Whittling with Chris Lubkemann...A Unique Slant on Woodcarving
Information on Chris Lubkemann's carvings, books, demonstrations and programs
                      HOME PAGE

. . . A quick introduction to Chris Lubkemann and to the type of
woodcarving/whittling that he does, teaches, and has written about
in various books and publications, both in the United States and a
number of other countries . . .

     Be sure to check the different pages on this website:  
     * Lots of photos of carving projects of all sizes
     * Links to various videos that demonstrate this super-fun 
        "branch of woodcarving"
     * Answers to frequently asked questions
     * Information about programs and workshops
     * Views of The Amish Farm and House and Chris's "Farm             
        Friends" . . . including his "great-great-grandkids" (pygmy
     * His Lancaster County "Country Pitching Machine" -- 130 mph
        with a baseball, 300-500 ft. range!
     * Sources of wood
     * Recent projects
     * Tree House
     * Books on Whittling
     * . . . MORE . . . 


The new whittling book written for Victorinox/
Swiss Army came out officially on May 8th, 2015, at Fox Chapel Publishing's Open House.  That's when I  saw my first copy of Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Whittling Book.  The Fox Chapel team did a wonderful job.  The book has projects from all four of my previous Fox Chapel books, plus a number of new projects.  The step-by-step photos and directions are re-shot and fine-tuned, and the written instructions fine-tuned as well. While folks who have any or all of my current Fox Chapel books will find some totally new material in this Swiss Army book, the new book is especially aimed at the countless people worldwide that already have a Swiss Army knife or who want to get one and see how much fun they can have with it.

March 15, 2016  --  I was just shown the covers of the German and Dutch editions of the book.  I assume these two editions will be coming out soon, and I'm hoping that a number of other languages will follow.  One thing for sure, there are Swiss Army knives all over the world, and there certainly isn't a lack of raw material for the
type of projects presented in the book!


May 2015 -- Book signing at our local Costco Ware


. . . Just some of the fun stuff that can come out of a pile of twigs and branches!


     Chris Lubkemann guesses that he started making stuff from wood with a little knife when he was no more than seven years old in the Ucayali River town of Contamana, Peru, on the Amazon jungle side of of the country.  Now, even at 70, he still finds it hard to stop climbing trees!  However, if there was a "formal" beginning to his branch-carving, it was the summer between his junior and senior years in college, when he picked up the idea of whittling a rooster from a forked stick while working in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northwestern North Carolina.  When he returned to college in the fall of 1966, he self-employed himself and used his $2.00 or $3.00 Barlow knife to help pay for his school year.  To be sure, a lot of water has gone under the bridge since then!

     Since the late 60's Chris has demonstrated and taught this unique and fun type of wood carving in many parts of the U.S., as well as in a fair number of foreign countries.  People of all ages, from 9 to 90, have picked up the concept and run with it.  Some young people have even used their pocketknives to help pay for their own college expenses!

     Beginning with a single two-sided instruction sheet in the early 70's, Chris has written what are probably the most extensive instructions on what to do with a pocketknife and twigs and branches.  (Obviously, for some projects, other tools may come into play.)  He has also demonstrated widely in schools, conventions, shows, youth and civic organizations, city parks, churches, on television programs . . . and even on radio!  His articles have appeared in CHIP CHATS, magazine of the National Wood Carvers Association, and in WOODCARVING ILLUSTRATED.

Fox Chapel Publishing has published his four most recent books:

     WHITTLING TWIGS TWIGS AND BRANCHES (200 photos, 70 drawings)

   THE LITTLE BOOK OF WHITTLING  (19 projects,380 photos) 

   TREE CRAFT:  35 rustic wood projects that bring the outdoors in

   BIG BOOK OF WHITTLE FUN  (31 projects, 350 photos)


                    Fox Chapel Publishing's website is:                                            www.FoxChapelPublishing.com

Reviews of these books can be found on various sites simply by searching the specific book title.


     From the beginning of April through the end of October, Monday through Saturday, Chris is the "Resident Woodcarver" at The Amish Farm and House, a well known museum farm in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  Guests from all over the U.S. and many foreign countries visit this site that is tucked right in the middle of all the 21st Century hustle and bustle.  The farm brochure says "Where Today Touches History."  Very true!!

          The Amish Farm and House website is:

   From November through March, Chris works mainly out of his home, doing programs, demonstrations, and workshops.  At times he's at his shop at the farm, so if you want to touch base with him, feel free to give him a call:  (717) 299-5955.  The phone number at the Amish Farm and House is (717) 394-6185.


The photo immediately below shows the Swiss Army "Tinker" I've whittled with for many years.  You can see that the smaller blade has been really worn down.  I'm guessing that this particular knife has been involved in more than $150,000.00 worth of carvings...over a good period of time, of course! 


The pocketknife on the branches and piece of bark below is a Swiss Army "Hiker" that I modified in response to a request by Carl Elsener, Jr., the CEO of Victorinox/Swiss Army Knives in Switzerland.  

Before I sent the knife I had modified, I took a little bunch of birch branches and a piece of bark, took a "before" photo of them, and then started to see what I could get out of them with the knife I was sending to Switzerland.
So . . . here's the "before" picture:

. . .And following are a few "after" shots.  (No other wood was used beyond what you see above!)




TREE CRAFT: 35 rustic wood projects that bring the outdoors in


              All four of these books are available from Fox Chapel Publishing but are also widely distributed in bookstores and woodworking supply stores.  The last three in the above list have also been published in German, and the middle two are available in Russian.

             As of May 8, 2015 , the new book I wrote for Victorinox/Swiss Army Knives is  available  from Fox Chapel Publishing.  Soon it should be in the normal book distributors.



Having spent a good part of my youth climbing trees in the deep interior of Brazil and Peru (and still doing a fair amount of tree climbing), I thought it would be fun to clamber up to the top of the Chinese chestnut tree just outside my shop . . . the day after my 70th birthday.  To be sure, my very sweet wife yells at me for doing such stuff, but she eventually calms down.  I guess once you've been bitten by the tree-climbing bug, you're stuck shinnying up trees for the rest of your life!


Building this treehouse and the "crow's nest" above it was one of the most challenging and fun projects I've ever tackled.  My wife did make me use a safety harness as I worked on putting up the "crow's nest."  The view is absolutely great!!


Just recently, Lancaster Archery Supply (one of the top archery stores in the world!) rented the large field
behind our yard for youth archery instruction and competition.  Several days ago I took these photos from
the front deck of the treehouse.  The view probably would have even been better from the crow's nest!!

A couple of days ago 9-year-old Melanie came into my shop
with a piece she had made from little branches, paper, and
some markers.  Several days earlier her mom had bought one of my books.  Melanie's idea, however, was totally original, and I can't claim any credit other than talking about twigs and branches.  Great work, Melanie!.

It was many years ago that I carved my littlest roosters,
including the one was was given a Guinness World Record
certificate (though it was never placed in one of the Guin-
ness books, due to there not then existing an established
category for it).  Now, 35 years later, I wasn't sure my eyes
and hand-eye coordination would let me go nearly as small
again.  Well, the other day (sometime around the beginning of September) I was kind of surprised that this little rooster
emerged from a little forked twig I found.  It's definitely not as little as my smallest one, but I'm quite sure it's among the six or eight littlest ones I've carved.  (Sorry the photo
isn't better focused!) 
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