Lace Carving

About the Artist

I was born, raised and educated in Vienna, Austria. In my teens I was involved in many activities, such as folk dancing, music and boy scouts. In my boy scout days, on my way to our meetings I had to walk past a house where sometimes, in good weather, a man would be sitting close to the window carving. I was fascinated, but at that time I felt no hankering yet to try my hand at it. However, it is quite possible that the seed was sown at that time.

Then of course I became an adult, eventually got married, and in 1957 we immigrated to Canada. In my second year in Canada I became unemployed for a very long time. And at this time a very good friend, who was a painter, asked me if I would perhaps be interested in wood-carving as a hobby, just to kill boredom.

And I gave it a try. My friend provided me with a piece of apple wood. I had my own jack-knife, so I went at it and carved a pipe with a “human face” on the front of the bowl. I got so carried away by my success, that I invested 99 cents in a small set of carving tools and I made some more out of files. In other words, I got hooked.

Then in November of 1989 I finally became interested in chip carving, and a lady in the club that I belonged to showed me for an hour how it was done. She offered me her knife and board to try it, but I declined, telling her that I would make my mistakes at home.

I did, and my present “fame” began with these humble beginnings. My description for chip carving is “Geometry come alive”.  The proper description would be “two sided pierced Chip carving on a thin wood”. Now, that would be a mouthful. And let’s face it, when looking at one of those fancier pieces, the title seems to be quite suitable.

By Bert Hirt

Table of Contents

  • Introduction 
  • About the Artist 
  • What is “Lace Carving” 
  • Tools for Lace Carving 
  • Start-up Instruction 
  • Triangular Patterns
  • Diamond Shape Patterns
  • Rosette time Design
  • A Word of Caution
  • The Quilted Lace
  • Gallery

Sorry this book is out of print.
For a downloadable version please contact

Published by the Ontario Wood Carvers Association
ISBN 978-0-9810934-3-7
Printed and bound in Canada, 2010