Mohawk Valley Art & Woodcarving Association
September 1999 Newsletter
Thanks again to Martha Colinas for the meeting minutes this month. “Miasis Dragon” without her notes! Probably the real reason I get these minutes regularly is our president, Carl Borst, wants to keep these newsletters somewhat accurate (we’ll still have some fun). Speaking of El Presidente, he called the September meeting of the Mohawk Valley Art and Woodcarving Association to order this September 7th, 1999. The place was the Inman Center, our regular meeting location. We had 27 members and guests. Welcome goes out to guests Gerald Lee and Mike Turiel. Hope you guys become regulars (God knows we have enough ‘irregular’ characters here!). The minutes of the August meeting were accepted as read.
Little did I know that when treasurer extraordinaire, Marcus Kruger, announced a balance of $5877.71, that it was to be the last I would hear him do it. A moment of silence… This was indeed a sad day. I have to explain later in this newsletter; it’s just too much to deal with right now.
George Hallenbeck, show Co-chairman, reports that plans for the May 2000 Show at Christian Brothers Academy in Albany are movin’ along. Hey! We got the name right this time! Maybe we can refer to it as CBA now. Fred Jenzer is having raffle tickets printed. He reminds us that folks are needed at the door each day to hand out tickets for door prize drawings. The search for a dinner site continues, but is ‘firming up’.
Mike Bloomquist reported that he would continue doing the Newsletter as long as needed. You know, until someone steps up and takes that job from him, this literary abuse will go on! Read his part of the Newsletter at: http://www.borg.com/~bloomqum if you can't wait for the mail. Lodge your complaints with him at: firstname.lastname@example.org . Let him know how appalled you are at what he does to the English language! While you're there, look for the addition of George Hallenbeck's writings on Thursday events. Mike plans to include them also now that he has a scanner. There’s an example of technology falling into the wrong hands.
Andy Ebli says he will distribute wood blanks for Nativity figures before leaving to perfect his skills at another carving seminar in Austria. At this rate Andy, they’re going to offer you a teaching position there, and we’re all going be in real trouble here in the States. Make sure those tickets are always round trip. Chris Schmocker will have his Nativity on display at the November Show while tickets are being sold. That’s real generous Chris, thank you. The ‘real thing’ from a past year is sure to generate a lot of ticket sales.
We were well represented at the fairs this year. Walt LeClair reported our booth was a big success at the Altamont Fair. Ron Myers and others had fun carving and talking to fair goers at the Fonda Fair.
Historian, Ron Redmond, is requesting copies of any Club History you might have to update his records. As an example, he has an article featuring Walt LeClair, the “Birdman of Altamont” and his carvings.
Carol Ayres reported prices on decals and patches from Cameo are high chiefly since they have to have them done by a third party. Carl Borst is checking with another, more direct source. Did anyone notice? Did she put her knife down before the report this time?
Sr. Mary Ellen will advertise the November 13th
woodcarving show at the Inman Center in eight newspapers. The Inman Center
itself will promote the show, but they probably don’t realize that with
Sr. Mary Ellen on the job, they’re going to have a show bigger than Woodstock
‘99. Well… a better class of crowd anyway! Organizers Carl
Borst, John Raucci and Pieter Paulding are taking reservations for tables.
If you can help, contact them. Volunteers are needed to sell Nativity
tickets and there are plenty of other things that need helping hands.
Fred Jenzer made Tuesday meetings and Thursday carving group calling lists and is setting up separate chains for those gatherings. He made name tag/membership cards, which are available when dues are paid. These tags are super! Well worth the $6.00 single dues or $10.00 family memberships (due this month) by themselves. The Bloomquist clan went for the family plan and got two nametags. It’s a deal! You can send dues to:
1397 Currybush Road
Schenectady. N.Y. 12306
Andy Ebli thanked those who sent cards during
his absence. He read a note of
Dick Moran outlined programs as follows:
October - David Easterly on the carving Grinling
December meeting will be the Christmas party.
Hey Dick, I actually remembered to call David and remind him like he requested.
Does this mean the note that’s grafted to my forehead can come off!
Dick Moran says the club’s video library stands
at 33 titles. He will order two more tapes on European woodcarving.
Marcus! You’re good with numbers. Help me here! That
makes… that makes… um… 35 titles! Am I right? Am I right?
Results of election of officers for the 1999-2000 year are:
President - Carl Borst
Since Marcus Kruger asked to be replaced, there was no contest. Marcus! Tell me it isn’t so! Secretary cast one vote to elect the slate. Man, if the U.S. Presidential race was that easy.
Walt LeClair asked for patterns, which he will
copy for the Schoharie
Dick Moran reported that Caricature and general
Carver, David Sabol accepted
Mike Bloomquist reported that the consensus of Clubs he contacted in regard to vendors at woodcarving show is the more variety, the better. Some businesses actually looked more for exposure for their catalog business rather than large sales at the shows. Vendors seemed to prefer being scattered among the carvers rather than an isolated vendor’s area. A motion by Dick Moran to allow one general vendor, and specialty vendors (i.e. knives or books) at the discretion of the show committee with preference given to Club members who sell. The motion, which was seconded by Kay Borst, was carried by a 9 to 7 vote with some abstentions.
