We all love getting to know the people behind the work, what inspires them and what drives their business. Today we hear from Randy True of True Wood Carvings.
1.Please can you tell us a little bit about yourself, and what drew you to your chosen craft?
My original hobby was building furniture. It allowed me to be creative in wood but was also too exact. Everything had to be measured and fit with precision. One day a friend said I should take up woodcarving. After a little research and finding a local woodcarving club, the rest is history. I started carving in 1995 and have entered many competitions and exhibited at woodcarving shows in Indiana and Ohio. I have also been selling tools at local woodcarving clubs and set up at a few woodcarving shows to sell them. I have also written a carving book that was published in the fall of 2012 titled "Whittling Pencils". It was published by Fox Chapel Publishing. It has helped get my name in the carving world and have made many good friends because of it.
2.Who taught you how to do your craft, and how long have you been creating?
Woodcarvers have been great to share things they have learned. I have taken classes with instructors also and you pick up a lot of tricks from these seasoned woodcarvers as well as a few stories too! I have been creating since I was in elementary school. I always loved to draw and paint. I worked in clay, metal and finally wood. I have actively been woodcarving for about 18 years.
3.How would you describe your style? Are there any crafters/artists/designers that you particularly look up to?
I'm not sure I have a particular style except for the finish on my pieces that I do. I use acrylic paints and use an oil-based antique wash . It does give my work a certain look that is different from other woodcarvers work. There are many woodcarvers work that are really amazing out there. I do remember when I first started carving. I saw some pictures of woodcarvings that were done by Fred Cogelow. I was in awe of what could be done in wood.
4.Where do you seek inspiration from?
It really depends on the piece I'm working on. If it's something to do with Christmas, I have magazines, patterns and advertisements I use. I borrow more than one idea for a project then work it into the piece. If it is a piece that deals with a Native American theme, I will look over material I have collected as reference and from friends in various tribes who can share with me what is appropriate for a piece.
5.What are you focused on right now?
As of this moment I am in the process of finishing a 20" tall Santa Claus to be donated to one of the woodcarving clubs I belong to. It is going to be raffled off at an upcoming show to help raise money for operating costs for the club.
6.What are your can’t-live-without craft-room essentials?
I have to have plenty of good lighting to see all of the details that I'm trying to put in my work. You have to have a good sharpening machine for your tools in order to produce quality work.
7.How do you combat creative blocks?
I live on a 5 acre farm. When you need a little break, it's nice to get outside and take in all the beauty that's around you.
8.Why should people buy handmade?
The handmade items that we make have our style, experience, creativity and our soul in every piece we do. You can't get that from a store bought item.
9.Anything else you would like to share and where can we find you?
You can find Randy True and his wonderful creations at:
I have an Etsy shop that was started in August 2012. It showcases some of my work that I do throughout the year. You can find it at www.etsy.com/shop/TrueWoodcarvings I also have a Facebook page for my shop. The allows my carving friends to see my latest pieces and keeps us connected to share ideas. You can find it at www.facebook.com/TrueWoodcarvingsSupplies
I would like to thank Randy True for taking the time to write this wonderful interview and give us an insight into his world!
Clare Martin - DreamDifferently