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

Next Meeting: October 3rd, 2001

Time: 7:00pm

Program: "Creating Decorative Scenes and Habitats for Mounting//Displaying Carvings" presented by JoANNE Brady

Letter from the President

Well I guess I will have to come up with another apology for missing the Aug. meeting. Well you see - Kay had planned this camping trip with our neighbors a few months back without noticing that the meeting night fell right in to the same week. That makes a total of three meetings that I missed in my three years as president - sorry. The bad news is it was the last two in a row - better think about retirement. That brings up another thing, this will probably be my last “message from the prez.” (and definitely my last apology) as this coming meeting is our election of officers.
As you know I have decided not to run again, (just when I got my picture in the newsletter). Oh yeah - another thing this will probably be the shortest “Message from the prez” that you will see for a long time to come. Seriously I hope that that the membership as a whole will give our next president the same cooperation that you have given me. I am pretty confident that you will as we have brought this club from a membership of around 28 to over a 100 the last five years. This was not accomplished by 4 or 5 workers but by a group of people of which I am proud to be associated with, that work and have fun together like no other group I have ever seen.
Now I can go sit in the back with my pal and help him heckle the next group of officers as we did before he became president 5 years ago.  That'sa long time to be the only nay-sayer, save me a seat Ron. Good Luck to our next Officers...

Carl Borst


Here are a couple of events coming up in August...

August 24th - Sept. 21st “The Art of Wood” exhibit presented by the Cooperstown Art Association. Several artists will be showing there work including our own Carl Borst. Gallery Hours: Open Daily 11-4; Sunday 1-4. For more Information contact Cooperstown Art Association, 22 Main St., Cooperstown NY 13326...607-547-9777

Christian Bros. Academy will host their fourth annual
Arts and Craft Festival on Sat. Nov. 17, 2001 (9:00am-5:00pm ) at their Albany campus. Space is available at a rate of $40.00. Some spaces with electrical outlets are available (on a first come-first serve basis, determined by request and submittal of a signed and paid contract). Two 8 ft. tables and two chairs are available with each space.
Set up time is available Friday evening Nov. 16, 2001 (6:00pm--8:30 pm). the school will open at 6:30am on Saturday morning for those who prefer to set up the day of the Festival. CBA Cadets will be available both Friday evening and Saturday morning to help unload upon arrival and reload upon departure (5:00pm - 6:00pm Saturday
For more information contact the following.
Brother Patrick McNally (518)452-9809 - Ext. 119
Cynthis Gagnon (518)374-8330
Chris Halpin (518)371-2663

Sept. 22 & 23,2001 Show location is Wells Maine Downeast Wood Carving & Wildlife Art Show and Sale, Spons. by Maine Wood Carvers Assoc. Featured carver Ed Beach, featured Artist Julie Babb. Over 30 carvers exhibiting and over 100 carvers compete. Carving Supplies and Wood Vendors on site.. For info call George Hallenbeck or Gary Cornwell Show Chair 207-725-6537..

Sept 27-30 Folk Art Festival and Chainsaw Carving Competition in Voorheesville NY. A great opportunity to watch local and national artists at work. This event bills; Chainsaw Art, Wood carving, Stone sculpture, Glass etching and much more... There is free parking and admission, and all proceeds go to benefit Cystic Fibrosis. For more information contact John Raucci at 842-4480 or e-mail

With summer winding down, it’s back to business as usual next month. Election of officers for the next year will take place at the September meeting. If you want to hold an office, plan to be there. If you don’t want to hold an office, be sure to be there--to vote for someone else!

