A quick introduction...

My name is Shawn, I'm from southern California and my background is mostly machining and construction. I have always carved tikis as a hobby and I had a company that molded and mass produced tiki planters. Our molds were carved out of foam, wood, and stone so I have some carving experience. 

Fast forward to about two weeks ago when I came across a vertical carving video on you tube. I couldn't sleep that night just thinking of the possibilities. After a bunch of research I ordered everything I needed from walttools.com the next day. They then passed my number to Nathan and he spent a lot of time on the phone with me explaining some things. I really appreciate the time you spent. I look forward to taking some of your classes. Also a huge thanks to Dion and Jeff at Kirtbag mix. Dion has spent a while a couple different times on the phone while he was on a job site to help me out. Way cool! I can't wait to try the Kirtbag mix when it gets here. Either way I am going to get a pallet shipped. 

Here are my first attempts at carving today. I learned a lot from today and can't wait to carve more tomorrow. One thing I learned is I used the chip brush way too much to clean the grout lines early on causing my corners to round leaving no sharp edges. Any suggestions please give them too me. I am all ears. I am real excited about learning as much as I can. Thanks in advance.

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Not bad for your first attempts

Thanks Nathan but I was cringing to post those but I figured it would be fun to look back later down the road and have a good laugh. I still look at pictures of my first couple of tiki's that I carved, I must of been drunk or had my eyes closed.

Here are some pictures of day two of practice. I still didn't get the look I am after but I learned even more this time around and can't wait until tomorrow when I mix another bag. Hopefully I post something worthy tomorrow. 

Here are the results of my 3rd bag of mix. It is getting better and I keep learning more every time. I already can't wait until tomorrow to try different things. I am going to lay and carve some stairs here too. I have also been playing around with colors but have not satisfied with the results so far. I will post some shots soon.

Today's work, it's getting better....

5th bag of mix. I am fully addicted at this point and find myself studying real stacked rock pictures for hours seeing how they stack up together. I am now going to order a full pallet of mix and stone everything.... It's pretty quite on here I noticed.

Shawn, my suggestion is to join the Vertical Artisans online training courses. It is pricey, but what is an education worth? I did it many years ago when it first came online and it established some real good fundamentals. As you move through the training you will learn more advances techniques. That's the best advice I can offer.
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