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Mohawk Valley Art & Woodcarving Association

October 2002

edited by
John Raucci & Mike Bloomquist

Next Meeting:
Nov 5th, 2002
Time: 7:00pm
Location: Inman Senior Citizen Center, Amsterdam, NY
Program:"Carving the Human Figure" - with Carl Borst


Letter from the President

Well that’s a pretty sad start for my second term in office, missing the very first meeting.  Sorry Gang, but it couldn’t be helped.  That pesky 8 to 5 “thing” sent me down to DC for that week.  I did get a good bit of woodcarving done in the hotel room, but Tuesday night you know where I would rather have been.  Woodcarving in hotel rooms is pretty much where I got my start with woodcarving.  There was a time when I was flying to DC Monday morning and flying back Friday night.  The two things that kept me sane were woodcarving and a good friend who introduced me to genealogy at the National Archives.  Did you know the archives don’t close until 11:00pm?  My first tomte (sort of a Swedish leprechaun) was finished in Mountain Home, Idaho.  It seems as long as I don’t leave a pile of woodchips for the housekeeper in the morning no one minds my carving.  Now that I belong to this woodcarving E-mail list there seems to be at least one woodcarver in every city.  I’ve been a member for about three years now, and met Tom Pierce in Omaha, and one or two others elsewhere around the country.
   While we’re on the subject of carvers in other corners of the country I gotta tell you about my visit to South China, Maine and Marcia “Mush” Berkall.  Mush is this sweetheart that mediates a woodcarver’s “chat” on the Web Wednesday and Sundays.  Well every year for five years now they have had this gathering of woodcarvers and spouses called JackStock.  Last year was Mush’s first time as host and the closest it had been to NY.  Well, I missed going, but she had it again this year.  Thanks to me having a real good month of August sales at the Artworks and a little money management magic by Yvonne, we were on our way to Maine.  It was a pretty good thing my woodcarving sales were high ‘cause it would have been a long time getting to Maine otherwise.  A vision comes to mind of me setting on the back of my poor old Hyundai sporting a cardboard sign that reads, “Will Carve for Gas”.  Anyhow, the only down side to the visit was it being too short.  I got to meet, in the flesh, several people who I had had conversations with for a couple of years now.  It was a really a strange experience.  There was Byron and Ann from Oregon, Barb from Montana, Jack from Michigan and a couple folks from across China Lake there in Maine.  I learned how to pronounce and eat lobstah correctly, shared a little Native American flute lore, learned a slightly different style of chip carving from Byron, and generally had a wonderful time with other woodcarvers.  Come to think of it, there doesn’t seem to be any other kind of time to have with woodcarvers.  Hmmmm… think I’ll have to research this further.  Thanks to certain “snowbirds” in the club, I know it’s true in most parts of  Florida. Maybe I should find out if it’s true in Montana too.  That’s where JackStock is next year.
   Well Gang, keep them edges keen, the chips piled high, and I will see you at the next meeting.

Your Prez,
-Mike Bloomquist->

  Highlights of Sept Meeting…
  • The October meeting was conducted by VP George Hallenbeck, for the absent Pres. Mike Bloomquist, believed to be providing presidential advise in Washington.
  • The treasury stands at $5926.00.
  • All systems are go for the show at CBA, with invitations being sent out in November.
  • "Great Job" John Raucci for your hard work on the newsletter.  Members submissions are encouraged, have them posted to John by the 15th of the month.
  • Blanks are available for the carving of the nativity, members not participating in  this project are "requested" to be carving Christmas ornaments, or they will have to deal with Andy Ebli.
  • No history this month, but Fred Jenzer says the 3 boxes of historical stuff in his basement is doing quite well.
  • George and Mary Terwilliger are quite ill, keep them in your thoughts. Cards will be sent.  Please contact Hearts and Flowers if you know of  anyone in need.
  • Hats, decals, T-shirts and more available through Ron Batcher our new purveyor of Club Paraphernalia.
  • Workshop with Desiree Hanjy in October'03 needs 10 more participants.
  • Steps forward have been taken on the Carousel project, see Jim Molitor if you are interested in Participating.
  • Carl Borst had nothing to say..... which was unusual.
  • Thanks to Fred Jenzer, Eric Lawrence and Dick Moran for securing our new PA system.
  • 4 Club Aprons are to be gifted to the folks who work the kitchen at Inman center as a "Thank-you"
  • Plan NOW for the best feast this side of the Mohawk, Our annual Christmas party on December 4th.  Contact Kay Borst for food items needed.
  • Next months program "Carving the Human Figure in large form" with Carl Borst.
  • George Hallenbeck closed the meeting in under 40 minutes. Maybe George could give Mike a few pointers....