At our last meeting
August 7, 2001
  • Al Doty, Vice President, apologized for his absence at the July meeting, prior to calling the August 7 meeting of the Mohawk Valley Art and Woodcarving Association to order at the Inman Center. Twenty three were in attendance. Notes of the July meeting were accepted as read, as well as the balance of $5573.84 reported by the Treasurer.
  • As Show Chairman, Al reported the reservation for the 2002 Show at CBA for May 4th and 5th, 2002. He raised the question of a guest carver and will discuss it with Dick Moran, program chairman.
  • Walt LeClair distributed Altamont Fair tickets to the carvers who will be staffing the carving booth and will notify us when it is decided where we will be located.
  • Mike Bloomquist commended John Raucci on the new Newsletter format, especially the Dear Woody feature. Mike is writing articles for various publications and encourages more contributions.
  • Andy Ebli had no Nativity activity to report. No greeting cards were sent this month.
  • John Raucci reported Club membership at 104.
  • Carol Ayers reported she has one order in for Club shirts and needs additional orders for a required number of 12 before placing the order. She has Club logo patches on hand for $3.50 each.
  • Fred Jenzer discussed the need for membership name cards, especially because they are seldom worn to meetings. Carol suggested sticky tags which can be left in the Club filing cabinet between meetings. Following discussion, Mike seconded the motion made by Carol to buy the stickers, and was carried by a majority. Andy Ebli will buy them and keep them in the cabinet.
  • Members were reminded to come to the annual picnic in Kiwanis Park on August 12th.
  • Election of officers will take place at the September meeting. A slate of officers will be presented by Ron Myers.
  • George Hallenbeck made an appeal at Dick Moran’s request, for suggesting programs of interest to schedule on meeting nights. A prepared form was distributed and will be given to Dick.
  • Following adjournment, a discussion of carvings was conducted. Mike Bloomquist offered cottonwood bark to those interested in carving it and displayed some of his completed work.
We have been invited to the GE Quarter Century Picnic for the second consecutive year.  This event is held at the Altamont Fair Grounds and 4 more members are needed to demonstrate woodcarving and bring some carvings for display.  It will be Sat. Sept.8th    8am - 3:30pm    (no selling is permitted)  It is another way our club continues to promote woodcarving in our area.   Contact Carl Borst if you are interested in signing up. (Note; Last year G.E. donated $100 to our club for attending this event. )
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

  • Panavise - Ball & Swivel on Base - 2 1/2" Jaw - 7" High
  • Panavise - Swivel Frame Clamp - 7" Arms - 12" Wide
  • Woodcraft Bench - Folding/Wood Vise on End - 20" x 20" x 33" High with Heavy Duty Attached Wood Carver Swivel & Ball - NEW

For any information on any of these items, please
contact Steve Madej, 518-842-7219

  • Mark 5 Shopsmith- Five power tools in one: 10" table saw, 12" disc Sander, Horizontal Drill Press, Wood Lathe with set of Lathe Tools, and Vertical Drill Press. All necessary accessories included. Good to Excellent Condition. Asking $800.00

If interested, Call Mike Fields @ 518-283-0210
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

The program for our upcoming September meeting will be one that I think will be of interest to all carvers... whether they primarily do bird, fish or animal carvings... or they merely need a good background for a relief carving or simply a good mounting for a carving in the round. It is: Creating Decorative Scenes and Habitats for Mounting/Displaying Carvings which will be presented by JoANNE Brady. So come early to get a good seat.

  • 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.

    I would like to also extend my sincere thanks to John Raucci and George Hallenbeck for their efforts in leading a discussion about programs for the year 2002. I hope George wasn't too rough on you in getting you to fill out the accompanying surveys; if he was, I am partly to blame. I really needed some good feedback. Thanks again for your input which I hope to share with you at our next meeting.

    by Fred Jenzer

    Buying tools from Canada

     I just bought two Swiss gouges from a dealer in BC. Listed in Woodcraft for $67.- plus $9.50 for shipping.  The Canadian price was $64(Can)- plus $15(Can).- for shipping. MasterCard's exchange rate is now about $.65 . Bottom-line, a saving of $25.-. The address was found on the web by asking good old GOOGLE for Pfeil carving tools Canada. Here are three of them.

    Wood 'N Wildcraft
    Has no 800 # and accepts Visa only.

      Woodchips Carving Supplies Ltd.
    1 800 663 1101 a small company . The ordered tools were not in
    stock but were supplied from some other source within 4 days.
    1 800 799 8464
    They did not answer my call but you might have better luck.

    Hard to believe another year has passed already! It’s that time again! Your Club Dues are Due! Still a great bargain at $6 for single $10 for a family membership. Please Make checks payable to MVA&WC Association Send Dues to treasurer;
    Don Painter
    1397 Currybush Rd.
    Schenectady, N.Y. 12306
    Or pay him at the next meeting....

