SEBRING - Woodcarving can be as simple as a twig and a sharp pocket knife, Bob Seybolt said.
Or it can involve thinking which way the grain runs in a block of wood that will become the face of a dark man with smiling lips and glasses.
Ken Moore came all the way from Branson, Mo. to display the human face he carved, which won a blue ribbon Saturday at the Highlands Woodcarvers 18th annual show at Bert Harris Agri Civic Center. He chose butternut wood, popular with carvers.
"It's soft and it's got a lot of texture to it," Moore said. Butternut has a prominent grain and it takes stain well.
"It's not blah like basswood," Moore said. However, the balsa-like basswood is like a blank slate, and it takes paint well. That's why he chose it for a white, bearded spirit face carved in relief from a flat plank.
"It's a judged show," said Cheryl Davis, who counted 270 patrons before the lunch hour was over.
"You have to take in a carving show," Seybolt encouraged. His work was displayed at one of the 12 tables, which held thousands of carving, large and small. Some of his delicate miniatures were toothpick thin, like a fairy standing on a leaf and an Irish leprechaun holding aloft a green four-leaf clover.
"If you have an interest and you want to carve, we meet on Saturday mornings at 825 Sunbird Terrace," Eric Maron, president of the club, said. The clubhouse is off Thunderbird Road in Sebring. Guests are given a block and instructions on how to carve a dog or a cat.
"We'll get you started, and we're looking for more young people," he said.
Carving knives don't have to be expensive, and they can be as simple as the long-bladed penknife Seybolt was holding.
More info: 863-273-6136 or http://.efmaron.blogspot.com