Mohawk Valley Art & Woodcarving Association

April   2002

edited by

John Raucci & Mike Bloomquist

Next Meeting:
May 7, 2002
Time: 7:00pm
Program: Theories of Perspective  -    Robert Stadtlander


Letter from the President

(No, you're hallucinating, this is the same letter as last month.  
Sorry, long story, but the rest is new.)

My fellow woodcarvers… Dear Friends… Aw Sheesh!  Hey Gang!  The clock she’s a tickin’ you know.  It’s only one more month ‘till our annual woodcarving extravaganza.  Whether you’ve got a booth in the show, taking the class, or just coming to enjoy the show, don’t miss this.  Al Doty and his crew have been working real hard this year, and it just keeps getting better every year.  Personally, I can’t think of a better weekend than spending two solid days talkin’ woodcarving where you’re never in danger of boring anyone.  Well, yes Ron, it is possible for me to bore other woodcarvers… but I would have to work real hard at it.  You almost always see old friends that haven’t been by since this time last year.  Folks from outside the club, or out of state who make this show a regular event. They always have fresh new carvings to see, and I always manage to pick up a carving tip or too.  One sad note this year… Melissa will still be in college.  I think it’s the first one she’s missed since ’96 when she was thirteen.  On the up side, I’m going to the banquet this year, and Yvonne’s coming too.  I haven’t been able to make the banquet since Tangerman was the guest speaker.  Hmmm, that might have something to do with me fallin’ in with that Stillwater crew and almost getting kicked out.  Just ask Tom Lesson when he drops by at the show.  He’ll tell you.  So maybe it’s time for me to get a second chance.  Promise to behave myself this time.  Another reason I’m excited though, a good friend of mine Ted Tarr is coming back to the show.  He’ll be sharing a booth with Ted Morrison another member of the Erie Canal Woodcarvers.  Then, if Russ Hart shows, together with Harold, Chris Cook and myself, there’s going to be one heckuva Oneida County block this year.

Still not convinced it’s worth going too?  How about visiting an incredible selection of choice carving timber at Walt LeClair’s booth.  Tell you a secret… get there real early because his stuff goes fast. Then there’s Buck Run Woodcarving Supply.  Hand carving tools, power carving tools, and plenty of stuff to keep the edges sharp and the power tools humming.  And then there’s my favorite... lots and lots of books.  You can’t get bored, not when there’s the whittlin’ contest.  Be honest!  You spectators are just there to see who draws first blood.  Well, if you’re squeamish about the blood, but still crave excitement, there’s always the woodcarving auction that wraps the event up Sunday afternoon.  The auction keeps growing with the show, and it gets more entertaining every year.  We can usually count on one of Marcus’s hand made knives being offered up to the highest bidder.  Then there are usually some books or old issues of Chip Chats, and several A-1 carvings from our club members and show participants.  OK, I’m done.  If you don’t have a good reason to come to our show now, then you must be into whole different hobbie/art and more power to ya!

On another front, a certain club program chairman by the name of Dick Moran recently put me on a big guilt trip about not signing up for the Jeff Phares workshop.  Guess the possibility of an Ian Norbury class at the Rochester Woodcraft store this fall didn’t carry any weight with Dick.  Besides the fact he didn’t organize it <grin>, Dick knows I already took a class with Ian.  But Dick!  That was two years ago and you can never carve too many nudes.  Anyway, thanks to some budget wizardry by Yvonne, and Harold letting me pitch a tent in whatever campsite he finds nearby, I’m signed up.  So, I know I raved about the classes Dick’s lined up, and I know I raved about this one, but now I’ve put my money where my mouth is.  There’s still some slots open so let’s go people… we ought to have a blast.  Shouldn’t be any danger of the caricature/ bird carving dilemma that certain members fell into at David Sabol’s class, eh?  Sorry John, had to visit that one just one more time.  Anyway, you should be back from Florida in time to defend yourself.  Well Folks, that’s it from your Prez this month… hope see ya at the meeting.

Keep on Carvin’
-Mike Bloomquist->

Letter to the Editor

 It was with disgust that I read the April newsletter.  I found the two "jokes" offensive and in poor taste.  I am embarrassed to think of the number of people who received the April newsletter and saw this smut.  As a paying member of the club, I expect a ”professional” updating of club news.  If we need to use these degrading 'fillers', maybe its time to evaluate the purpose and value of our CLUB NEWSLETTER.

Sister Mary Ellen Putnam


In the last newsletter there were several items of humor included in the final copy that were in bad taste and inappropriate for our club newsletter.  We would like to formally apologize for them being included or offending any of our readers…
John Raucci & Michael Bloomquist

Thursdays at the Inman Center
By George Hallenbeck

Thursday April 10 - 27 Carvers present.  Just returned from Fla. and glad to be back.

Spotted Ron Myers carving neat spoons.  He's doing a dozen for next Xmas for his relatives.  He's smart with an early start and he'll need it, he has one a month to do!

