The Lake Placid Woodcarving Experience

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The Lake Placid Woodcarving Experience

2 different class events each year


2015 Fall LPWE class event 15-24 September 2015 -2 sessions

2016 Spring LPWE class event 20-24 June 2016 - 1 session

2016 Fall LPWE class event 27 September to 6 Oct 2016 -2 sessions

Will be held at the historic Hotel Northwoods, 2520 Main Street, Lake Placid, NY 12946 Toll Free: (866) 294-7171. The Hotel Northwoods is located in the heart of this Village which has been home to both the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. Take a look at this wonderful facility here.

The hotel is the tallest building in this picture

What is this all about?

Welcome to woodcarving in Lake Placid - this will be the 6th year of the program at Hotel Northwoods where once again we will have a Spring Lake Placid Woodcarving Experience (LPWE) event in addition to the regular Fall LPWE event.

During the Spring and Fall LPWE events there will be a mix of 2, 3, 4, and 5 day classes among the sessions so look closely at each class length. There should be time enough in all classes for most carvers to complete and paint or put a finish coat on the projects without feeling "rushed". Most classes are expected to have a low student to instructor ratio for maximum individual attention. Each class is priced differently and you pay the instructor directly for both instructional fees and blank fees. Some class may be appropriate for novice students where they can get very individualized attention, most such classes will say that. If you are unsure or would like to join a class anyway- feel free to contact Jim O'Dea or the instructor to discuss the class.

The 2015 Fall LPWE classes include:
1st session classes start on different days during the week of 15 September 2015, check each class description for start and end date

Carl Borst "Miniature Ship Figurehead" -3 day class 17,18,19 Sept
Jim O'Dea - Fundamental of Woodcarving - 3 day class for the beginner/novice. -3 day class 18,19, 20 Sept
Bruce Lepper "Scarlet Tanager" - class canceled due to health issues
to see the current info about the 2015 Fall LPWE 1st session - click here

2nd session starting Sunday morning 20 September 2015 - several classes in this session start on the same day and end on different days, but not all, check each class description for start and end date

Al Jordan - "Miniature Great Horned Owl"- 5 day class starting on Sunday 20 Sept and ending on Thursday 24 Sept.
Leah Goddard - "Moose and other animals" -5 day class starting on Sunday 20 Sept and ending on Thursday 24 Sept.
Chris Howard - Chris Howard - Realistic Bust -Mountainman, Women, Indian and Wood Spirits- 3 or 2 day class starting on Sunday 20 Sept and ending on Tuesday 21 Sept.
Pete LeClair - Caricature Bust - -3 day class - starting on Wednesday 23 Sept and ending on Friday 25 Sept
to see the current info about the 2015 Fall LPWE 2nd session- click here


During the Spring and Fall LPWE events we offer several "Hotel Package" deals for accommodations and meals as well as the option to be a commuter (RV or from home) and have Lunch. These "Packages" include the cost of the facility usage for classes but not the class instructional fee and materials (which are paid directly to the instructors).

We will start off the Spring and Fall LPWE event sessions the evening before with a reception at 7pm in the Hotel's lounge area. Meet and greet your instructors and fellow carvers, with very light snacks and beverages. Gary Smith, the hotel owner, will be on hand to welcome you and provide an overview of the Hotel's history and orient you to the Lake Placid area. There are many sights to be seen and your non-carving companion will have plenty to do and enjoy. See the many exciting things to do in Lake Placid here.

Classes start each morning at 8am to 4:30pm and winding down about 3pm on your last day for those heading home. A breakfast (7:30 to 8am) and Lunch (12:00 to 1pm) are provided on site for your convenience as part of a package plan for the classes. For dinner, you are free to explore the city with it's many fine restaurants within a few blocks walk or eat at the Hotel Northwoods dining room.

Non-Carving Companion Classes :
Non-carving classes are dependent on someone volunteering to teach one and will be posted here as the info is available.

If you would like to teach a class please contact Jim O'Dea at
Reservation for these classes are made by emailing the instructor directly so enough materials will be available. Classes days and times will be determined by participants while you are there such that you get in as many activities as you desire based on weather and interest. Classes are not expected to run concurrently so you may take all if you wish. .

Non-Carving Companion Activities: We will coordinate tours and site seeing for the non-carving companions whom wish to go as a group. Let us know at the reception if you have someone coming that would be interested.

Services and Supplies available

  • During the Spring and Fall LPWE, a free sharpening clinic will be held late afternoon before start of class from 5pm to 6pm. Jim O'Dea will show you how to use power sharpening equipment and help you with your sharpening. Bring your tools and get them sharpened up before class start.
  • There will be some carving tools, gouges, knives, ABRANET, gloves, books, Ram rotary tools, and Colewood burners available for purchase during the workshops. Some instructors may have their books, blanks, carvings and tools for sale as well.

