James Miller Teacher Bio

As a child, I was always interested in creating things. Before I ever carved for the first time, I sketched little people onto blocks of wood that my father would saw out on the bandsaw. The notion of turning a two-dimensional idea into a three-dimensional figure excited me. So, being inspired by woodworking family and family friends, I tried my hand at carving for the first time at age 11. After carving a few hardly-recognizable people and animals, I was hooked. Each carving had to be better than the one before it, I thought. Noticing my growing interest, my supportive mother began bringing me to a wonderful Community Education carving group. The members of this group were thrilled to share their passion. They shared tips, tools, and materials with me, and they introduced me to the Scandinavian flat-plane style, which has inspired my carving experience ever since. 

In the first few years, I created hundreds of carvings and paged through every woodcarving book my state library system could come up with. Before long, I started visiting carving shows, meeting other carvers, and demonstrating carving with my carving friends at various local events. I was fully immersed in the surprisingly expansive world of woodcarving. 

While demonstrating at a library in Wisconsin one day in 2011, I was encouraged to submit some of my work to a competition valued in the Scandinavian folk art community: Vesterheim Museum’s National Norwegian-American Folk Art Exhibition. So, for the next three years, I worked my way through the competition to become the youngest Gold Medalist woodcarver. This experience further engrained me into the Scandinavian folk art community, even leading me to attend college in the same town (Decorah, Iowa). There at Luther College, I studied Nordic Studies, Computer Science, and Biology. While in college, I taught two carving classes: one for classmates and one all the way in Norway.

I currently spend my days as a web developer, but I always make time for carving. My favorite carving subjects include people, animals, and creatures from folklore. In 2020, my first published book, Whittling Flat-Plane Animals, was released, and I also frequently contribute articles to Woodcarving Illustrated. Recently, I have been making Youtube videos and teaching some virtual classes. There are so many wonderful avenues for sharing our love of woodcarving today, and Woodcarving Academy is one of the most amazing at connecting students with lessons from experienced carvers.

Visit James Website: jamesraymiller.com

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James current and future Videos

Woodcarving the Red SquirrelWoodcarving AnimalsJames MillerLink
Painting the Red SquirrelWoodcarving AnimalsJames MillerLink
Whittling a Stylized RoosterWoodcarving AnimalsJames MillerLink
Painting a Stylized RoosterWoodcarving AnimalsJames MillerLink
Woodcarving Mounted WisemanWoodcarving FiguresJames MillerLink ## New April 2022 ##

Sample Videos

Whittling a Red Squirrel
Painting a Stylized Rooster
Woodcarving a mounted Wiseman (Coming Soon)