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Mohawk Valley Art & Woodcarving Association

April 2005

Edited by Eric Lawrence
Web published by Mike Bloomquist

Next Meeting: May 3, 2005
Time: 6:00pm
Location: Inman Senior Citizen Center, Amsterdam, NY
<>Program:     Cabin Fever Pot Luck Dinner
Time: 6:00 PM arrival -  6:30 PM serving

Letter from the President

The results are in!  Let's begin the search.  In the meantime, let's "break bread" together!

I would like to thank the 51 members who took time from their busy schedules to complete and return the "Carving Show Survey" which was included in the February 2005 issue of our newsletter.  Your feedback is included in the "RESULTS OF CARVING SHOW SURVEY" included in this April edition of the newsletter, and was presented to those in attendance at our April 5th meeting.  It includes even the late feedback received between February 23 and March 31st, since our March meeting had to be canceled.

Although certainly no philosophical treatise or Kinsey report on the underlying hidden desires of our membership, it does represent some strong feelings of 53 percent of our membership who evidently do want their thoughts to be considered.  The first page of the "RESULTS..." presents numerical data which must certainly be considered as representative of the thoughts of a majority of our membership, and in particular, those who made the effort to respond.  It indicates that the three most important goals of any future show must seek to provide an opportunity to see a display of many different carving styles, an opportunity to learn more about carving and carving techniques, and an opportunity to talk with other carvers beyond our club's membership.  After that, there seems to be a substantial gap between these and the next four items and another gap between the final three prioritized goals.

Contrary to those numerical computations on the first page, the next two sections -- "New Ideas or Suggestions for Improving the Show" and "Summary of Show Brainstorming on 2/1/05" -- represents a compilation of the individual ideas or suggestions each made by one person. Consequently some ideas are repeated and some are contradictory.  They definitely do not represent "mandates," but merely individual ideas, which deserve our consideration because someone took the time to write them down.  We would hope that any future Show Planning Committee would at least take them into consideration. 

What's next?  I really don't know for sure!  Certainly there does seem to be an interest in having a show, and we do have individuals who have offered to serve on a planning committee, but we can't navigate as a rudderless ship.  So maybe it's time to place a "Help Wanted Ad" which reads like this: Strongly self-motivated, proactive individual needed to take charge of a show planning committee.  No salary, and sometimes no thanks; however, much satisfaction with successful accomplishment of the tasks at hand.  Must be able to work well with other members of the planning committee and to share responsibility, as well as being able to motivate many others to work cooperatively toward a very successful outcome.  Requires at least a full year commitment.  Applications will be accepted at our June 7, 2005 meeting or any time after that."

Well, now, let's get down to that third thing... the one about "breaking bread" together.  It was decided at our April 5th meeting to hold a one-month-later-than-usual "Cabin Fever Potluck Dinner" meeting on

May 3rd.  We hope you'll be able to join us for an excellent meal-sharing experience.  Bring yourself, your spouse or significant other (or come unescorted, if you wish).  Also bring a food item to share with others, plates, cups and eating utensils. We will provide ice, soft drinks, tea bags and coffee.  Arrival time is between 6 PM and 6:30 PM; serving lines open at 6:30 PM with individual tables being called to the serving line in an orderly fashion.  There will be no formal meeting.  So, just come and enjoy a pleasant dinner with your fellow woodcarvers!

Take care for now,

Dick Moran  (My new e-mail address)


April 5, 2005

  • President Dick Moran presided at the April meting of the Mohawk Valley Art and Woodcarving Association at the Inman Center.  Twenty eight members were in attendance.  Minutes of the February meeting were accepted as published in the March Newsletter.  The March meeting was canceled because a conflict in meeting space developed.  Treasurer Don Painter reported a treasury balance of $4,805.00.
  • Newsletters from Mid-Hudson, Onondaga and New England Carving Clubs have been received. Woodcraft in Latham is offering a two day workshop led by Nora Hall on May 21 and 22.  Cost of workshop is $175.00.  Her videos may be borrowed from the Club library. 
  • Eric Lawrence reports no new members.  A lengthy Newsletter containing results of the survey conducted regarding membership interest in a future Show will be sent in April.   Eric is also asking for patterns and shop tips to be published in Newsletters.
  • Bill Johnsen has waited to schedule programs beyond this evening when the human head carving led by Carl Borst should be finished.  The question of  having An End to Cabin Fever Supper was raised.
  • No reports were available about Club History or Inman Center Activity.  Club paraphernalia is unchanged.
  • Kay Borst has sent Get Well wishes to Madeline Hebert and will do the same for Dick Quay.
  • Dick Moran reviewed the results of the survey regarding interest in a future Show.  A Planning Committee Chairman who will become Show Chairman is needed before a Show can take place.
  • The combined Chambers of Commerce of Montgomery and Schenectady Counties have invited our members to do demos and display carvings  at Schoharie Crossing, Ft Hunter and Riverlink Park, Amsterdam as well as Jumping Jacks in Scotia.  Give your name and choice of time on July 9 and 10 between 9 AM and 5 PM to Martha Colinas by the May meeting.
  • A motion by Mike Bloomquist to have a pot luck supper at the May meeting was seconded by Kay Borst  a approved by a majority of members present.  Those attending need to bring table service and a dish to pass.  Eric Lawrence will bring beverages.  The Center will be open at 6:00 with eating to start at 6:30 PM.
  • Mike Bloomquist is reviewing articles on woodcarving, noted carvers and patterns for Woodcarving On Line Magazine.
  • Following adjournment, carvings were shown by Mike Bloomquist and comments by the carvers were made.
  •  Carl Borst continued with the third session of Carving the Human Face instructions following Show and Tell.


