Mohawk Valley Art & Woodcarving Association

May 2002

edited by
John Raucci & Mike Bloomquist

Next Meeting:
June 4, 2002
Time: 7:00pm
Program: Woodcarver's Flea Market


Letter from the President

Well they did it again!  Al Doty & Company pulled off another great woodcarving show.  Attendance was about the same as the previous year, which, considering the gorgeous weather that weekend, was quite a feat.  The "and Company" includes a host of people like George Hallenbeck, a veteran co-chairman from two previous shows, Dick Moran, who brought in another high caliber guest carver in the form of Bob Stadtlander, all the folks who help set up Friday and tear down Sunday, those who peopled the ticket table and club tables, and to all those who did all the countless other jobs that make this show work so well.  There should be more naming-of-names later in this newsletter, so read on!  If we miss anyone, I'll make sure they're in the next newsletter for sure.  In the meantime thank you all for the great work and well done!

Personally, I could not participate at all like I had planned this year.  My Father passed away the previous Tuesday and I had to cancel my booth and banquet tickets.  My Dad is not directly responsible for me learning how to carve wood.  He is very directly responsible for me having the basic skills and the "can do" attitude to attempt woodcarving.  It's not surprising, but I have remembered many things related to my Dad this past couple weeks.  Before retirement, my Father was a machinist/modelmaker at Bendix Corp. in Utica.  Like lots of middle income Dads with four kids, he knew how to do many things besides his 8-to-5 job, and Mom usually made sure we were around him to help... even if only to fetch tools.   I remember him letting me use a power drill once when I was so young I had to lift it with both hands.  I remember him letting me fill a scrap piece of 2x4 full of holes... just so I could.  I remember him letting me keep a Boy Scout knife I found in the leaves during one of our many camping trips.  Letting me have it even though it was very much against my Mom's wishes.  In her defense, she later let our local butcher put a real good edge on it for me (probably the first time I heard "a dull knife is a dangerous knife").  I remember rides on the back of Dad's "Harley".  I remember spending a lot of time at a rented barn in downtown Ilion helping (sort of) build camping coaches for our pickup trucks.  I remember us rehabilitating old lawn mowers and re-selling them in front of our house.   I remember helping him rehabilitate some of our vehicles.  I remember when I started repairing and re-selling garage sale bicycles, my Father buying me repair manuals with blow-apart diagrams of those English three-speed hubs.  These manuals came in real handy when those dog teeth springs launched themselves across the garage and bearings spilled out all over the floor.  I remember many years and two daughters of my own later, my Father and I strolling through the woodworking & woodcarving show at the State Fairgrounds in Syracuse.  I remember him beside me when I bought my first carving knife and a sharpening stone from a vendor at that show.  I remember his quiet encouragement, but I wonder now what he was thinking at the time.  Maybe he was remembering a boy using a power drill for the first time, filling a 2x4 full of holes until his arms ached.  So, even though he didn't teach me how to carve wood, what ever I'm able to do now with a block of wood has a lot of my Dad in it, and I think that's one of the best ways I can remember him.

There was a silver lining to the weekend.  We were able to take Melissa back to Alfred State via Albany, and got a chance to visit the show Sunday.   It seemed everyone knew why I hadn't been around, and I really appreciate that the word got out.  Thank you all for the condolences and expressions of sympathy. In the past, when I've said those things to friends who lost people close to them, I always wondered how much it really helped them.  Having now been on the receiving end, I'll never question it again.  They do help, and Melissa and I appreciated them very much.

Let me tell you!  Our show is a lot easier to take in when you're participating in it for two days than it is for the three hours we spent there.  Despite the short time allotment, I was able to talk to most everyone there, both the "veterans" and several new faces.  Most were extremely happy with the show and seemed to be enjoying themselves a lot.  We'll try to cover them and the pictures I got in the next newsletter.  Man! Buck Run was stocked this year... and how!  Especially the bookrack, which had most of the current titles that I knew about.  However, they didn't have Jeff Phare’s latest on carving mouths and noses... but I did.   To be fair, they couldn't have had it.  That's because my copy came as a gift from Harold Kaltenbach, and he got his copy straight from the publisher, Fox-Chapel, who had just gotten their first printing in.  Speaking of being well stocked, Walt Leclair brought a fresh batch of wood in Sunday morning to re-stock the table.  Yippee!  I had new stuff to pick from and didn't have to settle for what the locust had left behind.  If anyone noticed the gentle giant walking with me, that was Brian Barber. He’s a member of a woodcarver’s chat group I belong to on the web.  This guy came all the way from New Hampshire and drove back the same day just to see the show.  Not too many folks make me feel short, but Brian sure does.  Real glad he’s a friend!  Really nice person and quite the carver too... we might be seeing him as a show participant some year soon.

