Tell us about yourself.
I am a Husband and father of a teenage son and teenage daughter. I own Deepwoods Ventures.
How long have you been making carving-related tools and how did you first get interested in it?
After a stint in the Army, I used my GI bill and earned a degree in Technical Illustration and Graphic Design. From there, I worked in advertising in a couple of newspapers before my wife and I ran our own Graphic Design Studio. We grew tired of the corporate sales aspect of the business and left it to work for a former client. At the time I was forging tools on the side and after 8 years of that decided that the 3 a.m. work sessions had to stop. So we decided to make the jump and work at it full time.
You also carve spoons. How does carving inform your tool making and vice versa?
I have carved figures and spoons since I was a teenager. My father is a woodworker and at that time, I liked to make my own tools from mechanical hacksaw blades and worn planer blades he brought home from his job at a board manufacturing plant. I would carefully dip and grind a tool to do what I needed it to do and then proceed to carve away. I went from a stock removal guy, (Just grind away what doesn’t look like a knife) to forging to shape via hammer and anvil. I like the hammer and anvil a lot better.
Are there any particular toolmakers who inspire your work?
There are so many inspirational toolmakers these days. It would be hard to narrow one down. I follow a lot of toolmakers on IG, Runesland Knives, Jason Lanon, Matt White, Reid Schwartz… that’s just the beginning. It seems every time I get on Instagram there is a new one producing great work.
How have your toolmaking techniques changed over time?
My tool making changed the more I carved. I began to learn a lot more about metallurgy, blade geometry and tool ergonomics. I still like to try to make a better carving knife. Just check out the one of a kind page on my website. These knives are one-offs that are just me “messin’ around” looking for a better way. It never stops
Any tips for sharpening carving tools?
Sharpening. I meet a lot of carvers that hate it. I think this is because they’ve made it such a mystery and invest a lot of money into tools to do this. I often tell a story of an old carver that would sit during the business part of our carving club meeting with a piece of wet-dry sandpaper and a compound coated piece of cardboard and sharpen his tools for the social carving part of the meeting. That’s the only equipment he had! All of his cuts were a glass-like finish. Just find a simple method that works for you and try not to overthink it.
What do craft, sloyd, or wood culture mean to you?
Craft, Sloyd or wood culture has shown me that I can create something with my own hands, often fail, learn, and improve. With this process I have been able to apply this to many other aspects of life and therein lies the prize.
If you had to pick a few songs to listen to your shop, what would they be?
As far as Music, I listen to just about anything. Most of the time, it is 50’s and 60’s Country and 70’s and 80’s Hair bands. I guess that dates me a little.
Thanks Paul! You can buy and learn more about his tools at www.deepwoodsventures.com .
As I have said previously, my goals with this website are to learn more about spoon carving and connect with the great community of spoon carvers out there. I welcome carvers to contact me if you would like to be interviewed to share your thoughts on the craft of spoon carving.