Mohawk Valley Art & Woodcarving Association

Decanuary 2000 Newsletter
By Mike Bloomquist

It was pointed it out to me (in a very nice way) that you had all received a second November Newsletter in 1999.  Not too many people picked up on it, but once it was pointed out at the meeting, the floodgates were open!  Using my literary powers, I invented a month to make up for it (see above), but there are many other things to atone for this month, so we’ll get right to it.  It was a small group at the January meeting thanks to the threat of freezing rain.  This was probably a good thing since yours truly started off the year 2000 taking one heckuva verbal beating.  It was SO severe that I had a concerned e-mail later in the week making sure I survived.  I assured them that everything’s OK.  I have a solid ego, big shoulders, thick skin… and… the last word!

First thing… and they should disable my spellchecker for leaving this out last month… the entry form for our May show (see last page).  And here’s the blurb that goes with it.  George Hallenbeck, Show Chairperson, writes:

Requests for tables are coming in, 20 tables as of Jan 15th!  Club members have priority over non-members, but as this is first-come-first-serve and a 70-table limit is a possibility, all members should reserve their tables at an early date.  Our club had about twenty tables last year and I would hate to disappoint anyone.  Two carvers, who are club members, can share a table at $12.50 each, and sharing tables would accommodate more people.  All club members and their family are welcome to attend our Saturday night dinner at the Northway Inn.  Having a table at the show is not required.

Meeting night must have been a full moon.  The whole group was rowdier than usual.  Pieter Paulding was nearly assaulted for the sign in sheet.  Can’t hold on to that thing too long Pieter. Marcus Kruger was verbally cited for being early!  Then Charles ‘Bud’ Murtlow was mistaken for a guest.  Well, that last one was understandable; it’s been a while since we’ve seen him at a meeting.  Good news though, we’ll probably see a lot more of him.  He announced his retirement as of Jan. 1st this year.  One heckuva way to start the year Bud, congratulations!

Don Painter had a busy month as treasurer.  A total of $84.84 went to John Raucci for newsletter expenses. Andy Ebli got $75.00 for Hearts-and-Flowers expenses.  Carl Borst got $529 and change for patches.  $500 went out as a Make-a-Wish donation.  $256 went for insurance, and… well… I didn’t really get the rest, but the bottom line is a balance of $4839.15, and I’m glad I don’t have to write all those checks and make it balance!  Nice job Don, and a very dynamic report.

Raffle tickets for the Nativity carving have been available for a while, but very few have taken any to sell.  Very few as in what George Hallenbeck calls the ‘vast minority’.  Fred Jenzer backs that up with an estimate of 8 members out of 80 coming to him for tickets.  OK, I was guilty on this one (Man! ‘guilty’ was my middle name at this meeting), but grabbed a handful from Fred at the break.  Several others did too, but, by my rough head count, we’re only up to 20% of the membership.  Coming from 10%, that ain't bad, but we can do better (I can say that now).

Dick Moran apologized that the night’s program on Carousel Animal Carving was supposed to be given by someone other than Marcus Kruger and Don Painter.  During the program Marcus and Don kind of echoed that.  We’ll get into details on the program later, but no one near me acted cheated, and I’m real confused on what the apology was for.  Yeah, I’m real dazed anyhow, but this was above-and-beyond my normal confusion level!  Dick also came up with a real neat suggestion for substituting a carve-a-theme night for the usual program on every other month.  This is purely my opinion… and I’m no where near my quota, so ‘deal’ (as in ‘deal with it’ for those of you without teenagers)… but I’m a little jealous of the folks that get together at the Innman center on Thursdays, during the day.  This would be a chance for us ‘working stiffs’ to get a little of that action.  A suggestion also came up that we should carve at tables, and that led into a discussion that a number of folk missed the tables at the grade school.  I second this one too.  It’s the one thing I really miss about the old location.  Tables meant it was easier to carve, easier to show of finished projects, easier to talk with the person showing off (their projects), and easier to take notes!  If they’re worried about us carving our initials in the furniture, we can use the ‘old stuff’.

Andy Ebli brought in a sharpening station he had built.  It was purposed that we commission him to build another for use by members.  I believe George Hallenbeck gets credit for donating a motor to the cause.  The vote was almost unanimous… one ‘Nay’… the usual.  Referring to a previous discussion, there was another motion that only members who paid their Inman center dues could use it!  The motion died, unacknowledged and I won’t reveal the source ‘cause I don’t want to responsible for bloodshed.  This person already came too close that night!

Marcus Kruger and Don Painter gave us a wonderful program on carousel animals.  Marcus started it off telling us that his creations come mostly from patterns he gets in books on the subject.  The bodies are “built up” from pieces.  This is especially critical for the legs, which are at least two pieces, one from the shoulder to the knee, and one from the knee to the hoof.  This way the grain always runs along the long dimension.  Marcus says that with his smaller creations, he doesn’t bother with this.  That might be why he had several natural wood creations done from one piece of wood.  My favorite of his was a hippocampus from butternut.  What’s a hippocampus?  Picture the front end of a horse joined to the back end of a mermaid (bet you thought I was going to say a institution of higher learning for hippopotami, huh!).  Don’s ponies were painted.  He recommends Pittsburgh acrylic latex.  His centerpiece had an American flag on its side with several beautifully stenciled stars on it.  Colored glass jewels were placed on the saddle, bridle, and other tack as they sometimes are on the full size creations.  His most impressive details were the miniature roses with petals and leaves assembled from wood chips.  None were mounted on horses yet, but it didn’t take great imagination to realize what a horse decked out in these little beauties would look like.  Marcus sited several restorers and centers for carousel history including a museum in Bristol, Conn.  Just my humble opinion guys, but that was a real nice job, super program.

I’m sorry, but I lost my connection for George Hallenbeck’s Thursday contributions this month (John Raucci).  We will try to double up when John gets back or arrange for some other transfer.  Don’t miss the lovespoon pattern on the next page.  Hope to see you all at February’s meeting.