Blackhawk Carving Club
Rockford, Illinois 61109
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Blackhawk Woodcarver

Volume XVIII, Issue 4, April 2011

Notes from our President -

Roger Benedict spoke at the March business meeting on “Why We Carve.” I enjoyed Roger’s speech.  It prompted us to think about our carving in ways many of us have not done.  It prompted us to think.  And that’s always a good thing.

Roger said that his carving started from and is spurred on by his love of wood; his interest in art and design; a passion to create; and the fact that woodcarving is a “forgiving” hobby.

He illustrated the “forgiving” part by telling how a European carver would treat a mistake or a change in design: Just take the piece of work to a sander and sand the offending area flat, then glue on another piece of wood and go at it anew.

Roger encouraged us to not be discouraged if a carving is not exactly as we want.  Instead, we should think like that European, and glue on new wood.

Roger finished his presentation with material from a book he had been given by Bob Hallstrom.  The author Gerry Holzman,  a famous northeastern woodcarver,  said he liked woodcarving because it had four aspects that he set great store by: Tradition, Creativity, Independence, and Discipline.

Those are four good points.  I would add a fifth - Heritage.  I feel that woodcarving is more than mere Tradition.  I believe it carries with it elements of social culture that are not well enough expressed by the word “Tradition.”  That’s just a thought.

See you Wednesday,

Gary Lundquist


OZZIE WEBB presented a Short Course on Power Carving for our program after the meeting Wednesday, February 16.

After the Program, he conducted a special Power  Carving seminar for a select group of lady carvers.   Newsletter missed getting a picture of the session, but we saw Carrie Lay, Shirlee Calvert, Rosalie Wesley, and Dona Wisner. all gathered around him.

TUESDAY, JUNE 14, will be our annual Club Pot-Luck Picnic.  This will be from 4:00 PM until 6:00 PM.  More or less.  Some folks come earlier to help set up, and some folks stay later just to sit around and chat.

Bring your meat to grill, and a dish to pass that is enough for twelve people.   Folks like to sample the different dishes.  (And you don’t want to run out of your particularly delicious preparation, do you?)  There will be a sign-up sheet at the Wednesday morning carving sessions during May for who-wants-to-bring-what.

Bring your own dishes and flatware and drinking cup/glass/whatever.  The Club will furnish charcoal and grills, as well as ice, pop, water, coffee, and foam coffee cups.  This is all paid for out of the Coffee & Cookie Fund.   Many thanks to the coffee drinkers.


We have been in the habit of listing only those carving shows within a couple of months of the Newsletter publishing date.  As a service to those readers who may wish to plan their trips more than 60 days in advance, we are now listing all those we know within a three-hour driving radius of Rockford.


OUR CLUB SHOW is in August.  That’s only five months away.  The Co-Chairmen, Don Stansfield and Bob Hallstrom have already organized the Show & Competition part.  Our VP, Bob Capion, is also putting his shoulder to the wheel on the project.

Our members have always come together and worked hard to make our Show is successful.  It has worked so far.  When one young couple who came last year all the way from Michigan was asked if they would be coming back in 2011, they responded enthusiastically, “You betcha!.”

Maybe it’s time to give our leaders a little organized support before the “last minute” comes along.

Larry Clark has already developed some materials for promotion, and is working on posters, “calling card” handouts, post cards, and more.

We need to get going on the Raffle and Sale items.  Suggestions were talked about to have some very simple profile-sawn blanks that could be carved by an absolute novice.  These would be packaged in a plastic baggie, and include an instruction sheet with a picture of what the finished piece might look like.  These would sell for $2 or $3 each, There were several items like this for sale at the Blackhawk Woodcarvers’ Show in Ken Rock back about ten years ago.

How about a Recruiting Table, with Club information literature & membership applications & staffed by a couple of our members?  They could even be carving between customers.  How about a display board showing the progression of carving projects taught in the CLR Beginning Woodcarving Class?


INTERNATIONAL CARVING COMPETITION - Plan for June to visit the woodcarving show in Maquoketa, Iowa.  This is the “Big Dance” for woodcarvers.  The show itself runs from Thursday, June 16, thru Sunday, June 19.  However, they also have many carving classes which start three days earlier - on Monday, June 13.  See Newsletter Show Section for details.

 For many of us in Rockford, it can be a one‑day trip.  Take highway #2 to Byron, #72 west to Illinois #26, south a short way on #26 to where the road turns west (as #29), then jump on #64 going west. That takes you right into Maquoketa.  It’s just 27 miles on the other side of the Mississippi River from Savanna.

DID ANYBODY SEE the carving show in Plover, Wisconsin, in March?  If so, please tell Tod Wisner about your experience there.  That kind of news is always welcome, because it’s material for the Newsletter.  Did you get pictures?

Light travels faster than sound.  Maybe this is why some folks seem brilliant until you hear them speak.


TWO OF OUR CARVERS,  Don Stansfield and Rosalie Wesley, went up to Decorah, Iowa, March 10, for a seminar on acanthus carving.  This is decorative relief architectural carving based on a rendition of the leaves and flowers and fruit of the acanthus bush.  ( Don’s carving is shown.)

acanthus carving

The class was taught by Phil Odden, a world-renown carver specializing in Norwegian wood art carving.  His wife, Else Bigton, came in on the last day to give additional help and counsel to the class.  Else  is a cabinet maker, furniture maker, and carver.  Great talent in wood, in her own right.