Monte Foster doing a lettered plaque, "If you get to heaven before I do, dig a hole and pull me
thru".  It's in poplar, always a hard wood for Monte!  It's almost finished and delightfully different!

Dick Quay is working on an Eagle Relief. It's carved on a round piece of shiplap, 2 boards glued together 15 inches   in diameter!  It is looking good.  Maybe we could dig up a nice piece of basswood for Dick! We're all glad to see his second "new knee" is doing great.

Fred Jenzer carving some very intricate spoons, all entwined , showing  some meticulous carving.  These are the ones you love to do and hate by the time they're done

Ev Bottsford back from Fla. and getting a jump on Xmas with an Olde World Santa with walking stick and pack I am sure it will be a new example of an olde theme!

Welcome back to Chris Schmocker and Pat Trudeau from `Fla. Just about all the snowbirds are back. Both are signed up for Bob Stadtlander's relief class. I'm looking forward to it myself.

Loriane Morris is working on an Indian Peace Pipe, an ambitious project. She has it drilled thru and is working on the bowl.  Lorriane will be married on May 8th to Gene Shaylor and we all wish the happy couple  a lifetime of happiness!  Get him carving, Lorriane!

Mike Fields doing a grizzly bear, quite a departure from his fish!  But hold on , he's going to have a fish in a stream holding the bear's interest! I knew Mike would have a fish someplace.

Jim Bollbach brought in a well designed clamp for holding a golf ball while the cover is being cut thru!  Easy to make, easy to use and good thinking.

See you all at the show,
     George Hallenbeck

Program Report
By Dick Moran
 The program for our May 7 meeting is an overhead presentation on Theories of Perspective – by Robert Stadtlander . Bob, our guests carver for the show and workshop presenter (see below), will also discuss what types of scenes make good relief carving subjects, how he develops a relief carving from an idea, picture, etc.... and what works well with his style.

Programs for the next two months are as follows:

June 4 - Sale & Swap Night
- Carvers wishing to sell (or swap) carving equipment, tools or carving books are asked to bring them for display at their respective tables. The "Show & Tell" portion of the program will be replaced by the "Sale & Swap Night" activities. During the "Everyone Carves Something" portion of the meeting, members will have the opportunity to take a closer look at any items for sale and to make purchases (or offer swap-deals) as well as to work on their current carving projects.

July 2 - Carving Corner Faces
– Harold Kaltenbach

Two Scheduled Workshops
By Dick Moran

Robert Stadtlander "Relief Carving" Workshop (May 6-8, 2002). This is just a reminder to those individuals who signed up for this workshop that sessions on those days will be from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM at the Inman Center in Amsterdam. Efforts are currently underway to contact each if you for your input as I attempted narrow the number of possible carvings to two. Also please be aware that each participant will be provided with one carving blank; Robert will bring additional blanks for purchases as well as knives and gouges of the variety that he uses -- to sell to students if they are interested in purchasing them. Carvers are expected to provide their own tools for the workshop.

Jeff Phares "Carving an Indian Bust or a Mountain Man bust" Workshop (June 22-24, 2002). At our last meeting we were able to reach the minimum number of 10 members who have paid their initial $80 deposit for the workshop; however, we can accommodate as many as 14 carvers in the workshop. Plans are going forward, and I will continue to seek additional class members during our show. Participants are asked to please let me know which of the two carvings they would like to do in order for me to prepare Jeff to mail ahead all of the equipment and blanks he will need for the workshop.

Classified Adds

If you would like to sell something, you can advertise it here first and, if you want, bring it to our monthly meeting to display it. Jug let the members know when and where they can see it Let me know when you place your ads and I will get the word out 9 they can we it at an upcoming meeting. Remember that all advertising here is free.


We have already had success with this endeavor!

Basswood ﷓ Cut to Order ﷓ Also some Cherry and Butternut. Prices on request. Will furnish bird blanks from your plans or mine. Prices on request.

For any information on the above items please contact Walt LeClair @ 518-861-6544

Club Crew Neck Sweatshirt - size Medium - Never worn - wrong size ordered -
If interested please call Fred Jenzer @ 518-384-7313 or e-mail

Reliant Dust Collector - Model # NN720 - Paid $260.00 for it will take $130 - Runs on 110 or 220 volts. Call Tony Monte @ 518-357-4602

Delta Scrollsaw- 18" Variable Speed - Approximately four years old with very little use.  Original cost $450, willing to sell for $300. Call Bill Johnson @ 518-399-5927 or e-mail to

Alaskan Chainsaw Mill - used to convert logs to lumber - 36" w/accessories - very good condition - $100
McCulloh 20" Timber Bear chain saw w/ripping chain and w/extra chains - very good condition $175
Please call Steve Madej 518-842-7219 if you are interested in these items.


Old draw knife with folding handles, call Marcus
Kruger at 518﷓829﷓7008 or e-mail Scoop@

Old, used chain saw chains, any condition. Call Bud Murtlow at 518-885-9579.

