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Nora Hall, 1922-2011

comments (8) July 31st, 2011 in blogs

BetsyE Betsy Engel, contributor
thumbs up 12 users recommend

Nora Hall, renowned master woodcarver who taught the craft for more than 50 years, died July 19 after a short bout with cancer. She was 88.

Ms. Hall was born in Amsterdam, Holland in 1922 and learned woodcarving from her father, Johannes Leereveld. Originally she had planned to go to college to study art, but World War II put an end to that. Instead she became an apprentice to her father and studied in the tradition of the great Dutch master woodcarver. This is the same traditional method Ms. Hall used to teach her students throughout the United States.

After immigrating to the US in the 1950’s Ms. Hall started teaching classical-style carving and continued teaching until her death. She taught beginners to experts and often traveled the country to teach at various schools. One school she was a regular at was the Kelly Mehler's School of Woodworking in Kentucky. Kelly says that “each time Nora connected with students it was with personalized focused attention, while never losing her sense of humor and the twinkle in her eyes. We came to love Nora for her willingness to make her teaching experiences [at the school] seriously fun.” Over the years she made a number of teaching videos and she also contributed to Fine Woodworking and other magazines. Her work has been commissioned by Hugh Hefner, Bank of Arizona in Phoenix, Gibson Guitars, and the City of Los Angeles as well as numerous private collectors.

The talents of Nora Hall will be missed but maybe because of her willingness to teach others, the traditional style of woodcarving that she was famous for will not die.

posted in: blogs, carving, wood carving, nora hall

Comments (8)

marioignacio marioignacio writes: Fuì a Brooklin en Nueva York y compre los primeros 4 videos de enseñanza para tallar madera y fuè suficiente para aprender ràpidamente y asombrado por lo que aprendì, le enviè una carta de agradecimiento por las clases en los videos y ella muy gentilmente me contestò, ahora deberà estar adornando con su trabajo las puertas del cielo. Nuestro Dios la haya recibido en su seno. Gracias Doña Nora nunca te olvidarè.

Posted: 11:45 pm on January 23rd

mainerustic mainerustic writes: A very talented carver and an inspiration to both men and women carvers, she will be missed.
Posted: 11:11 am on August 18th


I am very sad about her loss she was pure dynamite a real go getter she will be missed I am glad that her family will continue her legacy the world is not the same with out you Nora we all love and miss you
Posted: 8:32 pm on August 15th

mcrab98 mcrab98 writes: I bought my first set of Dastra Chisels from her over the phone, we talked for quite a while. I never had the oppertunity to attend any of her workshops but utilized her DVD courses. She gave me the ambition to carve my own Newport shell.
She touched a lot of people with her talent. God bless her.
Posted: 12:24 pm on August 11th

wmalcolmg wmalcolmg writes: I had the pleasure of spending 2 weeks in her class at The Anderson ranch many years ago, Completely impassioned in teaching. She taught me how, and the importance of extremely sharp tools and the concept of wood as a bunch of soda straws loosly bound. malcolm G
Posted: 8:38 pm on August 9th

ebunn ebunn writes: We hosted Nora at the American Woodcarving School 3 times. Her classes were always full. I took advantage of having her at the school and took classes with her all three times and still use many of the techniques that she taught. She will be sorely missed.
Posted: 9:10 pm on August 5th

verona15724 verona15724 writes: I had the privilege of taking a class with Nora at Kelly Mehler's about 3 years ago. I was struck by her passion for life & carving and remember thinking - "I hope I have this kind of passion for something in life when I'm 86". Nora Hall was a true treasure to the Woodworking world - the twinkle in her brilliant and focused blue eyes and her warm and engaging smile will be sorely missed. I can still hear her voice commanding "no stop cuts! It crushes the fibers."
I am a better carver, woodworker and person from getting to know Nora Hall.
Posted: 5:44 pm on August 4th

Willie Willie writes: Sad to hear, prayers to her family for their loss.

My first carving ever, I did after watching a few of her videos.
Posted: 6:07 pm on August 2nd

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