Well, I think I’ve prattled on enough this month.  Once again, to all those who contributed to the show this year, great job and thank you!  Hey Gang, keep those edges keen, the chips piled high, and hope to see you all at our next meeting.

Your Prez,
-Mike Bloomquist->

Highlights of May Club Meeting......
  • A near-record turnout included four new members recruited at the Show plus a guest.

  • Congratulations to Al Doty and George Hallenbeck for a successful Show.

  • Appreciation to Bob Statlander and Dennis Thornton for judging the competition.

  • Thanks from Chairmen to Club members for their contributions to the Show.

  • Al Doty and George Hallenbeck will Co-chair the 2003  Show.

  • Reserve August 4 for annual Club picnic.  Details next month.

  • Committee was selected to plan raffle project for 2003 Show.

  • Program-  Perspective:

  • Bob Statlander used overhead slides to demonstrate techniques to determine spacing and angles
    in relief carvings, both important factors when carvings are judged in competition

 Our Best Show Ever
     This year we had our finest show, the finest carvings and the finest carvers. Our judges Dennis Thornton and Bob Stadtlander did a great job judging an array of carvings that were awesome! We thank them.
     Our thanks to Jane Harvey who inserts an ad in the Capitol Craft Mag. What a supportive gesture! Thanks again Jane.
     We also thank Paul Ferenczy who donated a dozen hanging plants to decorate our Club Table. Paul is so generous. He donated plants at our Xmas party as well.  Can’t tell you how much we appreciate your kindness, Paul. Thanks again.
      On Sunday I thanked all the exhibitors for coming and received no negative comments, amazing!  Everyone was complimentary and all said they would return if possible!  I sent notes of thanks to Elisa Streeter and Liz Bishop for their kind words plugging our show and we thank CBA for the best advertisement, their spacious gym and helpful maintenance people.
 Lastly congrats to Norman Ayers for winning our Nativity Set!  I enjoy so much working this show, and to all our membership, help us out and have yourself a fun time too.

Club Member Helps Worthy Cause

Early this year, club member Jim Harvey donated several carvings to an annual Charity Event to benefit the Community Hospice of Schenectady.  For those unfamiliar with Hospice, it is an organization that that helps patients facing terminal illness and their families and friends who need care and support.  This year was the 13th annual Gala “Springtime in Paris” and contributions for both silent and live auctions led to a record breaking amount of money raised. The Gala is the most significant fund raising event for the Friends of Hospice, and it’s importance in supporting the program is critical. 
    If anyone is interested in finding out how to participate in next years event, please contact Jim at- or by phone at-  732-7631 and he will get you the necessary information.  This is a great way to put your talent to work while helping out with a great cause.  Hospice is truly a wonderful program and I am thankful for folks like Jim who help make it all possible.

John Raucci

Thursdays at the Inman Center
By George Hallenbeck

Thursday, May 2            27 Carver in attendance

Jim Harvey whittling a small turtle on a log.  He’s moving rather slow, the turtle but then Jim’s not to swift these days!  Sorry Jim… Just slipped out!  It will be a fine turtle I’m sure.

Mike Fields finishing up his grizzly bear and it looks good.

Don Painter not carving, he’s writing out checks for the show.  This is his busy time!
Dick Moran brought in a family of bears, mother and three cubs.  He “Bearly” got done for the show!  It’s another great carving by “Santa” Moran.

Joe Rusik in with a wire haired terrier with a quizzical look on his face confronting a frog.  The frog looks bored with the whole thing.  Put it in the show Joe, it’s good!  Joe is now working on a “wire haired owl”.

Marcus Kruger brought in 8 little bears, cuddly as can be.  The best is still in the frame and grand!  Marc does these with a scroll saw and then carves the bears!  Great miniatures.

Nelson Downs showing a lovely folk lore type cane for his wife on their 50th anniversary.

Andy Ebli carved an angel sitting and it’s beautiful!   3 angels, one with a star, one reading a book and another playing the flute on a round base with a small evergreen tree along side each angel!  This is a lovely attractive group carving.  Andy continually turns out one of a kind, exceptional carvings.

Larry Jasenski working on a large relief 16”x 20”.  A really well done hobo or tramp, take your pick.  It is basswood and his second relief.  It’s really good.  The tramp looks like an ex-employee of Enron.

Program Report
By Dick Moran

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.