The meeting was adjourned. The program that followed discussed Austrian painting techniques and was presented by Sr. Mary Ellen. Does any one on the mailing list know an artist who works in oil colors? I’m real scared to try this technique, because I have a whole artist box full of oil colors and oil painting equipment that’s going to be worthless as soon as I do! O.K., here it is:
Step one: Give your carving a bath. Yep, it’s rub-a-dub, your carving’s in the tub! Use soap and water, rinse thoroughly, and blot off as much water as you can with a towel and let dry. This step takes off all those hand oils, grime, and other crud left from the carving process.
Step two: Prepare the rabbit skin glue. Hey, I don’t make this stuff up! Rabbit skin glue. They had to find something to do when that pregnancy test gig went away! Get over it! Anyway, 1 part glue powder to 2-3 parts water. Sr. Mary Ellen was measuring in tablespoons. Let it set overnight and it turns into a gel. This will be your sealer.
Step three: Take your gel and heat it in a jar placed in a pan of water heated on a hot plate, or in a crock-pot. When the gel gets warm enough to liquefy, take a brush and apply a nice even coat over the entire carving. That’s your sealer coat. It will allow a nice even ‘take’ for the following colored stains. It also won’t let them penetrate so deeply that they can’t be removed if needed.
Step four: Mix your base stain. This comes in a powder also, but it isn’t rabbit skin, its tree bark. There was some conjecture at that point in the program on what type of tree the bark might be from. Carl suggested the bark would be from a dogwood… Ooooooooookay then. This is mixed to your own tastes and left to stand overnight. Sealed in a good jar, the mixture is supposed to have a long shelf life.
Step five: Watercolors supply the hue. Sr. Mary Ellen was using a back-to-school set of watercolor cakes. I suppose the fancy tube stuff would work as well. MTCW, but the art store brands are probably more permanent and resistant to fading than the school art brands (too bad I gave all mine away when I discovered woodcarving!). The color is mixed with water and some of the stain on a white ceramic or shallow white saucer. Your looking to stain the wood with color, not cover it. If the first wash is too light, let it dry and lay another on or add more pigment and stain. If it’s too dark the sizing will allow you to wipe it of with a damp cloth. This is true even weeks down the road.
Step six: If you’re satisfied with the results, apply a coat of Minwax or other finish wax of your choice too seal in the color, and give the finish a soft sheen. Buff off excess with shoe brush or soft rag. Realize this is the point of no return for your painting process. No changing your mind after the wax coat goes on!
Sr. Mary Ellen, those carvings you brought back from your Austrian Seminar are great. Bring them back after you’ve painted them, so we can enjoy them again.
Did anyone catch the poem “A Bag of Tools” on page 148 of this latest issue of Chip Chats. I’ll try to get permission to reprint it here.
That’s it for this month; see ya at the October
5th meeting! Be safe. Be healthy. Andy doesn’t what a
lot of Hearts and Flowers work.
Thursday Carving News
Thursday, Sept. 2nd - Twenty-one carvers in attendance
Andy Ebli finished his shepard and sheep. Really
nice and the Austrian technique is
Don Painter on a new kick. He's carving a Dachshund
with his middle tied in a knot!
John Page in with his bird watcher, about 10" high. Nice detail.
Nelson Downs showing his powder horn, tiel gray white with
carved ends and powder
Pieter Paulding painting a peck of triangle Santas.
They're neat but they need square
My grandson Kyle McCabe age 12 finished his 3rd Relief Carving.
A Light House scene
Thursday Sept. 9th - Twenty-three Carvers in attendance.
Carl Borst finally started his new project! A portrait
in the round of his great grandfather
Our director Eddie Prevost "hard" at work on his chickadee.
Pretty darn good for a new
Don Painter still all tied up with his dachshund knotted in the
middle. No square knots
Ron Myers finally took the plunge! His humming bird's bill
is jammed so far into the
Andy Ebli passed out some of the Nativity Set pieces. So
lets go people. It's our big
Marcus brought in a neat little totem pole about 12 inches high.
Great detail. Andy Ebli
Saw Armand Hebart making a set of wheels. For his dog team
& sled so they can run in
Thursday, Sept. 16th - Twenty-one carvers in attendance
Nice to see Carl Borst, Fred Jenzer and Andy Ebli
working on their nativity carvings.
Great to see Monte Foster back from his trip to Ireland.
He didn't kiss the Blarney Stone
Ron Myers carving love spoons and tenderly too! Bette will
be thrilled. Surprised is a
Don Painter doing a nice job on a small elephant. Thats
the 5th or 6th "nice job" that he
John Raucci coming along nicely on his baseball player.
John carves these amazing
Dick Moran is doing a smaller version of the Santa Claus that
he did a year ago. The
Thursday, Sept. 23rd - Twenty carvers in attendance
Today was a pleasant one after getting my Chip Chats in the mail and
Bill McCormick brought in a "Religious Carving, carved out of
a beam from a church
I see many Nativity carvings well on the way to completion, Fred,
Andy, John, Carl,
Walt LeClair working on 2 cardinals and a chickadee. They
should be flying in a week
Jim Harvey doing his first Totem Pole. Looks real good,
2 bears and an eagle with