DIY Network

Jim Wilsford: Bear Head Sculpting

Episode DWDS-106

Jim Wilsford, a self-taught master wood carver nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, has been carving for more the 30 years. He got his start in this art form when he bought a gift and souvenir store in Townsend, Tennessee and when looking for carvings to stock his store, he was under whelmed with quality of woodcarving in the area. So he started dabbling in carving himself and selling them in his Nawger Nob gift shop.

Soon, Jim Wilsford became so proficient with this newfound art form, he found that he loved sharing and teaching others as much as creating his art. And, so Smoky Mountain Woodcarvers was born. Now, Jim and a few other master woodcarvers hold classes and workshops on everything from hand carving, to power sculpting, to carving with chainsaw at the Smoky Mountain Woodcarvers studio in Townsend.

Excelling in very intricate and realistic animal figure carvings, Jim demonstrates how to carve a head of a bear out of a 2-inch block of basswood - using some unconventional tools. Also in this episode, learn how to determine and trace the facial features of a carnivore and how to paint the depth of color on a bear.

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