Those who have followed this blog know that I like to whittle and carve as a demonstration to kids, and other interested folks. When ever I am participating in a carving show I like to whittle and carve small items and give them to interested kids. Part of my reason is to hopefully get some kids interested in wood carving. Plus it's just fun. One of the considerations in doing this is to have something that can be whittled or carved quickly. There's the 5 minute owl, the 5 minute wizard, and the Santa ornament. The Santa takes more time than the owl and the wizard. But I am refining the knife cuts to a point where I can complete a small Santa ornament in a very short time. The only reason to speed the whittling up is to have more Santa's to get out. Plus it's a challenge. Kids attention span is quite short, so I try to be fast, while maintaining safety.
The above small Santa can be done in 6 minutes. That's 6 minutes after some practice. But remember, each practice session results in a Santa. I carve these small Santa's in the round, on a 3/8" x 6" piece of Basswood. I can get 6 Santa's from the 6" piece (3 from one end then 3 from the other end). But since I give them to the kids who are watching, I cut them off as I go, and this means I only get 4 per 6" piece. I need to keep a "handle" to hold when carving.