Program Report
By Dick Moran
The program for our next meeting on Nov. 5th is Carving the Human Figure presented by Carl Borst . Ever wondered just where to begin …and where to go next… when carving a human figure? Carl hopes to give us some good suggestions, some "do’s" & "don’ts", and a step-by- step demonstration of how he approaches a ‘human figure’ carving project. If you currently have a human figure carving "in-the works", you might want to bring it to whittle on or just to analyze in relation to his suggestions during this presentation.

Also, members are asked to bring a recently completed carving to share with everyone during the "Show and Tell" portion of the program.

Next month’s meeting on Dec. 3rd   is our annual (potluck dinner) Christmas party. Along with your spouse, significant other, friend, etc., please bring your favorite Christmas carving for display during dinner and for "Show & Tell". Our program for the evening is a Slide Show of Club Activities presented by George Hallenbeck .

A list of some tentative programs for 2003 will be included in our December newsletter.


2002 Christmas Party

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for our annual Christmas Party on Dec.3rd at 6:30 pm. It is one of our clubs nicest events!  Each year we gather at the Inman center with our spouse or a guest. We bring a covered dish to share along with our favorite Xmas carving to show. The evening is full of good old fashion Christmas spirit and fellowship. There are lots of laughs and you are guaranteed to leave with a full belly and a warm holiday feeling.  If you’re not sure what to bring, please contact Kay Borst at 355-2933.  Also…don’t forget to bring you own place settings.   We look forward to seeing everyone there!

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By Dick Moran

The Cheryl Dow Workshop on Woodburning scheduled for May 5, 6 &7, 2003 is now filled to its maximum size of 12. The balance of payment, for those who are signed up, will be due by April 3, 2003 with a $1 per day late fee. Checks should be made out to the Mohawk Valley Art & Woodcarving Association or MVAWA .

*Deposits and payments will only be refunded in the event that the workshop has to be canceled because of cancellation by the presenter, etc. However the original person to make payments to the MVAWA can turn over his/her deposits or payments-in-full to another interested party.
At this time, unless there is loud outcry by at least 10 more individuals, a second class will not be scheduled.

You can check out Cheryl Dow's website at or her regularly published articles on wood burning in ChipChats for information on her work and the types of projects done by her students in similar workshops.

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*********JUST A REMINDER********

Anyone interested in the Desiree Hajny seminar/class to be held on the weekend of October 18th 2003, please contact me at or 518-234-3980.  It will be Friday evening, and Saturday & Sunday from 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M..  Cost:  $150.00, with deposit of $50.00 due by the end of January.  For more details, contact me

Dolores Kramkowski
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Thank You received from the Inman Center

Thank you so much for your generous contributiontoward the installation of the new fire alarm system.  The new system was installed during the summer.This alarm system is required by law and allows us to comply with fire regulations.  Thanks again, we appreciated your support.
Your Generosity is Appreciated
Donald G Wilson
Executive Director

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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 *********

80 Plus - Old Chip Chats (from last l0 yrs.) and other Wood Caraving Magazines - $50 or best offer.  Please contact Chris Schmocker @ 518-885-0613

Table Saw
- 10" Craftsman with 2 extensions, optional XR-2424 fence,  retractable casters, many extras $200.00.  Call Carol Ayers @ 518-587-6841 or e-mail

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

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.

Craftsman Wood Lathe - with live center, face plate and set of turning tools. $150
Craftsman Tabletop Shaper - with numerous cutters. $85 Call Ev Botsford at 518-438-4788

********* 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

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.

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Club Apparel
By Carol Ayers
Thanks to the club for the apron order. The four aprons will go to the Inman Center kitchen staff who are responsible for the fine meals provided on Thursdays. With the aprons, the minimum order was met and the order was placed on Friday, October 4th. With the cool weather approaching, maybe it's time to purchase a sweatshirt. Just give me a call at home in the evening (346-4090) or during the day at work (270-5108 ext. 28).
As I mentioned at the meeting, I will be assigning a small amount of patches, decals and maybe two hats to a regular attendee of the Thursday carving group. This will help in the event a member can only attend the Thursday meetings and can not make the monthly business meetings. If I am not mistaken, I believe it was George Hallenbeck who said he would help me with this. Thanks George.
Ron Batcher

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
  • Club static cling decals are $2.00
    (sales tax is included in all the pricing)

Ordering these items is as follows:
Patches, hats and decals are on hand and can be bought from me at any time.
Shirts, sweatshirts and aprons  need a total of 6 orders, any combination.


From now on, I will try to always have club hats on hand just like the patches and static cling decals for the car window.  It is great to have a hat, club shirt or logo apron or sweatshirt when doing the fairs or demos or shows.  

