Mohawk Valley Art & Woodcarving Association
May 2001
edited by
John Raucci & Mike Bloomquist

You can thank John Raucci for the great variety of contributions and the upscale layout of this month's newsletter, especially the hard copy version.  I don't know what leverage he used, but the great new contributions like the 'Letter from the President' and the 'Show Report' as well as the regular meeting minutes and Thursday Report were collected and compiled by him this month.  New ideas like the 'classified' section were brainstormed by him and Carol Ayers.  My 'editing' this month consists of putting it into a Web page format.  If you're at the meeting make sure you tell John 'Thanks'.
Letter from the President
Well our 21st show is now history, it should go down as the best ever. It seems like we say that every year. We owe George Hallenbeck, our show chairman and all of the many people that helped him, a big thank you for a great job.  As you know it takes many hands to make something like this happen and I hope that everyone will step forward to help Al Doty, our new chairman, make next years show another good one. George promised to help Al along and I know that most of his committee will join in.  I have heard many ideas and thoughts on ways to improve next years show. Al and his committee will be welcome and consider them all.  Again I would like to thank everyone that had a hand in making the show so special. The cooperation was evident in many ways, the auction for instance was something like 15-20 pieces up from last years donations. I do not want to get into names but I feel that Dick Moran deserves mention for his tireless effort in finding and dealing with guests of honor and setting up seminars.  The club again signed up some new members, just one more positive thing that the show brings us.  Already the gears are turning in preparing for 2002 please feel free to give us your ideas and helping hands.

Carl Borst


Here's a couple of shows coming up this summer...

The New England Carousel Museum in Bristol, CT will be having its annual woodcarving show on Saturday, June 2nd, 2001.  Admission is $4 for adults and the show boasts Carousel Animals, carving competition and demonstrations as well as carving supplies and guided tours on the half-hour. 

The second show is in August on the 18th and is sponsored by the Green Mountain Woodcarvers. It takes place in Morrisville, Vermont at the Peoples Academy Gym.  Admission is free and is also on Saturday only.  It is their 28th Annual Exhibit and is sure to be a good time! For further info. on either show, contact George Hallenbeck at 456-0774

At our last meeting
  • In addition to the committee reports given at the May 1st meeting of the Club, the date of the annual picnic was changed to August 12 to eliminate a conflict for several members.  Come early to Kiwanis Park on Route 5S with table service, a dish to pass, your appetite, any lawn game, fishing pole, carving project or whatever you like. 
  • With the usual No votes, a motion to hold a Show in 2002 was carried by a majority vote.  Al Doty agreed to serve as Show Chairman. He asked for volunteers to serve on committees. 
  • Following adjournment, a display of carved hands and discussion of the anatomy of hands was presented by Peter Ortel with his usual expertise. 
Martha Colinas,  Secretary Pro-tem 

Classified Adds


Starting next month we will have want ads in the monthly newsletter.  There has been a great interest among our members to have a place where they can buy and sell wood carving tools and books and wood. 

If you have any carving related objects that you would like to sell, please contact me, Carol Ayers by e-mail at ""
or by "snail mail" at 
3 Poe Court
Ballston Spa, NY  12020
or by phone at

Program Report
By Dick Moran

Peter Ortel Workshops
Peter Ortel recently completed two 2-day workshops on "Carving Facial Expressions" for a total of 19 MVAWA members; three of the participants signed up for the workshop and joined our club simultaneously during the April 28-29 Show at CBA in Albany.  Participants in the two workshops were unanimous in their praise for the quality of the workshop and for the manner in which Pete worked with each individual during several timed periods each day of the workshop. Peter, as most of our members are well aware by now, has a very easygoing, down-to-earth and sincere style... yet he works from an extremely knowledgeable vantage point and with a very supportive and intuitive teaching manner which enables him to beneficially connect with each carver at his/her own ability level.
During the two-day workshop, participants carved three or more candle-shaped faces representing a wide variety of emotions. Emphasized in the workshop was the way in which eyes, mouth and facial muscles interacted as individuals displayed various emotions. Participants ranged in ability from novice to very advanced carvers... yet everyone gained some very valuable suggestions to improve his/her carving ability. 
We can't thank Peter enough not only for the excellent workshops which he presented, but also for the excellent program which he presented on "Carving Hands" at all our regularly scheduled May meeting... and further for being such an superb "guest carver" at our show and speaker at our show dinner.