Hearts & Flowers

Andy Ebli is stepping down as the “get well” guy after several years of devoted service to our club.  Taking over the responsibilities of “Hearts & Flowers” will be Pat Trudeau. She will be backed up by Betty Dykstra and with the two of them on this job, Andy can get a little well deserved rest himself!  Thanks again Andy for all your hard work and thanks to Pat and Betty for pitching in.
    If you know of someone in need of a card from the Club, please contact Pat Trudeau at 585-7670 or Betty Dykstra at 279-0936 or see them at the Inman Center on Thursdays. 

Classified Adds
If you would like to sell something you can advertise it here first and, if you want, you can bring it to our monthly meeting to display it.  Just let the members know when and where they can see what you are selling.  Let me know when you place your ads and I will get the word out if they can see it at an upcoming meeting.  Remember all advertising here is FREE!  
We have already had success with this endeavor!  

********* For Sale *********

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

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 Scroll Saw - 18" Variable Speed - Approximately 4 years old with very little use.  Original cost $450, willing to sell for $300. Call Bill Johnson @518-399-5927 or e-mail @

Alaskan Chain Saw Mill - used to convert logs to lumber- 36" w/accessories - very good condition                                                                          $100.00  
McCulloh 20" Timber Bear Chain Saw w/ripping chain and w/extra chains - very good condition $175.00  
Please call Steve Madej @ 518-842-7219 if you are interested in these items.

Band Saw - 14" US Industrial Tools, 3/4 HP, 6" capacity, mitre gauge and enclosed base.  Excellent Condition $125.00  Please call Carol Ayers @ 518-587-6841 or e-mail @

An assortment of tools - Walt LeClair will have, at the June meeting, an assortment of tools from Eddy Kleinke's collection that his wife still has since he passed away a few years ago.

********* Wanted *********

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

Old, Used Chain Saw Chains -  In any condition.  Call Bud Murtlow @ 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 @ 518-587-6841,
3 Poe Court, Ballston Spa, NY  12020 or e-mail  ……it's free!  Don't forget that you can also place an Ad 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.

Book Review

The Artists Complete Guide to Facial Expression
 by Gary Faigin

Be warned, right up front, this is not a review of a carving book, but one of those artsy fartsy technique books.  Still, it's going to be very useful to anyone carving faces.  Being that I've been dabbling in woodspirits lately and having fun with different facial expressions, this one really caught my eye at an art store in Hamilton, Ontario last January.  Last week I broke down and, under the guise of a belated birthday gift, bought it in an Elmira Barnes and Noble. When showing my treasure off to the Erie Canal Woodcarver's last week, some one asked me if it was a new release.  Having never laid eyes on it until last January, I said "sure it was".  Oops!  Published in 1990... no reprint date.  Hmmm, a little research on the web turned up a Gary Faigin website, and perhaps the answer.  It seems Mr. Faigin had a message on his answering machine recently... from the FBI.  It turns out they were concerned that his book might be going out of print soon and were very upset since it was required reading for their forensic artists.  Darn that Scully and Mulder!  Hoarding all those copies so I don't see it until 10 years later!  There was also a long list of other atypical artists using his book; plastic surgeons, cartoonists, computer animators for films, and psychologists.
    After a preliminary discussion of the importance of human facial expressions in art, and the basic anatomy and muscle groups that mold our face into all the wonderful emotions it can communicate, the rest of the book is broken up into the basic emotions.  They include joy, anger, laughter, and fear.  Within each of the major categories Mr. Faigin includes nuances and shades of each. To help illustrate every facial expression, he weaves in examples; good and bad, from his own drawings and the art world.  These examples come from all walks of the art world, paintings, drawings, sculpture, and cartoons.  You read this book enough, and you start analizing animal expressions as well.  That's how well this author illustrates his topic.  I don't usually like to do carving "sketches".  You know, carvings just for practice, but browsing through this book had me grabbing scrap pieces of basswood and cottonwood bark and doing just that.  Some things worked some things didn't, but, thanks to reading this book, even the pieces of firewood were a lot closer to what was intended than I've managed in past attempts.  So, if you're carving facial expressions, be they realistic, stylized, or caricature, this book gets five thumbs up (out of five).  Highly, highly recommended.  If you're patient (unlike moi) and have access to the web, don't pay the $35 list price. has it for $24, and found a used copy in good condition for $20 and change.

Keep on Carvin'
-Mike Bloomquist->


I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all the members who joined in the effort to create this year's Nativity Set.  My husband, Norman, won the set at the show and we are so pleased to have this work of art in our home.  We decided to put it on permanent display in our dining room on top of our china cabinet.  I will continue to think of all my friends at Mohawk Valley Woodcarving and their many talents every time I pass by it.  Thanks to all of you who made this beautiful Nativity that will continue to give us so much pleasure in the years to come.

Carol Ayers

Letters to the Editor

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Mike Bloomquist
117 Riverview Parkway
Rome, N.Y. 13440

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