This woodworking “work of art” is a collaboration of 21 different woodcarvers from around the USA. Each carver approaches the art of woodcarving from their own perspective and these artists maintained their individuality in the forming of this project. The finished exhibit is four feet wide, two feet deep, and two feet tall, and represents thousands of hours of creative talents put to work.
A great deal of research went into the preparation
for carving each character in the “Full Moon Saloon”. The
artists study people in airports, bus stations, shopping malls, or in
particular to this project, saloons.
Characters in action are the focal point of the carving. Western reference
materials, including magazines, books, comics, or newspaper cartoons
were also valuable input. The imagination of the artists lend to the
exciting animation of the sculpture. It is almost as if the characters
Some of the carvers will make intricate drawings of their ideas before
beginning the work, examining the character in various poses to determine
the most appropriate for the final pattern. Some use modeling clay to
work out their ideas. Others make small test models in wood before settling
on a version which best fits the image they have chosen.
The carving tools were as varied as the artists themselves. Some use
knives while others use large chisels or even power carving tools. Some
of the pieces are painted in acrylic, others in oil, and one is not painted
at all. Antiquing processes also vary. The uniqueness of each piece however,
has come together in an awesome finished product.
The Caricature Carvers of America formed as the result of a meeting
in 1990, as a group of woodcarvers from across the nation met in Fort
Worth, Texas to discuss their common interest. Fifteen nationally recognized
carvers, while not claiming to be the best, were all authors, top award
winners, and instructors in the art. The group has since grown in number.
The purpose of the CCA is to promote the appreciation of the art of caricature
woodcarving through quality art and the development of a highly regarded
teaching program, and to provide a noncompetitive environment that will
encourage growth in skill, creativity and excellence among its members
and the carving public.
The concept of the Full Moon Saloon began during
a “whittling” vacation
in South Dakota over July 4, 1993, when several carvers began adding
unflattering accessories to one another’s carvings. The group carving
idea was then born. The saloon concept was presented to the entire group
in Wichita, Kansas in October of 1993 and accepted. A uniform scale was
agreed upon and Dave Stetson of Phoenix, Arizona made the backdrop of
On assembly day, each carver was asked to put their own carving in the
place where it best fit and best displayed the carved caricature. The
goal was a fun and festive atmosphere. Accessories were added last as
the whole group carved glasses, signs, bottles, and other paraphernalia.
There are over forty original carvings included in the Full Moon Saloon.
The Full Moon Saloon is a delightful and fanciful adventure
for all to see. It is currently on tour, making stops at Woodcraft stores
the United States. The owner of the Full Moon Saloon is Woodcraft Supply
Corp., a retailer and mail order supplier of woodworking hand and power
tools & accessories, books, supplies, and hardwoods. Woodcraft also
has an on-going schedule of classes and seminars to help woodworkers
learn new skills or improve on their existing techniques. Woodcraft has
been serving woodworkers since 1928 with the finest quality in products,
technical advice, and service available in the industry.