Mohawk Valley Art & Woodcarving Association

February 2000 Newsletter
By Mike Bloomquist

Well, it was another one of those great months that starts with a Tuesday.  Attendance was a bit light at our monthly meeting.  It probably wasn’t because of the snow showers, but due to some members being AWOL to more southern states.  We'll deal with them a little later.  Vice-president Joe Rusik presided over the meeting in the absence of Carl Borst. Martha olinas was back to reclaim her seat at club secretary. Seems George Hallenbeck left her with no minutes from the last meeting.  I have no idea why they looked to me as an alternate... he didn't even leave his Thursday contributions with anyone... Oh wait!  He was one of that group!  I wonder if anyone has a pattern for a snowbird (tailus frostbitus)?  Welcome to new member Paul Ferenczy and welcome guest John Grygiel.

Give me a couple years and I might get the hang of this newsletter thing.  Seems I dropped the ball again.  In the Decanuary newsletter we expounded to great lengths about the carving-get-together-instead-of-a-formal-program proposal that Dick Moran made, then failed to include a program schedule that clearly stated this February was going to be the first carving get together.  The theme was love spoons.  Before it happens again, here's the Y2K lineup Dick has so far:

Meeting Date Program Presenter

March 7………….         Carving Canes and Walking Sticks…………….        Carol Ayers,
                                                                                                                                    Bill McCormick & 
                                                                                                                                    George Terwillinger
April 4 …………..        “Everyone Carves Something” Night ………….         --------------
                                        Theme: Carving Canes (if interested
                                         Otherwise BYOC)
May 2 …………….       Open ……………………………………………....         --------------
June 6 …………….       “Everyone Carves Something” Night ………….        --------------

Despite some folks being unprepared for the event, it seemed to be a success.  Thanks to some subconscious instinct for self-preservation, I had spoon blanks and patterns with me to hand out, as did Dick.  Another plus were the tables that were set up.  Some folks had respectable piles of wood chips long before the formal part of the meeting was over.  Also, it's a comfort to know that there are others out there that can completely cover an empty, horizontal surface with carvings, tools, gear, books, and whatnot much faster than I can.  Later that night I told my wife about them, but she still doesn't believe they exist.  It's not my fault.  You've heard that 'nature abhors a vacuum'... my shop at home feels the same about clean horizontal surfaces.

Treasurer, Don Painter, reported a balance of $5207.15.  Don always includes an itemized breakdown, but I can never keep up with him.

Members are reminded to get their table reservations in for the May show.  There is a possible 70 tables available, but it seems they are filling fast.

Andy Ebli brought in the manger he completed, and displayed it with the figures he’s received.  Real nice job on the manger Andy, and the figures I saw were all top-notch work, as usual.  Andy says he’ll put the finish on them real soon.  Fred Jenzer has the raffle tickets ready for the Nativity, so pick some up whenever you get a chance.

Carol Ayers has the club patches ready for sale at $3.50 each.  They look great!  Thanks to Carl Borst who hunted down the outfit that produced them.  With the quality of work these patches show, they’re worth twice the price. Trust me on this one! 

We received a two page informational letter from Cooks Forest Sawmill Center for the Arts in regard to their schedule of woodcarving classes and their woodcarving show.  Their Woodcarving Competition and All-Wood Show is July 8th and 9th from 10am to 5pm.  Not too many details on registering for the show, but they’ll send it to you on request. The flyer schedule is a little long to reproduce here, but it includes instructors Pete Ortel (we know that guy), Tom Wolfe, and Harold Enlow.  These three are scheduled separately, on other dates and all together in a one-weekend blowout from July 28th to July 30th.  Other instructors include Joe Dampf of Ontario, Canada, Debbie Barr, Brian Brubaker, Cheryl Dow, Rosalyn Leach Daisy, Jim Kilby and Carol McDonald.  These last names might not ring a bell like the first three names, but I’ve heard of most of them through woodcarvers in cyberspace, and all I hear has been good.  The course subjects run across the whole range of woodcarving interests.  The location is in the NW part of Pennsylvania… looks like it might be in the Allegheny Mountains, which is right next door to God’s Country.  I’ll rip a few copies off and have them available at the next couple of meetings for those with a serious interest.

Dick Moran described a set of recommended video series “Carving Without Fear” by Ray Kinman.  The series titles are “Six Steps to Producing Believable Woodcarvings”, “How to Carve Beautiful Wood Signs” and “Easy Sharpening Techniques”.  Mike Bloomquist made the motion, which might have been out of line since he recommended them in the first place. Carol Ayers seconded, and the motioned carried. This guy must be getting a fair track record for recommendations or the present membership figured the tapes were a small price to pay to get him to stop talking (probably the later)!

