How many times have you sat down alone, with just your favorite knife and a block of wood; and just zoned out. When I say zoned out I don't mean it as a bad thing, but a good thing. I mean where you start carving and everything else is blocked out. Your concentration is totally and exclusively zeroed in on your carving. You know exactly what cuts you are going to make, the order of the cuts, and precisely how much pressure to use with your knife. As you plunge the knife tip into the wood your know exactly how deep the knife blade tip is cutting into the wood. And this precision is verified with your next cut as you remove a clean chip without any "fuzzies" left over. As you make a tight circular cut, you know precisely how tight you can cut without breaking the knife tip.
This is happening more and more with me, and I love it. But upon thinking about this, I think that an important component is that I am completely comfortable with my knife. I mean, I know the knife. If this is true, then why do I keep on purchasing other knives? I guess I just like the knives. But I really do like the zoning out with my favorite knife and a piece of wood.
MESSAGE for newer wood carvers: Settle on a favorite knife and use it until you are completely comfortable with it. But when you see a beautiful new knife don't fight it.......you can always get completely comfortable with another knife.