The Library, suggested books

Swiss Army Knife Whittling Book


Basic Fishing Lure Carving


For every fisherman who feels buying a lure and catching fish is not challenging enough, this book takes you back to yesteryear, when there were no department stores or sports shops and helps you create your own fishing lures. In 220 detailed color photos, Greg Hays helps you carve lures step-by-step, from the initial blank to a finished broke-back lure. Every tool needed is listed, every technique employed is carefully described, including painting instructions. Additionally, the author provides a pattern for the lure and illustrated instructions on assembling special boxes for each lure you create. Rounding out the presentation is a gallery featuring a variety of lures to fire your imagination. Once your lure is assembled, give it a try.

John Haley Bellamy: Carver of Eagles

John Haley Bellamy: Carver of Eagles by Yvonne Brault Smith 


The Lost Carving: A Journey to the Heart of Making

Awestruck at the sight of a Grinling Gibbons carving in a London church, David Esterly chose to dedicate his life to woodcarving—its physical rhythms, intricate beauty, and intellectual demands. Forty years later, he is the foremost practitioner of Gibbons’s forgotten technique, which revolutionized ornamental sculpture in the late 1600s with its spectacular cascades of flowers, fruits, and foliage.

After a disastrous fire at Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace, Esterly was asked to replace the Gibbons masterpiece destroyed by the flames.  It turned out to be the most challenging year in Esterly’s life, forcing him to question his abilities and delve deeply into what it means to make a thing well. Written with a philosopher’s intellect and a poet’s grace, The Lost Carving explores the connection between creativity and physical work and illuminates the passionate pursuit of a vocation that unites head and hand and heart.


Kid Crafts: Woodcarving

A well-conceived introduction to woodcarving, this book teaches the essentials with emphasis on safety and on fun.
Young carvers will learn how to properly use carving knives through a series of exercises to develop skill and dexterity. Photographs clearly illustrate how to make eight fundamental cuts, how to transfer patterns, measure and mark, drill holes, saw shapes, sand and finish wood, and how to sharpen and care for tools.
Includes information about wood, tools and supplies, as well as materials lists and step-by-step photographic instructions for carving a soap boat, snowman ornament, whistle, arrowhead, name plaque, a relief carving of an eagle head, and a musical frog. Recommended for children over age 10.
Softcover, 8" x 8", 122 pages, 2008.

The Little Book of Whittling [Paperback]

Chris Lubkemann 

With a friendly, down-home style, this guide encourages readers to whittle away the hours. Great for beginners looking for an easy way to get started and more advanced carvers looking for a relaxing way to spend their time, this instructional manual provides 20 projects, including knives, forks, birds, animals, trees, and flowers. Chapters detail the proper whittling tools and materials, including what woods are best to carve, and how to start projects by selecting and safely sharpening the best knife for each project.

For the veteran carver or the newest devotee of the hobby, carving vegetables can be educational, fun, and surprising. We're not talking pumpkins here, but real carving, using woodcarving tools and techniques. Instead of wood, though, Tom uses sweet potatoes, which are firm enough to take the knife, and inexpensive enough to take a mistake or two. That makes them the perfect medium for new carvers or for experienced carvers learning new techniques. And there is more!!! As the vegetables dry and wizen, they take on wrinkles and twists that give them truly surprising and delightful character. Like woodcarvings, carved vegetables become a permanent artistic expression. Tom Wolfe came upon sweet potatoes when a teacher asked for an alternative to soap for her young carving students. Now Tom becomes the teacher, taking the reader step-by-step through the carving of three projects. A gallery of finished works is included, some in both their freshly carved and wizened states. This is the perfect introduction to the great and fun art of woodcarving.

Carving Faces Workbook: Learn to Carve Facial Expressions and Characteristics with the Legendary Harold Enlow [Paperback]

Learn to carve faces with Harold Enlow!

Harold Enlow, one of America’s foremost caricature carvers shares the woodcarving tips and techniques that make his carvings stand-out in this information packed book. Inside, you’ll follow-along as Harold teaches you how to carve faces with life and expression. If you want to learn face carving this is the book for you.

Us Carvers
A Memo from Gerry Holzman

Designer and head carver of the Empire State Carousel
I have written an unusual carving book.
               Instead of being about woodcarving, it is about woodcarvers.
            About two woodcarvers,
                Gino the teacher
             and me. the student

 It is the story of a friendship between two craftsmen
 and how we tried to apply  the lessons of the workbench
 to an understanding of the human condition

 A case in point is found in Gino’s caution about
the importance of maintaining  high standards
 in carving work—sound advice that  could just as
 easily be applied to everyday living:

    “Don’t be careless with one spot just because it’s on
     the bottom or in the back. It doesn’t matter if other
     people won’t notice it; you’ll know it’s not right,
     and so will your God.”

I’ll never forget the day he welcomed me into my new profession with these gracious words:

“It’s a grand job, isn’t it.  You get to do something you love and they pay you
  lots of brass to do it.  Gerry, we’re lucky fellows, us carvers, aren’t we.”


Making use of letters, journals and conversations, I have described my twenty-year relationship with Gino Masero, the British sculptor who made it possible for me to change from a teacher of history to a carver of wood.  As I explain in the Introduction--

“This book is about Gino, mostly.
  He was a woodcarver who lived in England
 a very long time ago—during the 20th Century.
Gino, one of the 32 members of the English
Association of Master Carvers, was my teacher,
 my mentor and my friend. In addition to teaching
me the ordinary, everyday skills like carving hair
and sharpening tools, he bestowed a much more
 important gift— he generously opened a window
into his soul. And what I saw there, combined with
what I learned at his workbench, made it possible
for me to become a professional woodcarver.”

It is a book about the importance of tradition, and about the role of civility and respect in our daily life. In addition, Gino and I explore the concept of Continuity—that obligation of each generation to pass on the things it values to those who come after us. On a lighter note, we discuss the weather, old ladies and old tools, good wine and bad politicians, music, poetry and, most important of all, how lucky we are to be woodcarvers.


Each copy hand-numbered and individually signed by the author.
  (Price includes shipping anywhere in the United States)

Send checks to:
Gerry Holzman
  12A Avenue A, Cambridge, NY 12816

For more information:                                 Internet search
 (518) 677-8835                        Gerry Holzman      or   Empire State Carousel