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

Next Meeting: October 2nd, 2001

Time: 7:00pm

Program: Carving Hands (Part 2) presented by Carl Borst

Letter from the President

My first “Letter from the President”, and I’m stuck… I can’t write.  This is nerve wracking, and when I’m nervous I usually crack jokes, but should not here.  First I would say to you, “Thank You Very Much”.  Over the last several years Mohawk Valley Art and Woodcarving Association has been closely related to many of my best experiences and honors in woodcarving circles.  This is the highest honor so far.  
     Ever since I became a member of MVAWA it’s amazed me how this club never seemed to select its officers by vote, but by general consensus.  Voting always seemed reserved for times of differing opinion and debate, not the selection of officers.  I know this was not always the case, but during Carl’s time as president it has been a quiet, calm succession of people.  New officers appearing only when needed, only when the one holding the office had decided it was time that they leave their post, the next officer stepping up to the responsibility, unopposed.  It never seemed like they were unchallenged because no one else wanted the job, it was just a calm consensus of the club members.  I was very honored when asked if I would consider being on the slate of officers as president.  It was a real surprise.  It was greater thrill when, at the last meeting, I received that silent, collective nod of approval from the membership.
     I really hope that I’m up to doing half as good a job as Carl has done.  It has occurred to me why I’m nervous.  It feels just like when a carver turns and places their latest masterwork in your hands. When you realize how much love and energy has gone into the piece, and they just trusted you to hold it while they tell you about it.  Here, with our club, the masterwork is ongoing and never really finished, so I really need help from you.  You see, I don’t just want to ‘not damage it’ while I’m president, but continue to see it improve and grow like it has been.  There were several gems in Carl’s last “Letter from the President”, and some will be dealt with later in this newsletter, but the ‘gem’ I need here is this… the MVAWA is a great, collective success of it’s membership, not any one member.  Thanks Carl.  This idea helps me relax a bit about being president ‘cause even at my worst, I’m not klutzy enough to counteract the good work of that many people.
     So fellow woodcarving artists, thanks for your time and hope to see you at the next meeting… it should be fun, as usual.
-Mike Bloomquist-


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

October 20th &21st - The Onondaga Woodcarvers Club Will hold their 10th Annual, Woodcarving Show and Sale at the Beaver Lake Nature Center in Baldwinsville, NY.   
Show times are: Sat. 10am-5pm and Sun. 10am-4pm
For more information Contact the Nature Center at (315) 638-2519

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

At our last meeting
September 4, 2001
    The September meeting of the Mohawk Valley Art and Woodcarving Association was called to order by out-going President Carl Borst.  Introductions to JoAnne Brady, Program guest and Ted Tarr, new member were made.  Forty two members were present. 
  • Treasurer, Don Painter, reported that after expenses, a balance of $5526.52 remains.
  • Walt Leclair thanked the members who staffed the Altamont Fair Carving tables.  More carvers are needed for next year for better coverage.
  • Mike Bloomquist requested Want Ads for publication in the Newsletter.  Also, Mike apologized for Woody who omitted part of the answer to last month’s carving question.
  • Andy Ebli will soon have wood provided by Walt LeClair to distribute to Club members for carving Nativity figures.
  • Al Doty, Show Chairman, is looking for a site for the May 2002 Show dinner.  Dick Moran will be securing a guest carver for the Show also.
  • Ron Redmond has no new Club History.
  • John Raucci reported membership at 104.  Dues are being accepted by Don Painter at Club meetings and by mail.
  • Carol Ayers has lists in progress for shirts, aprons and hats.  She has patches on hand any time.  Call her or see her in person to place your order.   She will also take information for Want Ads to be placed in the Newsletter.
  • Sister Mary Ellen has no Publicity activity to report.  
  • Although Andy sent no cards this past month, Marcus Kruger reported that Mary Ellen is in the hospital and Dick Quay is reported to be scheduled for surgery.  Wishes for quick recoveries go to them.
  • Dick Moran outlined scheduled programs for October, November and December.  A swap night suggestion and an every-other-month carve-along was given approval.  Help with carving was also requested for new carvers.  Andy Ebli volunteered to demonstrate water color painting.
  • Mid-Hudson and Onondaga Newsletters are available to read each month.  A pattern is often included.
  • A request for carvers at the Scghacticoke Fair was politely declined since it is not located close to us.
  • Additional carvers were recruited to demonstrate and display carvings at the GE Quarter Century Club Outing on September 8.  $100.00 was donated to the Club for its  efforts last year.
  • Walt LeClair suggested that raffle proceeds be donated to the Make A Wish foundation next year instead of Christmas Wish.  He will bring information about Make a Wish to the October meeting.
  • After the presentation by Ron Myers of the slate of candidates for officers for the coming year, no nominations were made from the floor.  The acting secretary was requested to cast a vote for the slate as presented.  2001-2002officers elected are:  President - Mike Bloomquist,  Vice president - George Hallenbeck , Treasurer - Don Painter,  Secretary - Bette Myers
  • Committees will be appointed next meeting. 
  • After adjournment, JoAnne Brady displayed and discussed various media available to create or enhance habitat for mounted carvings.
Respectfully submitted,
-Martha Colinas-   Secretary Pro-Tem

Classified Adds
If you would like to sell something and want to bring it to our monthly meeting to display it, you can advertise it here first so that 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!
  • Sears 3" x 21" Belt Sander - Like New - comes with extra belts…..$55.00
  • Foredom 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

  • 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 October 2nd meeting... without further delay... we'll be: Carving Hands (Part 2) presented by Carl Borst . Carl agreed to do this program as a follow-up to Peter Ortel's program on "Carving Hands" which he presented at our May 2001 meeting. As you will recall, Peter went into the structure of the human hand and the appearance it took in different gestures. He brought with him a number of different hands that he had carved which we all had an opportunity to examine after the presentation. Now, Carl's presentation will concentrate on the actual act of carving a human hand. Members are asked to bring with them any carvings that they are currently working on which require carving human hands as well as a good carving knife. As part of the presentation, members will have the opportunity to work along with him as he demonstrates. It should be a very interesting progra

  • 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.

