Lennie Williams has been carving wood for more than 25 years. Teaching oneself is fine but Lennie also attended the prestigious Geisler-Moroder carving school in Austria. Situated in the Tyrolian forests, that area has supplied wood for art, construction, and instrument makers since Roman times. The Moroder family has a history of carving that goes back 400 years.
Lennie has worked with noted teacher Nora Hall, famed sculptor Ian Norbury, and Seattle's own Jay Haavik. She is currently the assistant manager at the Boise, Idaho Woodcraft Store. Lennie also passes her knowledge on by teaching carving classes at the store classroom.
Lennie uses the Tilt-Top Portable in her classes as well as for her own work.
"I have both the Tilt-Top and the Bench Vise model. It's a great work holding tool."
Lennie has a real, old-world philosophy about work holding and safety.
"I studied carving in Europe and if you were to hold a piece of work in your hand to carve it, they would think you're insane. The instructor would stop you immediately. That's asking for an injury. The Europeans always hold their work separately whether it's with a carving screw, or a tenon, or in a regular vise. The Grip-All Jaws system does all of that with one work holding tool."
Indeed, if you look at paintings and drawings from 500 years ago, you see the same work holding devices that are common today. We can't help but wonder what great masterpieces could have been created had they had the Grip-All Jaws system at the time of the Renaissance.
If there is one thing that Lennie stresses in her classes, it's safety. We all know that a sharp tool is a safe tool, but if you hold your work securely you can keep your hands out of the danger zone.
Lennie is available for commission work as well as teaching the carving classes. If you're in the Boise area and are interested in any of her work or in taking classes, you can stop by the Woodcraft store. There is a link to that store above. You can also email her at email@example.com