  • June 5 - "Everyone Carves Something" night. Everyone is asked to bring some Woodcarving tools and whatever carving project he/she is currently working on. Also, members are asked to bring a recently-completed carving to share with everyone during the "Show and Tell" portion of this informal program. 
  • July 3 - Carving Basket Textures, Rope Textures and Celtic Knots - Mike Bloomquist
  • Aug. 7 "Everyone Carves Something" night. Everyone is asked to bring some woodcarving tools and whatever carving project he/she is currently working on. Also, members are asked to bring a recently-completed carving to share with everyone during the "Show and Tell" portion of this informal program.
  • Sept. 4 - Creating Decorative Scenes and Habitats for Mounting//Displaying Carvings - JoAnne Brady (** Rescheduled from March cancellation.) 
  • Oct. 2 - Carving Hands – Part 2 - Carl Borst
  • Nov. 6 - Carving Kachinas - Monty Foster
  • Dec. 4 - Christmas party (potluck dinner).  Bring your favorite Christmas carving for display. Slide Show of Club Activities - George Hallenbeck
  • * Programs and "Everyone Carves Something" sessions will normally last between 45 minutes and one hour.

    Show Report 2001
    By George Hallenbeck

       I want to thank all the people who helped me in so many ways to make this show a great one! We had 746 people attend, bettering last year's 630! The appearance of Peter Ortel and Dennis Thornton placed a real professional stamp on our show.
       The Northway Inn hosted 60 people at our Sat. night dinner. We listened to a "brief" and informative talk by Peter Ortel, enjoyed by all in spite of one persistent heckler who actually enhanced Peter's presentation! 
       We had 56 exhibitors including 25 club members and 5 vendors.  The best news is we took in $2780.90 and spent 2675.09, in the black to the tune of $105.81,j ust a few dollars less than last year!
       My fervent thanks to all of you  and I know because of you next years show will be bigger and better. We really do have one of the better shows in the country!

    Going, Going, Gone...

    Ron Waldron kept the bidding lively at the Show auction and netted the Club a cool $692.40 on 55 carving related donations. It was a terrific job, Ron. The successful bidders all seemed happy.  Also our thanks go out to all the carvers who donated the items up for bid this year and to  Bettie Myers, Mary Hallenbeck and Kay Borst who recorded the sales and received the payments.
     Martha Colinas

    Mike In Motion
    by Michael Bloomquist

    "Do not hate or fear the artist in yourselves...
    Honor and love him... do not try to possess him.
    Trust him as nobly as you trust tomorrow. 
    Only the artist in yourself is more truthful than the night."
        E. E. Cummings

    Lots of stuff to cover, so let's get to it!  George Hallenbeck!... awesome carving show!  ‘Course he had a lot of help, but there has got to be a ‘point man’ and George is it.  George is passing the baton this year to Al Doty.  Al has got massive shoes to fill, but then we said that here about George and Ron Redman when they took over for Joe Rusik.  I can only speak from 1994, but it seems there has been a solid string of show chairpersons that just keep improving the thing.  Some credit goes to Dick Moran for bringing in folks like Pete Ortel and David Sabol for workshops.  Having them as guests seems to bring more great carvers from outside our area (and state).  The tough side of that phenomenon is our “locals” have to keep getting sharper to keep up.  They seem to be up to it though, and everyone wins.
    Best-of-Show went to Tim Faliveno for a leopard chasing a gazelle.  This year’s prize winner hails from Ilion, NY.  Top spot came back West again, almost to Oneida County... almost.  Best Competitive Attitude Award goes to Bud Murtlow.  Yeah, this is a made up award, but it could happen!  I believe Bud got shut out of the relief carving category, but explained that he didn't mind loosing when he saw the level of work he was up against.  Impressions from the rest of the conversation says he'll be back again next year.  The ‘smart money’ bets I’ll be steering clear of the relief carving category for a couple years, especially since Bud's got friends in high places.. with sharp beaks... and talons!  He brought two of those ‘friends’ with him to the show.  They were a hit as usual.

