Mohawk Valley Art & Woodcarving Association

October 1999 Newsletter 

President Carl Borst called the October meeting of the Mohawk Valley Art and
Woodcarving Association to order at the Inman Center with 41 members and 
guests present. Welcome to Lou Benaquisto who stopped by to check the group out. 
Lou might want to come back for a couple visits.  The group seemed ‘on good behavior’
this month.  You really can’t make a fair judgment on that!

Carl suggested skipping over the September minutes since, if you read your newsletter,
you got all the essentials (and some things you could probably do without).

Treasurer, Don Painter reported a balance of $5781.79 after receipts and disbursements. 
A fine performance by Don considering who he took the job over from.  It’s really
disconcerting though, when Marcus’ voice comes from behind you, as it did later in the
meeting.  Sheesh Marcus, at least sit in the front row for a few meetings and break me in

Yours truly got kudos from show co-chairman George Hallenbeck for a 
Newsletter well done.  I also got several nice compliments from folks during our
meeting.  I really appreciate all the encouragement, but you folks need to raise your
literary standards just a tad :-).  George deserves compliments for his Thursday
contributions which, thanks to John Raucci, got into the web version of these minutes
last month (and this month).  You know, if anyone has any items they’d like in the newsletter ( patterns, tips, poems, NEWS items) just drop them off with me at the meeting.  If you want to read this a little earlier than the hardcopy, and you web surf, it’s at  Just follow the ‘Clubs’ link.

George reported on the show progress.  He says dinner reservation for the May 6, 2000
Show banquet have been made at the Northway Inn, Colonie.  The buffet will include
several entrees and side dishes.   The cost is $15.00 per person and includes tax and
gratuity.  Fred Jenzer reported that raffle tickets and posters have been printed for the
show and are available. Location, banquet, tickets, posters, workshop,
famous-guest-carver, vendors... that about wraps up the major points for our show.  Man,
you guys make it look easy (so did Joe Rusik and Ron Redman), but we know better. 
Nice work!

Speaking of famous-guest-carvers, Dick Moran sends this along via e-mail:

Dave Sabol Workshop- Course Description

Wednesday, May 3- 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Thursday, May 4- 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.;
Friday, May 5 - 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Place: The Inman Center, Amsterdam, NY

Cost: $100 - a $25 non-refundable deposit due no later than November 2nd, 1999;
-balance due no later than April 30th, 2000. 
Nonrefundable deposit-unless entire workshop is canceled.

10-12 participants (maximum 14) accepted on a first-come - first served basis with MVAWA members receiving a preference up to the deposit deadline; applicants beyond 14 will be put on a waiting list in the event of cancellations by individuals.

Participants will select from among two projects:
1. A caricature - probably a classic Santa like the one on the cover of the first issue of WOODCARVING ILLUSTRATED.
2. A bird - either a Wren or a Downy Woodpecker. Unless a majority of the tentative participants would prefer the second choice to be a carved flower as seen in several issues of WOODCARVING ILLUSTRATED... instead of a bird.

David will provide the first "cut out" for each student. Carving blanks will be wet or "green" white pine that will be carved with hand tools only - no power tools or sandpaper.  The class covers sharpening techniques, individual carving instruction and a painting demonstration.

It’s stretching the woodcarving discretionary funds a bit, but I’m signing up for THIS
one.  It hurt to miss Pete Ortel’s gig last year, but this workshop had enough lead time
that I was able to put in an advanced request with Santa.  Both David and Pete have been
on the Woodcarver’s E-list as being super instructors.  Harold Kaltenbach and I are
going to hitch-hike down Route 5 if we have to!

Ron Myers, Nativity co-chairman, asked for and found 2 willing carvers for the 2
remaining figures for the Nativity Scene.  If anyone missed it and still wanted to do a
piece, something could be arranged.  Ron said something about a fourth wiseman?

Acting in Andy Ebli's absence, Marcus Kruger made a motion to reimburse Andy for
cards and postage used since he became Hearts and Flowers chairman. Unanimous
approval was given.  Hey, that was a ‘no-brainer’ (which explains why my hand was up
at the right time for a change!).

Program Chairman, Dick Moran has scheduled programs as follows:

   November       -   Slides by George Hallenbeck
   December       -   Christmas party 
   March 2000    -   Carving canes and walking sticks by George 
                                Terwilleger and Carol Ayers
Dick would appreciate suggestions for programs or volunteers to present programs. 
Basics of European Woodcarving and Beyond Basics of European Woodcarving have
been added to the video library. Let Dick know, prior to the meetings, if you want a title
so he can have them available for rental.  The total collection is not as portable as it used
to be. 

Prices for patches and decals from a second source were obtained by Carl Borst. Carol 
Ayers made a motion (without knife-in-hand) to order 150 patches at a cost of $3.50 per
patch.  After a second,  the motion was carried unanimously.  Well, almost unanimously
Martha, there was that one ‘Nay!’.  Our veteran ‘naysayer’ was back!  Ahhhh, tradition. 
The decals were shelved for consideration at another time.

Sr. Mary Ellen, reporting on publicity, said that Eddie Prevost has sent notices for the
November 15th Show and will have a photographer visit the Thursday carvers for
newspaper publicity.

So far, eighteen tables have been reserved for the November 15th Woodcarving Show at
the Inman Center.  It’s not too late to get into this!  To reserve a table, contact John
Raucci, Pieter Paulding or Carl Borst. It was suggested that anyone not up to filling an
entire table could  pair up with another carver.  A request went out for two carvings to
raffle at the during the show. Volunteers are also needed to help set up tables, sell tickets
and staff the Welcome table. No admission will be charged, a donation box will be in
place at the exit. Peoples Choice Awards for favorite carving and favorite table are

Doris Seeb reminded members of the Schoharie Chippers Show at Deer Run Motel 
on October 10.  I hope several of us made it.  Anyone who did, please, drop me a review
so it can get in the next newsletter.

