to apply his art skills to woodcarving. Inspired by a lifelong appreciation for nature and a keen interest in bird species, he took lessons from a local woodcarver and soon he was creating his signature songbirds. His first carving was a Northern Cardinal, the official state bird of his native Ohio.

    Butch has become well established in his field, and is highly respected by his peers because of the unique attention to detail evident in his work. Recognized nationally in the woodcarving community, he has won numerous awards including at the Ward World Wildfowl Competition in Ocean City, Maryland and at the International Woodcarvers Congress in Maquoketa, Iowa. His carvings have been featured in national publications such as Chip Chats, Woodcarving Illustrated and Carving Magazine. A gallery of his birds can be viewed in the spring 2009 issue of Carving Magazine.

    Butch is a member of the Brukner Nature Carvers woodcarving club in Troy, Ohio. He spends much of his time sharing his creative ideas and teaching his techniques through carving classes, carving demonstrations and by speaking at local organizations.

  • Pete LeClair - Caricature - Pete, the current President of the Caricature Carvers of America (CCA) will be teaching a 4 day full figure class in the Englewood area of Charlotte County, FL 14 through 17 March 2017 (NOTE THIS IS A DATE CHANGE from origunal schedule). Cost of $140 includes the blank and a CD with step by step pictures of the project. Contact Jim O'Dea at jeodea@aol.com to reserve a spot in this class.

    2017 project picture not yet available but this is what he did in 2015 2015 project Pete will carve a new character for the 2017 class.

    Doors of class room open at 8am, class starts at 8:30am. Chairs are steel folding chairs so if you have a cushion or a favorite chair of your own bring it. Pete divides students into 2 groups of 6 students (or less) and they sit in a circle of chairs - no tables. He sits in between the groups and moves between the 2 groups.

    If you have a 5 gallon bucket or milk crate or TV tray - bring it - you will see why it is handy for setting your tools on- if not I have a few loaners or you can do without. Pete has a few loaner tools if you need them and there are usually a few for sale. Often he has extra blanks with a CD for sale which range from $15 to $20 depending on size.

    Pete also teaches at the Lake Placid Woodcarving Experience in Sept, details here. and has taught at the CCA Carve-a-long East held in Lake Placid, NY in May each year - see details here.

    Pete, a resident of Gardner, Massachusetts, has been carving since 1973 and began showing his work in 1990. In 1994 Pete won Best of Show at the Susquehanna Decoy and Woodcarving Show in Pennsylvania, and is a two time Texas Whittling Champion in the open competition! See more about Pete LeClair and his woodcarvings.

    Pete has a painting video on YouTube click here.

    Pete teaches in a very structured manner, step by step. Thus to get the full benefit of the class students must be there at the start and stay thru the end of the class.

    Pete recommends (but not required) : 1/4, 3/8,1/2" #9 sweep Ramelson or OCCT, 3/8, 1/2: #7 sweep Ramelson or OCCT 3/4 inch #7 or 8 long handle OCCT 5/8 V short blade 3" handle OCCT (this is a "soft" V) 5/16 V short handle(this is a "soft" V) OCCT Knife Pete will have several extras of these recommended gouges with him for the students to use during the class or purchase.

    Pete is a member of the prestigious Caricature Carvers of America. He was inducted into CCA in September 1994. He now teaches seminars throughout the country and recently taught and lectured in the UK and Australia. He is the author of three books. Carving Caricature Heads & Faces, Carving Caricature Figures from Scratch and "Carving A Caricature Bust". Pete also contributed to the book Carving the Full Moon Saloon and Carving the Circus. You can see Pete's books at here on Amazon Books

    If you want information on upcoming seminars, e-mail Jim O'Dea

    a few of Jim O'Dea's wood carvings

    Clubs in Southwest Florida

    For a list of clubs in all Florida