Respectfully submitted,

Martha Colinas

Secretary Pro Tem

Special Features <> 
Notes From an
Unsophisticated Woodcarver

"What'cha carving?”, said a fellow club member as he paused at my workplace carrying his lunch tray.

"An Owl", I replied.   "Well, it's supposed to be an Owl."  He passed on by, sat down and began eating.  I laid aside my tools, looked wishfully at the big laminated chunk of wood and concluded: it really doesn't look like much of anything...except wood, dried glue and chips!  A big mess!

Report card time!  I evaluated:  "Could that piece of wood be carved until it seemed a living Owl just waiting to fly away?  Could I learn to do it?

The thought flashed like lightning through my head (empty space... it didn’t take long)  that I had been chipping away for three years and I really didn't know what the hell I was doing!  How could I "give life" to that dead wood if I didn’t know how...never mind having the technical ability.  Geeze.... I had been so naive.  I hadn't even realized that I didn't know that I didn't know what I was doing.   How should one choose and use a specific wood?  Which tool would make the best cut?  Was I caring for my tools properly?  What techniques could best achieve my desired result?  Was the subject of my carving wisely chosen?   What did I expect the finished carving to convey to "the eye of the beholder?"  And most importantly, how could I share my appreciation for my fellow club members who share their expertise allowing me to learn from them?

So, after years of "making a lot of chips", I began my quest  "to find the impossible dream": become a WOODCARVER: one who knows the wood he is cutting, knows which tool to choose so that each cut is exactly what he wants it to be and the final result becomes just what he intended.   Wow!   I had  "a long way to go and a short time to get there"; yet, I knew the way.  Follow the path of the Erie Canal Boatmen, of long ago, who sang, "We know every inch of the way, from Albany to Buffalo!"  That's the way.  Learn "every inch" of carving.  OK, I began.  Accumulating resources (books, magazines, VCR’s, tools, Web sites), digesting their contents, and attending the carving club gaining experience by learning from fellow members as we "chipped-away".

However, little did I expect that becoming a "Woodcarver" would involve such "a long-way",  be such an "impossible dream",  probably last longer than I will, and still be such fun along the way with such  talented fellow travelers!  Now, with many accumulated resources,  I feel the need to share  discoveries from  book, magazine and web site articles about  good woods,  toxic woods, supplies, subjects for carving, patterns, techniques, and on and on the list goes.  Perhaps you feel the need to share too.

"Unsophisticated" implies an absence of knowledge, wisdom, and ability, resulting from a lack of experience.  Maybe by sharing resources we can continue to gain experience and move on toward the perceptive application of techniques that enable us to become more skilful woodcarvers.

John Page

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Special Notices

None this Month

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Classified Adds


Call Carol Ayers 518-587-6841


or to

to place an ad.

Please call or e-mail when your items have been sold


PC English Dust Collector - Like New. Deluxe model with dual fans and built in light.  It is considered best in the field.  Original price $450...asking $250.  Call Carl Borst 518-355-2933 or e-mail



Basswood -  Cut to Order - Also some Cherry and Butternut….Prices on request

Will furnish Bird Blanks from your plans or mine.…Prices on request depending on species.

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

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Club Stuff
By Ron Batcher
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 $7.50
  • Club embroidered patch is $3.50
  • Club static cling decals are $2.00
    (sales tax is included in all the pricing)

Ordering these items is as follows:
Patches, hats and decals are on hand and can be bought from me at any time. Shirts, sweatshirts and aprons  need a total of 6 orders, any combination.

You can place an order by e-mailing me, Ron Batcher or writing me at  2708 Granville Ave. Schen. NY 12306 or phoning me at 518-346-4090(evenings) or 518-270-5108 ext 28(days).

This Month's Pattern

This month’s original pattern for a rabbit was designed and submitted by Carl Borst.  It is printed at 50% of the original size.  Just about any copy machine should be able to enlarge them to any size that you prefer.  ( In this web version, right clicking on the picture and selecting "Print Picture" should give you a full page version - Mike B. )

Carls Rabbit Pattern


Shop Tips

Many of you have, through necessity and inventiveness, designed and produced equipment to aid you in your woodcarving.  What you have produced may be of great benefit to other carvers in the MVAWA.  We would like to include your ideas in this monthly newsletter.

A design pattern and/or photograph along with a brief description of materials and costs and any directions you think would be helpful, should be mailed to

Eric Lawrence   

478A Moe Road   

Clifton Park, NY    12065-3803

 or E-mailed to

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Kay Borst 355-2933

Doc Cummings has broken his hip and will be in a nursing home for 6 to 8 weeks.  His address is Harold Cummings, Room 509, care of Barnwell Nursing Home, Box 810, 3230 Church St., Valatie, N.Y.  12184.


Want Ads by Jan. 13, to
    Carol Ayers (see above)
or to
    Eric Lawrence ( )

News Articles by Jan. 14,
    Eric Lawrence ( ) and to
    Dick Moran (

Any problems with the Web version of this article please e-mail Mike Bloomquist at

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