Used copy of the book "Carving Compact Characters" by Jack Price. Call Pieter Paulding @ 518-782-7982 or e-mail @

To place want ads for any wood carving related items please contact Carol Ayers by e-mail at " "

or by "snail mail" at

3 Poe Court

Ballston Spa, NY 12020

or by phone at


Donted forget, you can also place an add for something Wanted.

Club Apparel
By Carol Ayers


All of the items are embroidered with our club logo and the prices including sales tax is as follows:
  • Polo shirt, light ash gray (short sleeve with collar and tab front) is $11.00
  • Long sleeve T-shirt, light ash gray is $12.50
  • Crew neck sweatshirt, light ash gray is $16.50
  • Hooded, full zipper front sweatshirt with side pockets, light ash gray is $22.00
  • Apron, natural with no pocket is $8.50
  • Hat, tan is $7.70
  • Club embroidered patch is $3.50
    (sales tax is included in all the pricing)

Ordering these items is as follows:
Ordering these items is as follows.

  • Patches, hats and decals are on hand and can be bought from me at any time.
  • Shuts, sweatshirts and aprons need a total of six orders, any combination, for me to place an order with the company.
I have ordered a dozen hats and they are in. From now on, I will try always to have club hats on hand, just like the patches and static cling decals for the car window. A hat, club shirt, logo apron or sweatshirt is always a good thing to have when doing fain or shows. I am starting a new list for shirts, since I have just placed an order for six items. As soon as I have another six items to embroider, I can order again.

If you are interested you can place an order by e-mailing me, Carol Ayers at:

or writing me at
3 Poe Court
Ballston Spa, NY 12020
or phoning me at

Club members and other clubs have asked who does our shirts, hats, and now decals. The company is Cameo Productions, Amsterdam, NY . They have quality merchandise, give you personal attention, and are capable of producing almost any quantity. They have also are willing to meet deadlines and fill our small orders. If you would like a catalog please call Joe at 1﷓800﷓8094839 or 518﷓8424839. If he is not there, Lisa will help you.

Hello again from the south…
This was supposed to be in a while ago so the info is a little dated but still accurate.
      George and Mary Hallenbeck were visiting me here in Melbourne and in March we made our annual trip up to Lakeland for the woodcarving show.  As in the past we met up with Ev and Janet Botsford who also make the trip down from their winter retreat in Lady Lake.   It was good to see them both looking well rested and happy.  They have since made their journey home to NY.  Ev said he missed all the folks from the club and I feel the same way.
      The Lakeland show, which is normally held in January, was held on St. Patty's Day weekend this year, and from the look of things on Saturday, I would have to say that the date change hurt both the exhibitor and the visitors numbers.  There were still plenty of good carvings and talented carvers and there was no shortage of vendors, but over all numbers seemed down.  
      Demonstrations on painting, carving and burning were held several times during the two day show and George and myself sat in on a portion of the one given by Cheril Dow.  Her wood burning technique is a joy to watch and her teaching ability is remarkable.  She can keep it simple while holding your attention with some light hearted comedy at the same time.   She is a great addition to any carving venue and we should consider trying to attract her to one of our future shows.
      There were plenty of bird, fish and other wildlife carvings there, as usual, along with some great relief and chip carvings.  There was the usual small number of caricature carvings and this year I noticed that, of the few busts and figure faces on display, very few were "life like" or well done.  I guess I must be getting spoiled by all of the great face carvers in our club.  We're pretty fortunate to have such a diverse group of talented carvers.
      All in all, it was a good show... and the food wasn't bad either.  It was great to be able to get together with some of the guys and take in the sights.  I hope we can do it again next year and maybe even get a few more of you to join us down here.                      


Dear Woody

Dear Woody,
What’s the best way to finish butternut?

At-a-Crucial Step

Dear Crucial,
          Gosh, this is almost a religious question... everyone thinks there’s is the best way, and they went on a long, painful pilgrimage to discover it.  I haven't tried them all, but I've tried several methods/combinations on butternut. The one so far that works best for me is Benjamin Moore Natural stain followed by Minwax Satin Polyurethane. Let the stain dry thoroughly to avoid something called 'blushing' (of course I had to learn that the hard way). It takes about three coats of the Poly if I spray, possibly two coats if I brush. Number of coats is definitely a 'to taste' step, and you might prefer gloss... see tip below. Just MTCW. Definitely stay away from the water based polyurethanes. So far, the can of water based “poly” I have has consistently horrified me on butternut, cherry, and black walnut.  It tends to lighten the wood a make it look plastic.
         If you're unsure about the technique, and you have the time and resources: take scraps from the wood of your project, carve them into egg shaped samples (gives you end grain and side grain 'look'), smooth and/or detail them in a manner equivalent to your masterpiece (just doodles), and try the new techniques on these samples first. Makes it real easy to pick 'the winner', and avoid regrets.

Keep on Carvin'

Letters to the Editor

Send correspondence to...
Mike Bloomquist
117 Riverview Parkway
Rome, N.Y. 13440

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