    Spring and Fall LPWE Hotel Accommodations Package Plan one price which includes your room, reception, cookout dinner, plus breakfast and lunch each day is available. There is also an optional spouse/companion reception, cookout, and meal plan. Check the Hotel Northwoods web site for -Both Spring and Fall package plans click here. Contact the Hotel directly to make your package plan reservation.

    Spring and Fall Commuter Plans for those not staying at the hotel (ie. RV's or from home, etc.) If you are not staying in a room at the hotel, you will need a "Commuter" Plan. The package includes the hotel's class space usage fee plus the Reception, Cookout, and Lunches only for 2, 3,4, 5 and 6 day classes. Spring and Fall RV and Commuter Plans click here. Contact the Hotel directly to make your Commuter plan reservation. Local RV parks include the KOA seen here and State Parks listed here Saranac Lake Islands here and Wilington Notch here. There may be more in the immediate area that I am not aware of, if so please bring them to my attention.

    How to make Spring and Fall LPWE Woodcarving Class reservations: email Jim O'Dea at and let Jim know what class you want. We don't expect large classes, but if there is a problem with max class size, Jim will contact you and work out an alternative or ensure you get a full Hotel Package refund. No deposit is required for class reservations. Class costs vary with specific classes so be sure to read the descriptions carefully noting any additional blank or roughout costs. Contact Jim O'Dea or the instructor with questions on the class content, the hotel staff will NOT have any info about any class. Age Requirement: Students should be at least 18 years of age. No one under the age of 18 is permitted to participate in a class unless their parent is also enrolled in the same class and under their supervision. Please note that Jim is often traveling and will have intermittent internet access with periods of up to a week without such access so please be patient in expecting a response. When time is of the essence, call him at 941-697-2002 cell. There is usually plenty of spaces available in all classes and in the unlikely event a class fills up it will be indicated so on the class description. You will be assigned a spot based upon the date/time stamp of your email to Jim so go ahead and send in your request and he will respond as soon as possible

    The Spring and Fall LPWE Schedule for a look at the tentative schedule for this event click here.

    The Weather at Lake Placid - while always great, details and a 10 day forecast are available by clicking here.

    Pictures of the 2011 LPWE click here

    News articles about the 2011 event: for 2011 event click here.

    Lake Placid is an upscale sight seeing destination for your non-carving companions as well as providing a great carving experience for you. Most Carving events are held in locations where there is not much to do for non-carving companions - this will be the exception!! Most carving events are in facilities with minimal room sizes and minimal dinning experiences - this will be the exception! The rooms at the Northwoods are large, suite size rooms,VERY comfortable mattresses and the meals are fine dinning quality.

    Lake Placid is located in the Adirondack Region of Northern New York State. This region is unlike any other area of the Northeastern United States, larger than many neighboring states, the Adirondack Region is a blend of quaint, friendly villages that are surrounded by millions of acres of forests. The forests are filled with hundreds of pristine lakes and ponds, endless miles of rivers and streams, and the famous Adirondack Mountains. We are known for our picturesque hiking and walking trails, wilderness paddling opportunities, unparalleled winter recreation where the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics were held, and year-round Adirondack hospitality. Just a short, easy drive from any east coast metropolitan center, we are closer than you think, and further from anything you can imagine! We encourage you to explore The Adirondack Region web site and our region, and plan your trip.

    There is so much to see and do in Lake Placid and throughout Adirondacks Region, with so many different areas to visit, plan to come a few days early or stay a few days after, The Hotel will be glad to extend your stay at the same low room rate, just ask for the "extended woodcarver" rate.

    For a "virtual tour" by boat of Lake Placid click here.

    For a real boat tour try the Lake Placid Marina 518-523-9704 - Cruise pristine waters on a pontoon boat. Highlights of the $15 (adults) one-hour narrated tour which travels 16 miles and includes good views of the former summer residences of the singer Kate Smith, Victor Herbert and Johnny Weissmuller. The tours are available several time a day, May to Oct. Call for current schedule and pricing (518) 523-9704.

    For a nature walk try "High Falls Gorge", an eight mile drive from Lake Placid seen here.

    Links to other Woodcarving Class Events - click here

    Links to Woodcarving Clubs

  • Wood Carving Club of Quebec and their Facebook page

  • OUTAOUAIS WOOD CARVERS in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

  • Les Artisans Sculpteurs des Cantons (The Artisans Sculptors Townships)in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada

  • Hudson Valley Wood Carvers Club,Pleasant Valley NY.

  • Lancaster Carvers - Lancaster, PA

  • Genesee Valley Woodcarvers (GVW)- Rochester, New York

    Links to Woodcarving Shows

  • Canadian National Wildfowl Carving Championship held in Waterloo, Ontario in March

  • Genesee Valley Woodcarvers competition and show - Rochester, New York in April

    Subscribe to LakePlacidWoodcarving and get notified of significant updates to the carving program and the web site
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