    The Bloomquist Clan did all right.  Melissa got a blue in Novice/Open for her butterfly love spoon.  My future son-in-law, Chris Cook, got a blue, a couple reds, and won the whittlin’ contest.  You folks don't know how ironic it is that he won that contest carving a Bible!  Also, in the whittlin’ contest yours truly managed to win the “First Blood” award for the first time.  There's a tradition that's gonna get passed on quick!  We'll come back to the show again next issue when I get the awards list.  That way, I can more properly lay blame... err give credit.  Those of you that can get to the club web site (, there should be pictures there soon.  Some are from my digital camera and some are thanks to Bill Rolston and his new digital.
    The May meeting had several highlights, the biggest being the program on carving hands by Pete Ortel.  Despite “interference” from another activity that was miss schedule for that night, Peter sent us away with a double handful of tips for carving hands.  Another highlight was the voting on whether to have the show next year.  After an almost unanimous vote to have a 2002 Show, the Naysayer said his traditional “nay”, and all is right with the world.  <grin>
    Well, I got published!  It wasn't a paying ‘gig’, but Mat Kelly, who edits the E-zine called Woodcarvers Online Magazine, offered me a chance to inflict my writing on more victims and I jumped at it.  Faithful readers, all three of you, should recognize it as the article on teaching woodcarving I did here a couple months ago.  You can be horrified by it once again at:
    If you really want to show some class, skip my stuff and check out the rest of the issue, and the back issues.... they're free and there is tons of good woodcarving ‘stuff there.

    Full of it, as usual,
    Mike Bloomquist

    Nativity/ Raffle  Report
    by Andy Ebli and Fred Jenzer

    We would like to thank all the members who participated in carving the pieces for the nativity set.  A fine job again this year and we look forward to your help again with this years project.  Also thanks to all of you who sold raffle tickets both before and during the show

    Total raffle tickets sold 720 
    By members 367 
    At the Show 354 
    Total Show attendance 746 
    Less than half of visitors bought a raffle

    Thursday Report
    By George Hallenbeck
    Thurs. April 26 - 29 carvers in attendance
    Welcome to Pat Trudeau, friend of Chris Schmocker. She is an excellent beginning carver, showing a Swedish Horse, spoons and relief carvings. With some tutoring
    from Chris and Pat's innate ability, she should be a wonder! I wonder!
    Andy Ebli is doing a Rick Butz Santa with an Austrian tilt. It's different.
    Welcome to Ev Bottsford again, now that he's finished his "Smile" caricature, taken from an old picture that has been in his family for some 75 years.  It's a town crier with a lantern meeting a musician on the street with a small dog listening intently.  Great idea and a really good carving along the line of Dickens type of characters.
    Welcome to Bill Johnson from the Clifton Park group.  He brought a peach pit monkey done some 80 years ago.  Skillfully done with much detail. He now has to
    carve 3 of them for his grandchildren.  Good luck Bill!
    Bill DeCaprio still working on his sea captain. Lets get him ashore and painted,
    Bill, salt water is not good for basswood!
    Martha Colinas and Marcus Kruger doing single flowers and bouquets from green twigs. Marcus has his decorating a "motif of three mice perched on a glass with 2 branch roosters on the ground and flowers all around!"  Martha is working with large bouquets interspersed with real flowers!  How about a nice round of applause for our
    Joe Rusik displayed a striking Sawhet Owl peaking through a bark knothole! Joe is a great "detailer", he had to cut off the tail in order to fit the owl properly in the cavity! Joe does "detailing" accurately and "painlessly"!  And the painting ain't bad either.
    Nelson Downs not to be outdone is carving not a twig rooster but a "branch" rooster about 15 inches high.  He'll have a mighty morning crow!
    Last but not least welcome back to Walt LeClair after a few weeks in Myrtle Beach.  The birds are flying North and the bird carvers too.

    Hearts & Flowers
    By Andy Ebli
    Two cards were sent out this month to Margaret Farrell and to Walt LeClair.   We hope your both feeling better and our thoughts are with you...
    And as usual...for the rest of you...stay healthy...then you make my job a lot easier...

    Club Apparel
    By Carol Ayers

    Since we have so many new members in our club I would like to explain what is available to our club members and how the ordering works.  All of the items are embroidered with our club logo and the pricing 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:
    Patches are on hand and can be bought from me at any time.  Shirts, sweatshirts and aprons  need a total of 6 orders, any combination.  Hats  need a total of 12 orders.  When I receive enough orders, I will then request the money for your order and then place the order with the company.  Orders usually take from 1 to 2 weeks to complete depending of the availability of the items.  Right now I have been holding onto 2 orders, 1 for a zipper sweatshirt and 1 for an apron.  I need only 4 more orders (other than hats), and I can collect money and place the order.
    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 Treasurers Report
    By Don Painter

    Balance May 15,2000 - $5882.00
    Balance May 15, 2001 - $5923.00

    Letters to the Editor

    Another addition to the  upcoming newsletters.  Got a suggestion, correction or just plain want to criticize?  Here’s your chance!  Just don’t forget to sign it!  We look forward to hearing from you!

    Send correspondence to...

    Mike Bloomquist 
    117 Riverview Parkway 
    Rome, N.Y. 13440
    Or Email to;

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