    Mike In Motion
    by Michael Bloomquist

    “There are two men inside the artist,
    the poet and the craftsman.
    One is born a poet.
    One becomes a craftsman."
                                            -- Emile Zola
    OK, I’m not sure I agree (or understand) the quote this month. First, I’m going to replace the word ‘men’ with ‘people’ so as not to alienate the distaff side of our readers. Second, if the one is born a poet, then we are all born poets, but some of us don’t chose to become craftsman. That is probably why it’s here this month... it reminded me of one of my pet peeves. It starts with the phrase “I could never carve/draw/paint like that... I don’t have any artistic ability”. It’s like fingernails on a blackboard for me, and it’s bulls--t!! For a long time I replied “Yes you do... I can teach you”. I stopped because I realized I was lying. I find that, honestly, I can teach people how to carve, but I can only encourage them to be artistic. So, maybe it’s this, “realize that everyone is born a poet... the poet is already there and the most you can do is teach the craftsman”. That’s the fun part about teaching folks how to carve wood. Somewhere in the process they discover that there was a poet there all the time just waiting for the craftsman to learn their part.
         Since I’ve been getting a bit ‘deep’ with the writing lately, that’s all the philosophy for this month.  Lets talk some club gossip... ummm... I mean news. It was nice being at the August 12th club picnic again after a two year absence. Harold and I were “bachin’ it” as our better halves had other things that needed doing. George is doing a complete review on the  picnic (makesure to read it), but I thought I would cover a couple things he might have missed. In the horse shoe arena the boys from Oneida County got their buts kicked this year, while the team of George Hallenbeck and Ron Meyers went undefeated. OK, I doubt George would miss that, but thought I’d tell my side of it anyway. I don’t want to make excuses, but Harold was still complaining of shooting pains in the shoulder four days later. Actually, that excuse probably wouldn’t fly anyway (much like the ‘shoes’ we were throwing) since he was carrying our team, sore shoulder or no. Al Doty brought bocce balls, and there was another game that showed up. It was played with heavy metal washers and two platforms with three in a line holes drilled in each. Hope George can tell you who brought it and what the game’s called. I stayed away from it and the bocce, since I have a personal resolution to fail at only one game a day. Ron and Betty Meyers get kudos for getting there early and holding the pavilion for the club. We were told that they had coffee ready there at 7am. When Harold and I nursed my ol’ Hyundai into the place at 10am there were already about 11 members present. Then Carl got there with the horse shoes, and... well... you know the rest of that story.
         As usual a woodcarving session broke out sometime after lunch. I was wondering why a lot of members ended up sitting a distance away from Harold, Armand Hebert, and me. No Ron! It wasn’t ‘cause we stunk so bad at horse shoes. After a few minutes of wood chips, Armand asked if we remembered that nasty ice storm they had in the North Country a couple years ago. Harold and I said sure, we remembered. Then Armand starts telling us about his adventures transporting a cadaver up North right in the middle of that ice storm. Guess Armand insisted that they put chains on the hearse before he would agree to the trip. They made sure the chains went on and off he went. Anyway, you know how bad chains make the vehicle shake at higher speeds. Armand says, half way to his destination, almost at the top of a long climb, the coffin vibrates loose and falls halfway out of the back door of the hearse. Armand stops, jumps out, and tries to push it back in, but with dress shoes on for the funeral, and no traction, he doesn’t have much luck. Instead the coffin falls all the way out and starts sliding back down the hill. Armand says he couldn’t think of anything to do but jump on top and ride it out. By the time he reached the bottom of the hill he’s probably breaking the speed limit, has no way to steer, and no way to break. There’s no way to avoid the drug store at the bottom of the hill, so he and the corpse go crashing through the front window of this pharmacy. Well, the pharmacist must have seen it all, ‘cause as Armand whizzes by the counter he calmly asks “Sir, is there anything I can do for you?” Armand says, “There sure is! Can you give me somethin’ to stop this coffin?”... There were other stories that followed, but I don’t want to loose my readership... all three of you. Anyway, Carl claims they were all at the other end of the table because the lighting was better. Uh huh, sure thing Carl. I feel real bad for John Raucci though. At the Altamont Fair he has a four hour shift at our club’s booth... Yep, the same four hour shift as Armand.
         Unfortunately, my carving was off that day, just like the horse shoes, and it wasn’t really Armand's fault either. I think Chris, my future son-in-law, may be on to something. He said with all this cottonwood bark I’ve been carving into woodspirits lately, it may be tough going back to carving ‘real wood’. My hunt for NY cottonwood bark turned up a stand next to the Barge Canal near Rome. That ‘find’ came thanks to Web research into balsam poplar, and a tip from a carving student who works for the DEC. So far I haven’t located any more, and what I have is pretty scrawny, but useable. At our last meeting and at the picnic I brought extra in case anyone wanted to give it a try. I find out that Al Doty knew it was here in NY all along, and locating it doesn’t seem to be a problem for Betty Meyers either. She just strolls down river from the pavilion and picks some off the bank. Guess I was just making this cottonwood search way too hard. As usual the food at the picnic was awesome, so Harold and I (and several others) stuffed ourselves silly. In fact, considering the great food, fair weather, opportunity to be trashed by A-1 competition, top shelf story telling and conversation, this years picnic was the picnic you definitely did not want to miss.
         Well, I have to sign off now. Melissa wants me to cut out some carving blanks so she can take them to college with her this week. Guess she plans on carving during her first semester... we’ll see ;-). So people, keep the chips piled high, keep those edges keen, and make sure there are chains on the coffin.

