Mary May

I am blessed to do what I love as a career! Carve wood! Link to video carving school.

Going back through 2009 photo memories of my first time as a guest on PBS show The Woodwright's Shop with the man himself, Roy Underhill. Such a fun time 😆😆 Thanks to Mike Onnifrey for the great photos! #royunderhill #thewoodwrightshop #marymaycarving #marymay
Happy New Year! Mary May's January Newsletter, Plus New Episode Just Added. Free template plus announcement of new video lessons and in-person classes coming up. Link in profile or
Thanks so much to @charlestonmag for a recent article in their January issue.
My modest cat. Life is rough 😋 I think someone needs to make a New Year's resolution to get to the gym...
Thanks to Larry Leake of #richardmarksrestorations for this great photo of the chimneypiece I carved for the Charles Elliot House at 43 Legare, Charleston, South Carolina. Such an honour to be a part of the restoration of this wonderful historic home. 2018 was a very good year 😅😅 @theralphharvard
An idea for carving. Does anybody want an electric guitar carved?? Does anybody have a guitar body that needs carving? No I did not make this, but found this image on eBay - just to show what I'm looking for. Just an idea for a project... Electric guitars don't need to have any particular thickness, so anything can be carved.
Final photo of the night. I was going to push through and finish it, but that little voice said "go to bed". Sometimes that little voice rules...
The second side is coming along. Just need to make it look like the other one, right? Really looking forward to carving the curling leaf on top for the grand finale!! Major undercutting done on the right side to make it look lighter and "airy". I love this style!
Working on an exciting Baroque picture frame for another video lesson for my online school. This is carved in butternut (white walnut, which is nice and soft with beautiful grain) It's time I got back into the traditional styles. More Acanthus leaves!! This style is close to chapter 16 in my Carving the Acanthus Leaf Book (published by @lostartpress ).
I carved this in grey alabaster about 20 years ago. I was in Colorado, going through a difficult time in my personal life. I planned on staying at my family's 1910 homestead cabin (no electricity) for several weeks with some pieces of local alabaster and marble and my stone chisels and mallet. Being a loner at heart, I thought I would thrive on the alone time, and living that rustic life. I spent 3 days carving him on the back porch, thoroughly lost in the creative process. I made breakfast, coffee and dinners over an open fire. It was really a beautiful and necessary time. Then, to my surprise, I began to go stir crazy and crave human interaction. I drove into the closest town, Yampa, and called a friend on a local pay phone (yes that was when they had pay phones that actually worked). I was so eager to speak to another human being that we talked for 2 hours. I learned something very profound about myself - I came to the reality that I actually did need other people. Hmmmph. I met my soul mate, my husband of the past 19 years, about 6 months after carving this. Strange thing is I see a lot of similarities in his face to my husband's (maybe not the hair so much 🤔). So is it fate? Destiny? Did I mysteriously know something about my future husband? Hmmmm??
Twas a bit of a nerve wracking day. I stood on top of a 6 ft ladder that had a platform as the top step, and a small 2-step ladder strapped to the top to bring me up to the height needed. Probably not quite OSHA approved 🙄 I wish I had taken a photograph. Here are before and after photos of a slate sign fix. I carved this a few years ago for a local historical church. South Carolina weather is not the nicest to exterior signs. The first photo shows some of the letters still a little wet because I washed the sign first. I lightly painted the letters with a white sign paint and put a water proof coating on it. The letters show up a lot better. The funniest part was when all the New Year's Eve tourists kept stopping and asking me for directions and where the parties were tonight as I'm teetering precariously on my rickety ladder. But it was a good way to end the year! Now I need a drink to calm my heart rate down...
It's been a fun and busy year of teaching woodcarving. Here are some of the great people I met and had the honour of helping them on their own personal woodcarving journey. @ct.valley @woodschoolmaine #porttownsendschoolofwoodworking #thewoodwrightsschool @oliviaoconnorrockinghorses. Check out this year's classes on my website (link in my profile) and go the the "classes" in the upper menu. There are still spaces available for the class in January at @buildingartscollege.
Reminiscing about the Legare St. chimneypiece reproduction I finished carving earlier this year. What a great project to be involved in! Thanks @theralphharvard and #richardmarksrestorations ! It was a fun and adventurous journey!
2018! A sampling of completed carving projects for clients and new video lessons for my online carving school. It's been a great year!! Thanks for following 🤗🤗
We had a wonderful time today with family to lay a memorial stone for my dad. I carved this 13 years ago in marble and it has been "portable" for 14 years. It (he) finally has a permanent place where we can visit. I like that. The flower I carved is a gloxinia that bloomed the morning he passed away. Miss you dad! Thanks for teaching me to not he afraid to live my dreams...
It's now time to be still and experience the true spirit of Christmas...
Christmas Springerle cookies! (Or Speculoos in Dutch). This is how I finally got into the Christmas spirit! I carved the molds for a lesson a while ago in cherry and also showed how to carve the windmill mold on a Woodwright's Shop episode. I'm not sure if 7 cookies are worth the effort because it was a real challenge to not let the dough stick to the molds. The secret is lots of flour dusted into the surface of the mold and on the top of the dough after rolling it out. The molds are then pressed on top of the rolled dough (at least that's one technique). And also the dough needs to be kept cold. The warmer it gets, the stickier. It probably didn't help that I tried a keto-friendly recipe with almond flower...Since I'm going to be teaching 2 classes this year on carving these, I thought I should know how to make the actual cookies and not only carve the molds 😀
next page →