Learning to Carve
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When I was learning to carve, I didn't know any other carvers.
I tried to learn from books, but you have to read them to learn anything.

Learning to carve is much simpler today than it was when I began carving.
Today, there are clubs, shows, magazines, and the Internet.

Let me discuss the Internet first; within a few minutes, you can meet dozens of carvers who really want to help you learn.
My favorite group of carvers is on this forum: Wood Carving Illustrated

There are other message boards with smaller groups of carvers, and most are eager to help.  Some require that you join or register with the group before you can participate.
There are also carving sites that provide free instruction and projects.
Of course Little Shavers is my favorite, but there are others that are very helpful.

Wood Carving Illustrated
This is a good magazine, and they will provide a free copy if you request it.

Carving Magazine
Another good magazine for the average carver.

Chip Chats
While just as thick and nice as any magazine, this is actually the newsletter for the National Woodcarvers Assn.
It is the best investment in woodcarving, you get the magazine free with your membership.
Every carver should belong to the National Woodcarvers Assn.
The cost is minimal, and you receive Chip Chats magazine free.

Local Clubs are like people, some are wonderful and others less so.
Attend a few meetings before making the decision to join or not.

While not actually official clubs, carving groups provide an opportunity to meet other local carvers.  Senior centers often have a carving group, but some require you be old enough to join them.
Wood carving shows are usually fun to attend and very educational if you ask questions.   This is a good place to see carvings by other carvers.
You will also find people selling carving tools, wood and other supplies.
Chip Chats and other magazines provide show locations and dates.