Want to Learn More About Carving?

In the past few months I’ve been teaching myself how to edit video and make how-to, process, and time lapse videos of recent projects. I’m offering some videos on my YouTube Channel, and the more in-depth videos that require a significant time investment to make will be on Patreon. It’s definitely been a steep learning curve, and there is definitely a reason I’m a woodcarver and not a techie type person, but I’ve been getting a fair amount of interest in people looking to learn, and this is my answer. I hope you like it!

If you’re not familiar with Patreon, it’s a platform that allows creators, creatives and everyone in between to gather financial support through patrons, who can sign up for different tiers of monthly subscription. My content offers quick tips, time lapse videos of recent projects being created, and tutorials discussing techniques, tools, and shop practices. Patrons are typically people who have been following along and want to show their support by collectively financing the continued creation of whatever content that brought them along the journey in the first place. This means there are no ads and direct support. It’s truly a win-win, but in this case I’m going a step further and bringing a bit more of a reward than is typically offered through Patreon because I feel pretty strongly about offering affordable education.

Why not just offer it all for free on my YouTube Channel? True, I could do that, but I will also go hungry. And in this scenario that I envision, everyone wins (and eats). Creating video content that goes beyond straightforward documentation of a project, like the tutorials on Patreon, require outlines, significant tool and demo preparation, and heavier editing. YouTube content is free to you, but its cost lies within my time spent creating that content and relying on big companies to run ads in the hopes that lots of people will see it and then pay me for that exposure. This doesn’t mean I think YT is evil - I have my own channel. It’s just not how I wish to deliver the bulk of my content. My focus is on a small and dedicated subset of people looking for focused and informed content that will assist them until they are able to afford an in-person class. Patreon allows me to keep the circle tight between me and my supporters without the use of ads, and I very much want to preserve that exchange as much as I am capable. Plus I enjoy eating.

Patreon also helps me to use my knowledge and internet access to disrupt the narrative that wealth, race, identity, and gender must dictate one's access to education. This seems especially true when it comes to hand skills and the arts, which are more often than not the first thing to be trimmed from a school's curriculum. For many budding carvers, and even a lot of the experienced ones, traveling to a class is way out of their budget. For a lot of women, trans, bipoc, poc and gender non-conforming people, these classes pose more than just financial challenges. Young people with crippling student loan debt may want to learn these skills but don’t have the means to take a class. A platform like this allows all of them safe and affordable access to this information. Though not a long-term solution, it's a step towards empowering these individuals with the skills to build a system which replaces the one never built for them. 

Questioning why this is even necessary to mention? Please ask yourself - have you seen many young people in any woodworking classes you've taken? How many women? Any person of color? 

See how the numbers start to dwindle? There's a reason for that. There are many in fact. Discrimination takes many nuanced forms, and though I frequently find that it is not the intention to make anyone feel unsafe, the impact of a white and male dominated workshop culture has not evolved quickly enough to provide consistent and reliably safe spaces for these people. There is no room for argument here, and I will be monitoring these spaces to see that everyone is made welcome and treated with respect.

If you would like to help me provide content in an effort to give a leg up to underrepresented carvers without the income to pay for an in-person workshop, please keep in mind that this resource is made with them in mind, but is truly intended for any and all people who find this work interesting and want to give it a try. I am making accessible the information I wish I had when I was learning, and breaking down the barriers that still exist within workshop culture to help the next generation of skilled crafters, builders, and makers.

Danielle Byrd