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BIG grant brings woodcarving to Landrum High

Betsy Burdett, center, shared her whittling skills with students at Landrum High School.

Betsy Burdett, center, shared her whittling skills with students at Landrum High School.

Of all the art forms available to the craftsman, woodcarving may well be the oldest developed skill of all. Carving involves the use of a knife, a chisel and a mallet in order to create a figure or sculpture. Whittling is easier than carving because it requires the use of a knife and a piece of wood to make artistic creations. It doesn’t require specialty tools. Basic hand tools are used. Simple, repetitive patterns of chip carving create beautiful results.

Thanks to a Be Inspired Grant (BIG) from Tryon Fine Arts Center, visual art students at Landrum High School recently had the opportunity to work with local artisan, Betsy Burdett, learning about wood carving and the time-honored tradition of whittling. Mrs. Burdett taught the students several different wood carving techniques as the students created two very different projects.

Landrum High art teacher, Cathey Stoney, said, “I wrote the wood carving grant because I wanted my students to have an authentic hands-on traditional craft experience that offers an opportunity for lifelong learning. Wood carving as a hobby can be a relaxing, restorative and contemplative activity, something that is mostly lost to a technology driven generation.”

– article submitted by Cathey Stoney