As is tradition, our December meeting doubles as our Christmas Party.  Remember, plan
to bring a favorite carving to the party and sign up at the November meeting for a dish to

Another reminder that dues can be paid to Don Painter at 1397 Currybush Road,
Schenectady, NY, 12306 and need to be paid if Newsletters are to be continued.  Martha,
you might want to reconsider that as a threat.

Our presentation was guest speaker and woodcarver David Esterly an authority on the
history, works, and woodcarving techniques of Grinling Gibbons.  Grinling Gibbons was
a British woodcarver born over 350 years a ago.  He was born on Dutch soil and received
his woodcarving training there.  His carving style and material of choice, light colored,
fine grained linden wood, contrasted with the English carvers and their dark oak.  Today
the carvings of Grinling Gibbons, although darkened with dirt, varnish and paint, are
considered national treasures by the English.  This makes it amazing to me that, when
one of those treasures was lost to fire, they came to an American, David Esterly, to carve
a replacement.  After seeing one David’s carvings first hand at the meeting it’s not half
the mystery it was.  David’s background is journalism.  He learned to carve as Grinling
Gibbons did as a research technique into the man’s life.

I have to admit the first third of the program was mostly history, and a bit dry.  We had a
couple ‘yawners’ in the front two rows, and I thought we were going to lose them, but
they hung in there and made the club proud.  Hey it was my third time for the history
part, once at a lecture and once in print, and I toughed it out.  OK, except for that time I
mucked up the slide projector, and it skipped ahead three or four slides.  I just wasn’t
familiar with the controls, honest!  David promised a more technical discussion of the
woodcarving part, and he delivered.  Talk about detective work!  How about that Dutch
rush/sandpaper substitute connection.  David brought a bouquet of lilies as an example of
his work.  It was a treat that he hadn’t had at the other lecture, and everyone got a good
close look.  The petals appeared much thinner and fragile than the were thanks to that
thin edge/thick middle trick I’ve seen our bird carvers pull.  That, together with the
beautiful curves and slender stems, made it appear fragile as glass.  We have it on
Marcus’ authority that the bee in the composition was a ‘worker’ due to it’s accurate
anatomy... Oooooookay then.

Hey!  Better Homes and Gardens has a special out for Santa collectors/crafters.  It's
BH&G Santa Clause/Collector's Issue (not the regular monthly thing) with 'Santa Claus'
predominant and 'Collector's Issue' a little less so. On the cover is a fabric 'dressed' Santa
holding a letter. Several toys are hanging from him on strings. The mag has several
techniques for crafting Santas and inside is a feature article on a Santa Carver named
Tom Jeschke. Excellent article with step-by-step carving of a supplied pattern.  If you’ve
got Ron Ransom book, the style is very similiar.

Everyone have a good month, and we’ll see ya at the next meeting, OK?  Try not to give
Andy any Hearts and Flowers work.  Keep on Carvin’


Thursday Wood Carving News 
by George Hallenbeck

Thursday,  Sept. 30th   -     Twenty-one carvers in attendance 

Richard Vanderheuvel brought in a Dutch Farm Wagon!  Home made wheels and
spokes, take apart sides and floor and it turns on a dime.  A well done replica!  Quite a
change from tulips.  He's also working on a light house seen that my grandson Kyle
Fred Jenzer finishing his nativity shepard, a really well carved piece!

Steve Madej brought me my plate for my carving hold down, and as usual w/ Steve it's
better now than new.  Thanks a lot Steve, you do so much for so many and we all
appreciate your ingenuity!

Martha Colinas in with another lovely seahorse!  Seahorses are lovely to other seahorses,
right?  Anyway this ones a cuttie.

Nice to see new member Ron Pinkerton hard at work on a Scandinavian carving.

Thursday,  Oct. 7th   -     Twenty carvers in attendance 

I (GH) finally finished my Rabbits in a Basket Relief Carving and modestly accepted all
the admiring comments of my comrades!  "that's a piece nice of butternut," "your rabbits
look like beavers" and  "Wow, what a suprise".  Seriously everyone was "gracious" and
I'm happy with the result!

Mike Fields showing his 3" Fish, Trout etc. carved and painted as pins.  Ron Myers first
to yell I'll take six if they're 3 for a dollar!  They're worth a lot more, nicely done and
packaged attractively!  Nice going Mike.

Nice to see Chris Schmocker back, after his alpine trip.  All that mountain climbing and
he catches a cold at Newark airport!

Good to see Gordon Montie and Art Harris prospective members attending.  Hope you
enjoy the day and sign up soon!

Stan Grab finishing a nice love spoon in cherry and a fine job he's doing too!

Thursday  Oct. 14th          -      Twenty-one Carvers in attendance

Bill McCormick in with the Last Supper only 4 feet long in company with his Holy
Mackerel fish also 4 feet long.  Last Supper is a deep relief and a long way to go. 

Dick Moran brought in his "Whatever it takes" caricature of a power carver, painted by
instructions from Sister Mary Ellen, rabbit skin glue and stain with a little water paint! 
Not bad!

Great to see Everet Botsford back from his cross country trip.  He brought in his
mountain lion carving finally finished!  And a great finish it is!  Good paint job and

Jim Harvey's Bear on his totem pole looks like the beaver it was meant to be, now with
tail and long teeth!  Looking good Jim.