My mentors were just that, mentors. Several couldn't afford the expense that having an actual apprentice would cost; others were not interested. But then by the 1960s, the old apprenticeship programs in crafts like carving were gone.
There is a parable in the boat building Trades, it also applies to maritime carving: Want to know how to make a small fortune in the trade? Start with a large one—best of luck.
Lots of us have small shops either through design or necessity. In my case, I deliberately downsized as I shifted from doing larger maritime work like quarterboards and transoms and started focusing on ship and boat portraits. Whatever reason you have for smaller quarters, I encourage you to rethink the conventional wisdom that large is always best.
In January, I started what I thought to be a quick project for a portrait of the halibut Schooner Republic. There was not much online where I began, and even less available in terms of print sources. My collection at home also came up dry. I was able to complete the project in March but wished that I had better documentation.
I was at my booth at a boat show in Maryland when another maritime carver came to visit. Lordan was the local "yaahd cavaah," as we'd describe it in New England.
Share; be generous.
We so often admire the complex and then seek out and appreciate the simple
Bill and I had a sometimes business carving "genuine" Tiki gods, and other countercultural junk. This we accomplished mostly with a Dremel tool and routers. One of us had to find cheap wood for these projects, and scrounging was my specialty.
"You can't gain mastery unless you can do slowly what you now do at full speed."
A little carving can be a good thing for a boat.