The use of a single carving tool to make a complete sculpture is also a good carving exercise. My friend Jo Seitfudem told me once about his father, a master carver in Bavaria, giving him a single gouge and telling him to carve an entire sculpture with it. Without a range of tools to use, the importance of working with the timber itself to achieve a finished piece is much clearer to a novice carver.
A look at the work produced in regions that regularly use knives as a basic carving tool (Africa, Papua New Guinea) also easily illustrates that carving snobbery about their use is just narrow-mindedness.
Here's a photo of the walnut pendant that Jack carved during the session, We agreed that it looks great and it seemed to capture just what he was aiming for, with the tooled finish and the delicately carved spiral that he achieved:
It's interesting how the process of teaching a skill can so often lead to the teacher learning and seeing their speciality with fresh eyes too!