Mohawk Valley Art & Woodcarving Association

July 2000 
By Mike Bloomquist
It was a real quiet evening at the club meeting this month.  I guess all the excitement was upstairs where we usually meet.  Singing, dancing, stomping, yelling... and Ron Meyers was downstairs with us this time!  The MVAWA meeting was downstairs at the Inman Center this month.  Attendance was light as usual for this time of year.  Where ever the rest of you were, hope you were making monstrous big piles of chips.

 Our club is having a table again at the Altamonte Fair.  The dates got chopped in my copy of the minutes, but it ends on Sunday, August 20th. Members were asked to designate time to work at 
the Club table at the fair.  The August meeting would not be too late to sign up (and get the real dates!).

George Hallenbeck reported that April 28 and 29, 2001 have been reserved at  CBA for the Annual Show. The vote was for the early part of April, but Easter got in the way.  Well, maybe next year.  Rental price remains the same. He also reported that the Show article is nearly ready to be sent to Chip Chats.

Mike Bloomquist (that's me) would like Show pictures to enhance the Web site he has set up.  I'm looking for pictures from the show to create a Show page in addition to the other club pages I already
have.  If you have hard copy pictures, just let me scan them, and I’ll get them back to you. 

There were no further Committee reports.  Like I said, it was a light night.  The good news is, the business part of the meeting lasted only 30 min, the bad news is... well, there was no bad news.  Bud Murtlow got more time for his relief carving program, so it was just a win/win night.

The August program will feature a slide presentation by George Hallenbeck. That got an “oh no!” from somewhere over near Ron Meyer, but I forgot to ask him if he caught who it was.  Anyhow, it was really uncalled for.  George usually has pictures of all the club events, so if there are things you can't make it to, this is the next best thing. Sister Mary Ellen will talk about Woods of the Bible at the September meeting. Native American Flute Carving will be presented by Mike Bloomquist in November.

A copy of the Mid-Hudson Newsletter was offered by Carl to anyone interested. 

Ernie D’Alessandro brought it to our attention that woodcarving featuring Sr. Mary Ellen can be seen in the centerfold of The Evangelist.  If anyone has a extra copy of it a donation to the club historian would be great.

Everyone is reminded to bring a dish to pass at the August 6th picnic at the Kiwanis Park in Rotterdam Junction (see map below) . Some early arrivals are needed to secure the pavilion  for the day.  Sorry folks, with an hour plus drive from Rome, that probably won't be Harold or I.

The woodcarving display to be shown at the GE Quarter Century Club meeting at the Altamonte Fair grounds on September 9th has been staffed.

Carl is accepting names of volunteers to help with plans for MVA&WC Show 2001.

Martha's entry for our program this month was the following:
Following adjournment, Bud Murtlow explained features of the many relief carvings which included his first carvings to the current ones, many of them carved with his trusty X-ACTO. Nice work, Bud. I’ll echo the ‘Nice work’ and raise you a ‘!’, but I really have to elaborate on this one Martha.  I might even wax prolixic!  Maybe I just wasn't paying attention, but I don't think I've seen much of Bud's work before.  My loss.  Only a couple of his pieces looked familiar.  From early works to more recent ones, the relief carvings were exceptional.  He kept apologizing for his earlier efforts because it wasn't carved as deep as he likes to do them now.  Well, yeah, there was some improvement from the first pieces to the more current efforts, but that happens with all of us.  Gotta be honest, my recent reliefs only barely look as good as his beginning pieces!  It got my juices going though, and I started a new relief of my own the next night.  What is really amazing, is his tool of choice.  It's this “small, thin, pointed knife”...   all right, all right, I’ll actually write it.  He uses.. uses...  an X-Acto!  There, are you all happy now!  Other tips he gave out (which were easier for me to write about):  

  • He uses KIWI wax for the finish.  Applied with a tooth brush, hair dryer, and buffed out afterwards, it's the only thing that covers his wood. Colors used are tan, mid-tan, and dark.  
  • Poplar tends to dull tools because of its resins.  
  • Use Tite-Bond glue to join pieces up for a blank and for repairs.  
  • Carve deep and behind foreground objects.  Letting light in behind them lends even more to the three dimensional effect your trying to pull off.
  • ‘Back banding’, a wood molding found at most home improvement outfits, makes great framing for your relief carvings.
Ron Meyers also had some of his wonderful relief carvings on display there.  A new one (to me anyway) was also his largest.  It was an elaborate scenic view inspired by a Currier and Ives print.  Beautiful work Guys!  And Bud, you know that X-Acto thing is just jealousy.  If I could get them to perform like you do, they would be at the top of my arsenal too!

See ya at the August meeting.  Don't forget to check out the Picnic info below.  Keep those sharp edges pointed in the right direction, and don't stain with body fluids.

Club Picnic
Sunday, August 6th 

At the Kawanis Park and Boat Launch
Located on Rt. 5s just at the end of Rt. 890
Come early-Stay late  (Eat @ Noon-ish)

We have a great location centrally located to most of our membership, under a pavilion in a fully shaded grove right on the bank of the beautiful Mohawk River.

Bring a covered dish to share, Beverages will be provided by the club Don't forget to bring a table cloth and 
You're own place settings...

Launch your boat, play some horse shoes, Bocce ball or whatever you wish. There is plenty of room for outdoor games! By all means bring your fishing gear as you can fish right off the bank (only a few feet from the pavilion).  It's been allot of fun every year and remember  -Rain or Shine- we party! Bring along a few carving tools as a whittling contest may break out.  Also bring your latest carving for show and tell.

See map below---any questions call Carl Borst @ 355-2933
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