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

Next Meeting:  June 5th, 2001
Time:  7:00pm
Program:   Carving Basket Textures,
 Rope Textures and Celtic Knots 
- Mike Bloomquist. 

Letter from the President
In case you have not noticed summer is upon us. Some find this time of the year too busy to find time to take knife in hand and finish that project that is on the bench.  Or even more difficult to get started on that new one.  I am definitely guilty of both. Between yard work, golf, graduations, weddings, vacations, horseshoes - well you get the idea...   We still have to keep in mind that our club is still busy and some of our committee people are just as hard at work as they are at any other time of the year.  I urge all our members to pitch in and help them with whatever your time allows.    The main thing that I would like to get across is our up coming club picnic, August 12th. Those of you that have attended a previous picnic need no encouraging, for those who have not, please read on. The annual picnic has become one of our better events of the year. It is a covered dish event in a cool dry place along the Mohawk River. It happens rain or shine. It's a chance to see each other in a different environment - like pitching horse shoes, throwing Frisbees, telling stories, getting to know one another better and most of all eating. It also gives your spouses a chance to see what kind of people that you are hanging with. Well... that might not be a good thing.   Seriously it is a real nice affair, one that you will want to put on your busy summer calendar every year.  Oh - another thing quite often a whittling contest will break out. I hope to see you all there.  More details and directions will be in next month’s newsletter. 

Enjoy the summer...

Carl Borst


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

Walt LeClair reported that the Dutch Barn where woodcarving was displayed at the Altamont Fairgrounds is not expected to be open this year. Fair Officials will find space if the Club will participate August 14 to 19th.  Walt needs a minimum of 24 carvers to staff the booth adequately. Contact him to reserve your time.

July 7th- Mystic Conn. 20th Annual Woodcarver’s Day at Old Mystic Village:
it’s an outdoor show so watch the weather, a rain date has been set for July 8th.  The fun starts at 9:30am and goes till 5pm.  Admission is free.  For more info please
contact; Barbara Baldwin at (860) 437-0520

Clayton NY is holding its 33rd Annual Decoy and Wildlife Art Show and auction
on July 20th-22nd.  Their hours are set for 10 to 6 on Fri. and Sat. and 10 to 4 on Sun.  For more info on this one, please contact Linda Schleher, Thousand Islands Museum Director, (315) 686-5794

Don’t forget to mark Aug.12th on your Calendar for our Club Picnic.  Look in next months Newsletter for all the details....

At our last meeting
  • At the June meeting, Mike Bloomquist was presented with an award ribbon by Carl Borst, a stand-in for Peter Ortell, of the Caricature Carvers of America.  At certain shows they select a carver who exemplifies their definition of who is A Caricature Carver.  This year, Mike was their choice for the honor and it was well deserved. This is another example of the talent we have in our club. 
  • While on the subject of Mike, his Club website is pretty impressive, too. You can
  • visit it at . Check it out.
  • Mike passed along credit to John Raucci for the nice new format of the Newsletter.  Don’t forget to send news to John. 
  • Dick Moran received a round of applause, too, for the excellent post-meeting programs he has arranged. And don’t forget to use the video library he has established.
  • On another note, The Club picnic is set for August 12 at Kiwanis Park in Rotterdam Junction

Martha Colinas,  Secretary Pro-tem 

Classified Adds
Sears 3" x 21" Belt Sander - Like New - comes with extra belts…..$55.00
Fordem Unit - Great Condition - Has foot operated switch, etc…..$160.00
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 of the above items please contact
Walt LeClair @ 518-861-6544
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

Program Report
By Dick Moran

LOOKING FOR YOUR INPUT: At our July 3rd meeting, I will be looking for your input regarding programs for the 2002 meeting schedule. Please be prepared to offer some suggestions regarding program topics about carving that would be interesting to you. Also, if you have a good topic for a program that you could present or help present along with another member... I need that information. I will ask for your input orally as well as on a written form that I will distribute at the meeting. 


  • 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.

    Mike In Motion
    by Michael Bloomquist

    The heft and feel of a well-worn handle,
    The sight of shavings that curl from a blade;
    The logs in the woodpile, the sentiment of huge beams in an old-fashioned house;
    The smell of fresh cut timber and the pungent fragrance of burning leaves;
    The crackling of kindling and the hiss of burning logs.
    Abundant to all the needs of man, how poor the world would be 
    Without wood."