Andy Ebli made a good suggestion about a locked space to keep the sharpening system he’s building for the club as well as another lockable space for the club videos.  The video space would mean Dick Moran no longer has to haul them to and from the meetings.  Eddie Provost will be approached about the availability of these spaces.

Promised to report of the Flexcut Mallet Tools I got for Christmas.  I don’t usually recommend sets, but this is different.  Six tools: V- tool, veiner, and four different sweeps of gouges (#8 - #2 I think).  As with most Flexcut, they come “scary sharp”, hold an edge, and hone up fine when needed.  Big plus… in the wood carrying case is band-aid dispenser with the Flexcut logo and address on it.  I kid you not… a Band-Aid dispenser. Who could ask for more?!

Look at the news item we got from Mary Ellen Lewek:

Woodcarver is arrested

More than a month after a 19-year-old burglarized a Guy Park Avenue home, he has confessed not only to the burglary itself, but also to leaving a threat against an Amsterdam Police lieutenant carved in a piece of furniture. 

According to the Amsterdam Police Department, Danny Rivera, 64 Brookside Ave., entered a residence on Guy Park Avenue around Dec. 2 and stole a camera. 
Rivera was arrested Tuesday in connection with the burglary after confessing to the crime. He has been charged with second-degree burglary, a class C felony, and fourth-degree criminal mischief, a class A misdemeanor. 

According to Detective Lt. Thomas DiMezza, Rivera admitted to not only stealing the camera from the residence, but also to carving "Die Pig DiMeza" in a dresser at the residence. He misspelled DiMezza's name. DiMezza said Rivera told investigators he carved the threat in the dresser because he was mad at DiMezza for chasing his brother all the time. Rivera was arraigned before City Court Judge Paul Wollman and was remanded to the Montgomery County Jail without bail. 

That’s just down the street from our meetings, and this guy definitely needs a more useful hobby.  It’s an outrage!  That spelling error is going to give us woodcarvers a bad image!  Wonder if the lettering was raised or incised? Come on folks… this is the kind of juicy newsletter contributions I need more of.

In addition to the other e-mail tidbit above, I’ve been receiving irregular updates from John “how-do-you-pronounce-his-last-name” Raucci.  He’s one of the AWOLs down in Florida.  You know… sun, high temperatures, NO SNOW.  Ah well, seems he’s been touring the RV parks for carving groups… refers to them as “old farts”.  Hmmmmm.  Must be tough John, we can really feel for you. He did attend the Port St. Lucie Woodcarving Show so I let him report on it:

Hi all...
I have to tell you about the treasure coast woodcarver’s show in Port St. Lucie I attended over the weekend. I was pleasantly surprised by the talent of the exhibitors that were present.  There were around 40 tables in a very nice building and about 4 vendors, which were situated in each corner of the room.  They had food and beverages for sale along one wall and even a section with home made deserts.  On one end of the room was a stage where, for about an hour, they had a group of musicians playing wooden string instruments (I think they are called dulcimers).  Folk type music.  It was not over powering and seemed to be enjoyed by all. 

Their carving club consists of about 200 members with about 1/3 of which are active participants.  They seemed to have a great attitude and were all trying to do some recruiting.

Some familiar faces there also, John Dunkle (knife maker) and wife. Cherl Dow (wood burner).  But the table that just blew me away was the featured carver.  "Bob Crumley", his work is just incredible.  Mostly animals (horses, bulls, elephants, rhino's, etc) about 12" to 24" high and from 18" to 30" long.  They were as perfect and life-like as I have ever seen.  Truly, museum quality carving and painting.  I hope my pictures come out well. This guy is incredible!  And a real nice guy too...willing to share any and all information at the drop of a hat.  Look for him in up coming Chip Chats.  I'm sure the pictures won't do his work justice.   "Well now I can throw my tools away."

What this show lacked in size, it made up for in class. It was very well thought out and also well attended.   I truly enjoyed myself.

Hope all is well with Y'ALL.


Thanks for the report John, and boy, did the spelling/grammar checker have fun with your letter.  Couldn’t resist that ;-).

Before we close for this month, how about THIS (next page) for a Swedish Troll?  Gotta love ‘em!  Let’s see if I can work this into a pattern for next month’s newsletter.  See ya at the meeting… Keep on Carvin’!