You can place an order by e-mailing me, Ron Batcher WDCHAIN@NYCAP.RR.COM or writing me at  2708 Granville Ave. Schen. NY 12306 or phoning me at 518-346-4090.

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 1-800-809-4839 or 518-842-4839. If he is not there, Lisa will help you.

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Pocketknife Bird Carving
by  Allen Aardsma

  1. THE CONCEPT-What is to be carved? How large?
  2. THE POSE - What mood should the carving evoke? How should the carving appear from various perspectives?
  3. THE RESEARCH - What can be learned about the anatomy, size, shape and movement of the subject?
  4. THE MODEL - Making a mock-up in clay, Styrofoam, paper mache, etc., or drawing sketches to aid in perfecting the design and in executing the carving.
  5. THE PATTERN - Making full-sized profile drawings of the side, top, front and rear of the carving as needed.
  6. THE BLANK - Cutting out (using a band saw perhaps), or gluing up the wood to be carved.
  7. ROUGHING OUT - Using the tools most capable of quickly bringing the wood to the general desired shape.
  8. MAJOR DETAIL - Defining the major muscles and feather groups, etc.
  9. INTERMEDIATE DETAIL - Carving the feathers, fur, etc.
  10. FINE DETAIL - Defining the eyes, ears, claws, etc., as well as
  11. possible.
  12. THE TEXTURE - Creating the effect of fur, feather, fin, scale, etc.
  13. THE PAINTING - Choosing from a glossy-smooth to a matte surface, between interior and exterior paint, between acrylic and oils, between realism and otherwise.
  14. THE FINISH - Protecting the carving with the correct product
  15. depending on how weatherproof, shiny, durable it should be.

  • Choose a Species
  • Do Research
  • Design Pose
  • Make Clay Model
  • Draw Pattern/s
  • Trace Pattern/s onto Wood
  • Cut out Blank, Side and Top views
  • Draw Center Lines for Symmetry
  • Draw Side and Top Views More Exactly
  • Square the Carving to Lines Drawn
  • Round the four large comers of Body
  • Round the eight smaller corners of Body
  • Draw Basic Head Shape and Rough Out the Head.                      
  • Draw: the Perimeter and side view of the Tail
  • the outline of the wings and mantle the Belly and Flanks.
  • Carve these area.s
  • Draw the outline of the bill: top and side views.
  • Carve the bill to the lines you've drawn.
  • Draw major feather-group divisions on wings.
  • Carve them in place by outlining, undercutting and rounding edges
  • Dish the sides of the head.
  • Draw the eyes in proper place.
  • Carve the eyes.
  • Draw and carve the eye rings.
  • Draw the Auriculars.
  • Carve them by outlining and undercutting and rounding.
  • Draw individual feathers on various areas of wing and both surfaces of tail.
  • Outline and undercut them.
  • Carve a deepening "V" before and after each eye.
  • Draw and carve detail around bill.
  • Draw and carve Mandible line on both sides of the bill.
  • Draw and carve nostrils.
  • Draw and carve Auricular lines.
  • Draw and carve mantle Feather-splits.
  • Draw and carve Feather-split lines on flanks.
  • Carve a few other feather marks around base of head and wherever else desired.
  • Drill holes in bird for proper placement of legs (see VIII. B.)
  • Insert painting handle in a leg hole
  • Place the handle in a sturdy base
  • (Refer to my notes on Painting With Acrylics)
  • After bird is entirely painted, and before bird is mounted to its base, spray with
  • DEFT, semi-gloss, until desired sheen is achieved (usually two or three
  • applications)
  • Coat bill and eyes with JO SONJA acrylic gloss varnish. One application to eyes;
  • two, usually, lo bill.
  • Carefully coat eyes with applications of CRYSTAL TREASURE COAT (or a
  • similar clear, viscous product) until smooth, domed surface is achieved.
  • Two or three applications are typically needed with time between for
  • drying.
  • Make Legs out of appropriate gauge of wire or use cast legs.
  • Place bird in desired position on base and visualize potential angle of legs and
  • placement of feet.
  • Glue legs into body of bird.
  • Position bird on base and mark where to drill the base with a pencil.
  • Drill leg holes in base.
  • Glue legs to base.
  • Make wire toes of appropriate gauge and shape.
  • Bend the toes to fit base realistically.
  • Glue in place.
  • After glue has hardened, paint the legs and toes the correct color for the species
  • and paint over the excess glue on the base to match the base color.
  • Coat the legs and toes with JO SONJA acrylic clear varnish.
  • Sign and date the piece.

Letters to the Editor

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

Or Email to;

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