I've posted yet another YouTube video about how I make humorous country chickens and roosters from the forked twigs of trees. Several years ago I came across a great book by Chris Lubkemann called, "Whittling Twigs and Branches" Mr. Lubkemann makes many different birds with his pocket knife and twigs from the limbs of trees. Although he makes his tail feathers very skillfully right from the same twig, I've developed another "fool-proof" method for obtaining the feathers by using shavings made on a shaving horse using a drawblade.
Mr. Lubkemann's method is definitely preferred but I've discovered another method which works best when teaching the kids how to do it in my woodshop class. Curling the tail feathers with a pocket knife takes a bit of practice and works best when the twig has obtained just the right amount of moisture. By drying out the twigs and shavings in advance my method is an almost fool-proof way to start making these wonderful roosters right away and kids can have almost guaranteed success in just one class.
Once again, if you don't have Mr. Lubkemann's book then I strongly reccomend adding it to your library He also offers workshops and you can find more information on them at his website: http://www.whittlingwithchris.com/ I've never been fortunate enough to attend but I hear that they're really great!
Living in the mountains of North Carolina I have spent almost 30 very
rewarding years working with at-risk kids in a wilderness camping program as a counselor, outdoor educator, and woodshop teacher. To learn more about what my blog is all about, just scroll down this sidebar to "About my blog..."
1. Woodcarving/Woodwork: Working wood has been a lifetime obsession for me and I enjoy sharing what I know. It is my belief that hands-on and experiential learning has a direct and profound effect on the development of a child's intellect, confidence, and character. Projects of mine (and my students) will be posted as they progress and I will occasionally include a video tutorial. All of my videos can be found here .
2. Bushcraft/Primitive Living Skills: Finding ways to live closer to the land has always fascinated me. Whether it's building a shelter, fire starting, animal tracking, or just making rustic furniture... you'll eventually see some of it here.
3. Long Distance backpacking, canoeing, & bicycling: Some of my long distance adventures include thru-hiking the 2,600 mile Pacific Crest Trail, Mexico to Canada and I solo paddled the 1,800 mile Yukon river across northwest Canada and Alaska to the Bering sea. More detailed accounts of these and many other adventures can be found here
4. Sustainable Living: I'm always looking for better ways to do more by using less. It's not so much an "environmental" thing to me as it is a quest for personal independence from material things and finding a path to more substantive living .
5. Scouting Activity: As a scoutmaster of 6 years (and currently assistant scoutmaster) I'm actively involved with the troop and "Order of the Arrow" where it is a joy to volunteer hundreds of hours each year because investing in the next generation insures a better tomorrow for everyone. In an era when most schools don't value hands-on learning, outdoor education, and the arts... scouting soars in meeting these critical experiences for boys.
6. Profiles: Behind everyone's success you can usually find a trail of some very significant mentors and teachers along the way. And sometimes you don't completely understand how someone affected your life for the better until many years later. You'll find some of those stories here.