    By the way, I wanted once again to thank everyone for their suggestions regarding programs for 2002. I will try to incorporate, as much as possible, your recommendations; I hope to have a schedule completed by our Nov. meeting.

    Also, I am pleased to be able to tell you that we have a "Guest Carver" for our 2002 show scheduled for May 4th and 5th at the Christian Brothers Academy in Albany; he is Robert Stadtlander , an excellent relief carver from the Buffalo area. In addition to being the speaker at our show dinner that Saturday evening, Bob will also be presenting a three-day workshop on relief carving on the Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday immediately following the show. I will have more details for you... as well as an opportunity for you to make a $25 non-refundable deposit to hold your place in the workshop (we can only accommodate twelve carvers...and my name is at the top of the list...sorry - the privileges of position, you know!) at our October 2nd meeting. See you then!

    GE - Quarter Century Picnic a Success…

    On Saturday September 15th, ten members of our club gathered to demonstrate carvin  and to meet with the people attending the GE ¼ century picnic at the Altamont fairgrounds.  We were invited to display our work and to promote woodcarving for the second consecutive year.  In return, GE was more than hospitable by feeding our members all day with a variety of delicious foods and treats.  In addition they also made a generous donation of $100 to the club.  All that attended from GE seemed to be interested in our display and we handed out quiet a few Club Promotional sheets along with sharing lots of information on woodcarving.  Thanks to all our members who attended and help make this event successful and a lot of fun too.  Also thanks to the folks at GE for inviting us again this year.  It is an event I know I look forward to every year.

    -John Raucci-

    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....

    G. Hallenbeck

         Our carvers were busy at the Fonda Fair and Chatham Fair. This is one of the best ways to promote, to inform and demonstrate our art to great numbers of people in a friendly and responsive atmosphere. Ron and Betty Myers spend the week at the Fonda Fair {10am-10pm} and they generate lots of interest and attention in our club. John Raucci, Carl Borst and Marcus Kruger displayed their talents and helped make our presence appreciated by fairgoers! Next year lets get the numbers up and help Ron and Betty. I know I'll be there
    The Chatham Fair ended on Labor Day as did the Fonda Fair.  Betty Dykstra spent the day passing out club literature and displaying her work. Among the

    displays: Pieter Paulding,s chip carving, {buffalo chip?}, Art Jackson’s blue ribbon Wood Duck and Jim Harvey's sissy Viking with a pink cape! Bob Shaw's mountain goat drew lots of attention as well. A good time was had by all. Again, try it next year, you'll like it!

    Thusday Carving for August (Belated!)
    by George Hallenbeck
    Approx. 22 carvers in attendance.

    It's good to be back.  Our 7 week trip out west was super but we missed you all and again it's good to be back! Some of the better and unusual photos will be included in the Dec. slide show.  Saw some great carvings but a lot of our "stuff" is good too.  Our club is highly thought around the country mainly thru Chip Chats.

    • Saw Dick Moran carving a "pseudo" relief of a wolf in a wolf's head!Not in sheep's clothing but really in a wolf's head! Hard to describe but it's all in your head anyway! Great carving Dick! I think!
    • Carl Borst doing 2 race track reliefs fo "horse people". Both are horses at the finish line, jockeys standing in the stirrups. real action. Fine carvings.
    • It's great to see Joe Rusik doing great after his ordeal. Shows that prayers really do help! He was busting on everyone as usual so you are feeling better Joe and we are all so glad.
    • Jim Harvey is back from a trip to Sweden with a Swedish horse, pig and cat to carve.He'll be in Vermont for 2 weeks  for carving classes with Harley Refsal and Pete Leclair.Will he now do Swedish bottle stoppers?
    • Good to see George Terwilliger carving his canes in earnest. He has 5 to do for people who need them. George has made many, many canes and generously donates them to the needy. He makes better people of all of us!
    • Steve Medyk brought in 2 back scratchers made of ash. Nicely carved to fit most "personalities".  Pieter Paulding tried one said "these ash scratchers are great" That's our Steve and that's our Pieter!
    • Don Painter doing a left handed young girl fiddler. We'll be watching while Don fiddles with this one.Knowing Don it will be a musical masterpiece!
    • Chris Schmocher finishing up a lovely relief of ,morning glories. He's our "flower child".Chris does some fine carvings but his flower reliefs are something else and his friend Pat's not bad either! I mean her relief carvings. She's budding!

    Yes I finished my cowboy relief, and it's about time. Let's get some new carvers in this column, show me what youre doing!

    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, I already have 2, and only need 4 more.  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,
    I Apologize.. we only asked half of your questions last month. You also asked about beginner books.  Try this for a good beginner's kit:

    I have the book in this kit, and it's real good.  As good as that one is, you
    can't beat Rick Butz's book "How to Carve Wood" (the one published by
    Taunton Press).  It has a nice coverage of a lot of different types of woodcarving with project(s) in each category..

    Hope this helps,
     Keep on Carvin'



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