Pete Conway of Sandpoint, Idaho has been retired for many years now, and at the age 82 he admits there are many things he can no longer do. But he can still carve.
Pete carves mostly horses, and except for the big carousel horses he creates, he makes a clay model before he starts.
"The information I have gleaned from Chip Chats is invaluable," he says. "I have also taken clay modeling classes to learn how to handle it."
He was particularly impressed by the work of John Kittelson featured in the January-February 1992 issue of Chip Chats (pages 20-21), and when Pete and his wife were in Arizona the following winter, he say a fine 1903 doctor's buggy.
"I took some pictures and dimensions and came up with a 26" long model in basswood and maple with leather harness," Pete says. "The horse has one foot on the ground to show action."
The horse head on the cover of this issue is a 5/8 scale basswood carving done from a clay model. Pete transferred the sculpture from clay to wood using a process he read about in Chip Chats. Bridle, halter and chain are also basswood. (click on the image above to see a larger version of the picture)
A carousel horse Pete did a few years ago was bought while the work was still in progress. The purchaser had recently built a nice home from Spokane, Wash., complete with a platform in the living room to gold a carousel horse. But the man did not yet have a horse, so when he heard about the one Pete was carving, he purchased it. Before the fine steed left for Spokane, Pete, his wife and the family dog posed with the natural finish carving and used the photos as there Christmas pictures that year.
This article, pictures of the carvings mentioned here, and MUCH more can be found in Chip Chats Volume 44, Issue #1.