Thursday, September 23, 2010



Thank you Hans for asking me to join your blog. My name is Doug Oliver and like Hans, I'm a semi-professional woodcarver and consider myself an artist. I also have owned my own graphic design business ( since 1996. I first studied classical woodcarving under German master carver Ludwig Kieninger from 1997-2006. Since Ludwig's retirement in 2006, I've been carving with Hans and several other carvers every Wednesday evening in East Dallas. Hans does a wonderful job of teaching us. He has his work cut out with me keeping my tools sharp! :)

My website is and I try to update that site often. From this site you should be able to get a good feel of the type of things I like to carve. I love the classical! I enjoy the Baroque, Rococo, Renaissance and Gothic could say I like "OLD WORLD". A recent project was completed at the end of August. Along with Travis Bryant (a furniture builder, carver and friend), he built and I carved two mahogany tables for a Catholic Church in Farmers Branch and delivered in 29 days. (yikes)

I also have a research project I've been working on for several years now. I have been researching a famous Swiss wood carver (Peter Mansbendel) who lived in Austin, Texas from 1911 until his death in 1940. For the last 5 years I have visited multiple Texas cities, homes, businesses and documented his great work and I'm still amazed at the great output any one artist could accomplish in his lifetime. I've built a website ( to document his life and work and plan to write a book on his life....I will try to blog when I update my sites.

A couple of recent finds of Mansbendel's fine work include the Reed Home in Austin that is being completely restored by Texas Humanties (National Endowment of the Arts) and the wonderful home in McAllen, Texas.

Thanks for adding me, and I hope you find my contributions to Hans fine blog helpful and educational.

Thank you,

Welcome New Contributors

In teaching woodcarving, I have the privilege of working with a really great group of people. I have invited these carvers to participate in this blog. I'll allow those who would like to post to introduce themselves. I look forward to hearing their thoughts and about the projects they are working on.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Why Do You Carve? Part 3: The Creative Process

This is a continuation of my "Why Do You Carve?" posts. If you have not read "Part 1: Relaxation" or "Part 2: Fellowship", you can do that now. I'll wait.

For many carvers there is a distinct thrill in creating something new from a piece of wood. This is especially true for those who begin with an image in their mind and follow that idea through to a completed original carving. Even those who follow a pattern created by someone else, experience the excitement of seeing a new creation, made by their own hands, emerge from the wood.

One of my favorite parts of the process is developing and refining an idea through a series of sketches. I also enjoy seeing the piece develop as I go. Sometimes it takes turns that I did not anticipate, but in the end, it is something new and something good.

Do you enjoy the creative process all through your work, or is it a special thrill when the work is completed? What is the most rewarding part of the creative process for you?

(Pictured is the work of Travis Bryant.)