                        Everard Hinrichs

       The poem above is from Eric Sloane’s “A Reverence for Wood”, a very good candidate for a future book review.
        What a busy month!  If my contribution this month wanders a bit, forgive me. Between business travel, Melissa’s graduation, and carving her graduation gift the only other carving activities I’ve had time for is a couple wood spirits.  The woodspirits were a new experience where I discovered the joys of carving cotton wood bark.  The bark pieces had been given to me about four or five years ago by a gentleman from the south who was in the Stillwater Carving Show.  Not being one to dive willy-nilly and without caution into new carving experiences, they have been sitting patiently in the shop all this time.  Ok, ok... maybe sometimes I dive in ‘without caution’, but never willy-nilly.  Melissa’s graduation carving?  Well, it was supposed to be a violin, but Dad got behind the project schedule on that one.  Melissa let me off the hook, but expects it when she gets her Associates Degree in Nursing in two years (don’t worry Kai... she’s not stopping with only that degree to start work).  Melissa is a big turtle collector, so for her graduation from high school she gets a loggerhead sea turtle carved from butternut.  She also got a membership to “Women with Knives” complete with a page at their website.
       The butternut for this project was another example of a ‘well aged’ piece of wood.  It was part of a huge beam that Walt LeClair sold me the first year after Mal Dolittle had left.  By that time I had learned that the very first thing you do at carving shows, right after setting up the booth and registering your competition pieces, is hit the wood supplier’s booth.  Especially with this gang of woodcarvers, the pickin’s are pretty slim about 30-40mins into the show.  Sometimes I don’t even get the booth completely set up before I head on over.  Not that it would have made a difference, but there is still three quarters of the original beam left after the turtle was subtracted from it.  It looks as though there is still plenty for the original relief carving that was envisioned for it.  While at a woodcarving show in Morrisville, VT (the Green Mountain crew... check it out in ‘Happenings’) I almost missed selling my first dragon carving because I was invited to poke around in the back of a wood supplier’s pickup truck.  Couldn’t help myself... he had butternut, and although none of it was thicker that 4/4 (1”), I did find some material for lovespoons and laminating blanks for Mary Duke Gulden patterns.
       I don’t believe you can enjoy woodcarving, and not have a real love affair with wood.  House construction or building decks possibly, but not woodcarving.  When I get invited into the workshops of friends, it is comforting to realize that I’m in good company.  You see your not the only human being with a habit of tucking treasures of wood onto shelves, between floor joists, and into odd corners of your woodcarving haven.  Be very sure you are not alone with the ability to place the origin of a piece of black walnut burl gifted from a friend; the seller and occasion of that huge butternut block; or the pedigree of the raw material for almost any carving you’ve completed or are in the process of completing.  These seem to be just several more symptoms of this wonderful woodcarving addiction.
       I realize some of you love wood in a more organized way, stacking it all neatly in wood racks, labeled and dated.  That only deprives you of the wonderful period of hunting for just the right piece for that new project, pawing  through all those hidey holes, rediscovering wooden treasures, and refreshing the mental inventory.  Then there is the “Aha!” moment, and the “there-it-is!” feeling when you come across that chunk of sylvan gold you knew was back in that corner somewhere.  I’ve already rescued apple and black cherry from firewood piles, and plan to liberate much more.  Lately I’m starting to think more and more about salvaging material from barns that are being demolished (by us or by Nature). Or maybe ordering those ‘old growth’ treasures being brought up from the bottom of the lakes where they sank while being ‘rafted’ to the mill during our great-great-grandparents time.  Maybe I can afford just enough for a carved lamp or curio cabinet or headboard for a bed.  Ahhh... so much wood, so little time.

       Well, that’s my two cents worth this month.  Keep the chips piled high, the edges keen, and don’t be ashamed of sniffing wood.

    Full-of-it, as usual,
    -Mike Bloomquist->

    Hearts & Flowers
    By Andy Ebli

    One Card was sent out this month to Joe Rusik and  Family.  Joe had some surgery recently and we wish him well and hope is feeling better soon.

     Otherwise all seems well and keep it like that!  If you can.... 

    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

    Letters to the Editor

     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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