Carroll Carvers hosting 28th festival: 'If you can peel a carrot, you can carve'

Paul Wildisan carves basswood in his Westminster workshop.
Paul Wildisan carves basswood in his Westminster workshop. (Ken Koons/Carroll County Times / Carroll County Times)

If you love the smell of wood and you're looking for a new hobby, visit the 28th Festival of Carving. The annual event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 14, at the Robert Moton Center in Westminster.

"You'll be amazed at what people can do with a knife and a piece of wood," said Carroll Carvers member Joan Shearer. "It's incredible to see what's there. You start out with a block of wood that has no figure. When you're finished you have something to look at that sort of amazes you. You'll see all different kinds of people who do all different kinds of projects."


According to festival Chairman Pete Turner, the festival will feature displays by local and regional woodcarvers. There will also be a woodcarving competition, demonstrations and woodcarvings for sale, plus door prizes and a silent auction.

Admission is free for active military and veterans, and children ages 16 and under. There is a $3 charge for those 17 and over.

"We have a good group of people," Turner said. "This gives us an opportunity to show the community the carving we've done. We want to expose them to the craft and we hope to attract new members."

Attendees can check out demos throughout the day, Turner said.

"We try to make it interesting so people can learn how to start," he explained. "We have the tools, expertise and wood to get anyone started. If you can peel a carrot, you can carve."

Carroll carvers will come together to display wooden sculptures of every size and shape this weekend at the Robert Moton Center for the annual Festival of Ca

Carroll Carvers President Herb Scott said the festival shows people "what woodcarving is all about."

"You can carve with just one knife, which might run $20 to $30," he explained. "You need safety gloves and wood, and that's about all you need — 90 percent of people use basswood and you can buy that for less than $5. All you need is an idea of what you want to do and you carve away the wood that doesn't belong there."

Scott said he started carving in the 1980s. He carved an 8-inch giraffe out of a 2-by-4 and then a goldfinch from a carving kit.

"I put those up at the festival to show you how bad you can be when you start," he said. "If I carved them now, I'd be really embarrassed but everyone's got to start somewhere. It's not a five-second job. You 've got to work at it."

Shearer said it's a hobby anyone can start.

"Anyone can do it," she said. "It's a hobby that can carry you from 8 to 80. You don't have to have artistic ability. There are people there to help you learn."

Shearer said she's always amazed at the variations of what one can carve.

"I'm just amazed to see what comes out of that piece of wood," she said. "It's a hobby that's worth doing."

If You Go


Festival of Carving

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, April 14

Where: Robert Moton Center, 300 S. Center St., Westminster

Cost: Free admission for veterans, active military and children 16 and under. $3 for age 16 and over.

For more information, call 443-798-0642