Remember Jed Clampet sitting in front of his mansion on “The Beverly Hillbillies” whittling a piece of wood? Maybe you have some fond memories of family members who spent time whittling. You may even know someone who currently enjoys the hobby. Perhaps you’ve taken up whittling yourself… or maybe you think you might enjoy giving it a try.
The art of whittling has been around forever and has to be one of the oldest forms of art on the planet. Think about it… whittling very possibly existed long before most tools were even invented. After all, whittling only takes a piece of wood and something sharp to use for carving. The earliest form of whittling may have been done with the sharp edge of a stone.
Of course, safety has always been paramount for anyone who has ever taken up the hobby. Today, we are fortunate to be able to attend classes and workshops taught by experts who explain proper whittling techniques and emphasize necessary safety measures. Even the Boy Scouts of America organization offers whittling instruction.
Whittling is one of very few hobbies or pastimes that do not require much of a financial investment. There are inexpensive whittling or woodworking kits you can buy to get started. They usually include instructions, patterns, a selection of knives, and other equipment. Many serious whittlers simply use a standard pocket knife to carve their masterpieces. However, most will tell you that it is absolutely mandatory to have a good, strong thumb guard to prevent accidental injuries.
Many whittling enthusiasts will also tell you that the hobby is very soothing and relaxing. Some people whittle only for that benefit alone and do not even bother creating a piece of art through the endeavor. They simply carve away on a stick and find the same kind of peace other people attain through yoga or meditation.
Many beautiful and functional items can be created by whittling a piece of wood. Some creations take some time, while others can be accomplished very quickly. A walking cane is one of the most common items folks tend to whittle. A whittled cane might have a lot of decorative details or it may have a simple, more natural look. Whittling talents are also often used to make knickknacks and toys, such as small figurines.
If you like working with your hands, have some spare time, and are looking for a way to sit back, relax, and have a little fun, perhaps you may want to try whittling. You may find that you really enjoy the hobby… and you might also discover you are pretty good at it. Who knows… you may even end up creating some unique and beautiful pieces of art.