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Watch a carver at work or enroll in a workshop yourself. Demonstrations are given during most days that the Museum is open. Workshops, ranging from an hour and a half to ten weeks in duration are offered throughout the year. All programs listed below meet at the Wendell Gilley Museum in Southwest Harbor and are taught by Carver-in-Residence Steven Valleau.

Museum Members’ Carving Club

ongoing through April 28, 2017

All members of the Wendell Gilley Museum are welcome every Friday afternoon, from 1pm–4pm, November through April, weather permitting. (Call to confirm, if stormy.) The club is an informal gathering for the purpose of working with fellow carvers, sharing tips and using the reference resources of the Gilley Museum. Often homemade baked goods and freshly brewed coffee are an added benefit. New members are welcome to join at any time. You don’t have to carve to enjoy the camaraderie (or coffee). It’s a good time to use the Museum library or to get something from the gift shop.

Winter 2017 Carving Class: Blue-winged Teal

Saturday afternoons from 1 - 4, starting January 28th

(ends in April, date  TBD by winter break and snow day schedule)

The beautifully-marked Blue-winged Teal drake, with its challenging combination of spots and irridescence, will be carved and painted during this intensive 10-session class. Participants are welcome to put in extra hours on their piece during the Friday afternoon members' club. The class is best suited to intermediate & advanced carvers. Works will be displayed at the Spring Open House and Carving Show on May 28th.

Fee: $85 plus a current museum membership


Blue-winged Teal, 1974 carving by Wendell Gilley from the

collection of the Wendell Gilley Museum

Photo: Jack Ledbetter

Whittle-A-Warbler Carving Workshop

Saturday, June 10, 10 am - 4 pm

 Whether you have always wanted to give bird carving a try, or want a unique way to hone your identification skills, this workshop will enhance your artistic and naturalist talents. Carve and paint a hanging ornament during this one day carving workshop. This short workshop is ideal for beginning adults and children 11 and up are welcome with an adult.

Fee: $25 Museum members / $30 non-members

Introductory Carving Lessons for Adults and Children

Lesson for beginners ages 11 to 110 are available from 11am–12:30pm and from 1:30–3pm every Tuesday through Friday. Hatch or hone your bird carving skills with your choice of a cardinal, chickadee, goldfinch, loon or puffin as your subject. Gilley Museum carving kits include materials needed to get started carving at the Museum and to complete the project on your own after your lesson. Not included are carving knives, which will be provided during lessons, or you may bring your own.

Daily fee for each class, including kit and museum admission:
$20 Museum members / $25 non-members

Limited edition Curlew Sandpiper kit with lesson

$35 Museum members / $40 non-member

Return lessons (using kit started in first lesson) $15 each

Pre-registration is required for all programs except Members' Carving Club. Enrollment is limited; payment is due with registration. Fees will be refunded if cancellation is received at least two weeks prior to the program. For additional information, please call the Museum at 207-244-7555 or send an email to

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