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Large-Scale Dragon Head Carving

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Course Overview

Dragons and their brethren have a long and checkered history with humans, sometimes adversarial, sometimes protective. The carving techniques used in this class were handed down from the Viking era (800-1200) and used on Viking long boats as well as the Oseberg ship. Carve a large-scale dragon head of your very own in this extended format course. Three different patterns will be provided to guide the design, but students will be encouraged to add personal details to their work. Students can expect to complete one side of a piece in class; more advanced carvers may finish two sides or a pair on one side. We will also discuss finishing and painting. This project will use pine or basswood and could be hung indoors or outdoors. The finished figurehead will be approximately 18” x 30” x 2”.

Session Information

This course is part of Wood Week! Plan to attend the Carvers Conference on March 6, a day of speakers, demonstrations, skill shares and community gatherings free for all enrolled students, including the rare mid-winter pizza bake. Come early or stay late! Full schedule available in early 2020.


Sat, Mar 7th, 2020  –  Tue, Mar 10th, 2020

Course Details

Length: 4 Days
Skill Levels: Beginner to Advanced
Hours: 9am-5pm
Intergenerational age: N/A
Tuition: $340.00
Additional materials fee paid to instructor when class starts: Varies ($40-$60, based on project choice)


You will need the following tools for this class:

A wood blank will be available for purchase for an estimated $40 - $60 payable to instructor. Wood available: pine or basswood. Wood size 30”x 18”x 2” estimate.

Patterns supplied unless student brings one. Students must call the instructor if bringing their own wood and/or pattern.

Carving chisels:

  • #1S beveled both sides skew  (about 20 mm)
  • #3- 16mm
  • #4- 12mm
  • #5- 16mm
  • #7 -12mm
  • # 12 -12mm v gouge.

Woodcraft ( is a good source for pfeil/Swiss made carving chisels.  Telephone number 800-225-1153.

Optional Tools

Feel free to bring your favorite tools and whatever materials you might feel appropriate for this course.

More Information

Once registered, students will receive a confirmation email with further class information. Please call us if you haven't received it within 24 hours.

Meet the Instructor

North House Folk School photo of instructor, Jock Holmen
Jock Holmen
Burnsville, MN

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Dragon Head Carving - 3/7/2020