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

    Altamont Fair
     by George Hallenbeck

    Thanks again to Walt Leclair for arranging our carving demo at the fair, a fine job as usual, Walt. The weather was good all week. We were in a large double tent, 2 to 4 carvers on a shift. Many people exhibited interest in our club and our carvings. Walt handed out over 50 bird cutouts to enthusiastic children  and their delight and interest is satisfying. Many promised to bring them back next year painted! It's a wonderful time for all us "kids" who love fairs!  We can use more people, so give it a try. You'll enjoy it! It's a great time to boost our club, our show and our woodcarving art.

    Annual Picnic
    by George Hallenbeck
    Our annual picnic was very well attended and a gustatory success! Upwards of 45 members attended this epicurean delight and sports spectacular!  Our illustrious editor, master of prolixity { he likes that word } did a superb job describing the activities, especially Ron Myers  and I distinguishing ourselves in the manly art of slinging ringers, better known as throwing horseshoes! If you haven't made this prime social event  as yet plan on coming next year. Lots of fun, lots of good food{ {even Emeril doesn't make this stuff } and lots of games! As Mike stated bocci ala Al  Doty and horseshoes and washer tossing ala Chris Schmocher who showed me how to play by beating me 21-12 { my only defeat of the day!)  My day was a great one, nothing better than beating Carl at horseshoes, and what a good sport he is!  Lots of new faces and a great spot for a picnic the Kiwanis Park.  Thanks to all for making it a fine day..

    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 orders for 3 hats and I need 9 more before I can put in an order. If you have been thinking about ordering but have been putting it off, now is the time to do it.  I just put in an order for T-shirts, aprons and sweatshirts an it  only took one week for them to come in. I am starting a new list and only need a quantity of 6, so don't hesitate to order. ………It is great to have a hat, club shirt or logo apron or sweatshirt when doing the fairs!!!
    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

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

    Or Email to;


    Dear Woody,
        My name is Shirley and I was wondering if you could give me some ideas where I might be able to find a pattern of a wolf's head. I want to start carving and would like to find a pattern. Also can you recommend a good beginners carving book? I have a natural art talent and can usually do just about everything. Unfortunately there are no carving classes offered here, so I am sorta on my own.

    Thank you,

    Dear Shirley,
        There are several good sources for wolf
    patterns. Desiree Hajny has "Carving Wolves, Foxes, and Coyotes" (ISBN
    #1-56523-098-1). Bill Judt's first relief carving book has a wolf on the cover (sorry, don't own a copy so no ISBN). Then Laura Sue Irish has several wolves in her pattern set you can download from her site:
      Classic Carving Patterns

    MTCW(My two cents worth), no matter how good the patterns are, I surround myself with photos of my subject from other sources, either from the web, magazines, or drawings. I tape them to my shop cabinet in front of where I'm working, or at least have them handy in a folder.

    Have fun with your project.
    Keep on Carvin


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