Welcome to the Instructors for 2017. You can visit their personal pages for more detail about an instructor.
Please check back every so often as additional instructors may be added to the 2017 Academy. They will be added to our web page as soon as the information is available.
Here, you will have a moment to learn about who the NW Carving Academy instructors are, their backgrounds and some of the things that have brought them along their path to this place and time to be with you. Each one has a unique background that has formed their knowledgebase, tools and teaching skills. Ask questions, take notes and enjoy...
Click on pictures for an enlarged view.
Wayne is a professional woodcarver who took his formal training in the woodcarving center of Brienz, Switzerland. Though versed in all disciplines of woodcarving, he specializes in chip carving; his work can be found in private collections in Europe, Asia, and North America. He is the only American to have his chip carvings in special exhibition at the Swiss National Museum in Zurich, Switzerland. He was named Woodcarver of the Year by the editors of Woodcarving Illustrated in 2005. Wayne has written seven popular books on chip carving and has make several appearances on The American Woodshop with Scott Phillips and The Woodwright's Shop with Roy Underhill. He also has designed and manufactures chip carving knives and sharpening stones recognized for their exceptional quality by enthusiasts.
Wayne is the founder and director of the Alpine School of Woodcarving, Ltd., the oldest establishment in North America dedicated to the learning and study of chip carving and devotes much of his time teaching in the United States, Canada, and Switzerland. He has won both national and international recognition for his work and contributions to the woodcarving community in general.
Penny Burns owned an American Art & Craft store for 28 years. Teaching crafts has always been very rewarding but teaching Nantucket Lightship Baskets has been most the exciting. Penny has been weaving baskets for 12 years and teaching for 9 years. She offers you a choice from over 20 baskets of various sizes and shapes.
Chris Hammack loves to whittle and make people laugh. Chris’ carving career began 25 years ago after a thirty foot fall landed him in the hospital. During a five month convalescence he picked up a piece of firewood and a pocket knife and began carving caricatures, of which he had sketched as a young boy growing up in Texas. Within two years, Chris began competing in carving competitions returning home with First Place Awards.
The years following would bring national seminars, art pieces presented to U.S Senators, mayors and actors. Hammack’s artwork has been featured on Leanin’ Tree cards for over twenty years. Chris started a successful business in Colorado and his art work went around the globe. “ I was told one couldn’t make a living whittling. I’m proud to have proved you can”, Chris says with a smile.
Today, Chris is back to his roots in Texas where he continues to create new characters/scenes and taking them straight to a fresh block of wood. Through his artwork Chris shares his intuitive knowledge of the cowboy lifestyle and the humor therein.“A good piece of basswood, a freshly sharpened knife and a funny story; all great materials.” Chris proclaims.
Jeff Harness was born in Branson, Missouri and later grew up in the Hannibal area. He was fascinated with art in all forms, at an early age. Sketching and painting in watercolors, oils and acrylics eventually led to more 3 dimensional medias such as clay and wood sculpture. After a career as a digital hardware design engineer, wood sculpture became a full time occupation.
He got his start by taking classes from Kelley Stadelman, Dave Disselbret, and Terry Kramer, all Oregon carvers, then went on to study under Marv Kaisersatt, Nora Hall and others. His greatest influence came from classes with Jeff Phares and Phillip Faraut, masters of the human face and expression. While Jeff has carved many different subjects from dragons and gargoyles to bears, eagles and dolphins, in-the-round and relief, he prefers to specialize in realistic head busts. More recently his focus is upon the ethnic tribes of the North American continent. His goal is to not only accurately represent the specific tribal facial features, but to capture emotions appropriate to the subject matter.
Jeff currently resides in Hillsboro, Oregon and teaches wood carving at the Valley Art Gallery in Forest Grove. For more photos of Jeff’s work, check out his Facebook page.
Pat Moore is a Kindred, ND resident who has been carving and painting for over 30 years. She has won several Best of Show Awards and numerous blue ribbons at shows across the country. She has been featured in Chip Chats and Woodcarving Illustrated and has had the honor of frequently judging at woodcarving shows. As an instructor she travels throughout the U.S. teaching seminars and sharing her techniques as an experienced carver and painter.
Charley Phillips is known for her delicate floral carvings on many practical and useful items such as signs, dresser boxes and mirror frames.
A decorative painter for many years, she turned to woodcarving in 1995.
Her work has won awards in several regional woodcarving shows. She has written articles for "Woodcarving illustrated" featuring her unique floral relief carving projects.
Mike Reifel is a fabulous wood carver! He is fond of carving dragons but any piece of wood he starts to carve is a work of art.
Jerry grew up in the northwest where he spent numerous days fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, and caring for a variety of animals on his family's small farm. During this time he also grew to have an appreciation of and involvement in art with his many days and nights painting and exploring other mediums.
It wasn't until 1993 after going to a few art shows and galleries that Jerry was drawn towards bird and fish sculptures. Deep down he knew this was going to be the medium that would be most rewarding and allow him the ability to apply his love of wildlife into art. Jerry has competed regularly at top-level bird carving shows around the country, including the Ward World Championships. He has received numerous high level awards with his wide variety of wildfowl and fish sculptures.
Jerry has been invited to judge at some of these same shows he grew from. Most notable was the 2004 and 2005 Ward World Championships. With his passion for the art, Jerry has been sharing this knowledge and skill with others not only through judging, but also through seminars and classes. This has provided a very rewarding avenue knowing he is helping others grow in their passion for the arts.
Jerry is not only a phenomenal sculptor but also a wonderful teacher. You can see from reading his articles in Wildfowl Carving Magazine that he is very thorough and detail oriented. Having four of his songbirds grace the cover of Wildfowl Carving Magazine he will certainly raise your carving and painting to the next level.