Phil and Else wrote a book on carving Norwegian folk art.  In Norwegian for now, but soon to come out in an English translation.  Their second book on the same subject will be published this year.  This last one has already been designated an official textbook for all schools in Norway.

acanthus carving

Rosalie is shown here working on her acanthus.  Pictures were taken by Don.


 WHEN ROGER BENEDICT spoke at our last business meeting, he invited some of the Club members to stand and share their feelings about woodcarving.

Rich Andersen loves the feel of the wood.  When he carves, he likes to start with two pieces of carving wood - same size - and leave one blank while working on the other piece.  He gets a great feeling  satisfaction out of comparing his progress in the workpiece  to the blank piece sitting in front of him.

Gordy Moscinski looks at carving as a journey.  He enjoys the process more than the accomplishment.  When he has finished the piece, there is no longer the same pleasure as he had while he was creating it.  Gordy says this is pretty much true for him with any artwork, because he’s also a painter.

Jack Basford “just loves working with wood.”  He has enjoyed cabinet work, relief carving, bark carving, inlay design work, and many different scroll saw projects.

Bob Capion likes carving, because he just “wants to get rich!”

Roger received squite an ovation from the appreciative audience.


 NEW MEMBER,  ART SINDEN, will be exhibiting his paintings in Rockford at the “Art Spring Scene” April 15 & 16, at the Brew House down by the Rock River near the Ice Rink. This event is sponsored by the Rockford Arts Council, the Rockford Art Guild, and several of the commercial art galleries around the Rockford area.  Admission is free.  See your local newspaper for times.

 BOB CAPION spoke at great length about the Club’s upcoming woodcarving show this August at Tebala Shrine Center.  He was especially enthused about projects we might undertake as ways to raise money for the Club.  Two suggestions involved carving objects (a duck or abstract relief carving) that might be set into shadow-box style picture frames behind  non-reflective glass.  Bob went on to discuss several other ideas for the Show.

  BOB HALLSTROM discussed the idea of having a Special Raffle that would be separate from the usual low-value carvings.  In this case there would be four or five pieces of considerable value which would be in separate raffles of their own. 

 DONA WISNER suggested that we could offer some of our Club coffee mugs, each with its own one-pot packet of flavored coffee and a tiny carving.  These would be packaged attractively as though for a gift.  She volunteered to furnish the coffee packets.

  OTHER RAFFLE SUGGESTIONS included magazine subscriptions donated by the publishers and a Denny carving knife donated by the manufacturer. 


 TWO SPECIAL GIRLS in our Club are shown as they were carving one Wednesday morning.  Isabella Larson is 14 years old, Jayne Pfeiffer is 90.  One of Isabella’s bark carvings won at the Winnebago County Fair last year, and Jayne has won a blue ribbon for a carving at an Annual Woodcarving Show.  We’re very proud of them,  They are only two of the nineteen girls (of all ages) who are active members of the Blackhawk Woodcarvers Club.  Girls do a good job of keeping the organization from drifting into a “Good Ol Boys Club,” and that’s a good thing!



 SHARON BECHTOLD is a local artist who has offered to come in and teach a class or put on a program for our Club.  She is an Illinois State Artisan.  An artist in woodburning, painting, and drawing.  No fee was discussed.  Gordy Moscinski brought this information in for us.


 ROGER BENEDICT’S Art Gallery tour for Club members the first Saturday in March was quite a success.  The main theme seemed to be “video in art.”  There were active computer screens in some pictures, and active video/TV in others.



TOM BACKER made an appearance at Wednesday morning carving March 8.   Art Brown played chauffeur.  Thanks, Art.  It was good to see Tom.  Unfortunately, he’s got a ways to go yet before he’s completely healed.  There’s even physical therapy before he gets to cardiac rehab.

EMILE LeBEAU - Back home again.  He says.”Finally!”  Has a full-time caregiver, and everything is going great.  Can’t drive yet, but he does get out and around some.

GARY JOHNSON broke a foot, and had to have surgery to have a steel plate installed.  He was in a wheelchair for a spell, then a walker, and now he’s hobbling around in an orthopedic boot.


 HOW MANY MEMBERS do you know?  Now don’t be ashamed just because you can’t recall a name.  We all suffer from memory problems to a greater or lesser degree.  What I mean, is how many members are you familiar with? ...familiar enough to go up to and start a conversation?  Our Club has grown quite a bit in these last few years, and that’s what gave Lisa Hanus the idea that we needed a Club Directory.  It has worked out really well for me. (When I use it.)   When I don’t use it, I simply apologize to the member whose name I don’t remember.  And, do you know what?  No one has shot me yet for not remembering their name!  A good way to fix natural bashfulness is simply to sit in a different place each Wednesday.  It’ll shake up the folks you move in by.  And that’s a good thing.


MID IOWA WOODCARVERS of Des Moines, IA, is holding a show in Ames, IA, on April 9 and 10.  Details in the Shows Column.


PLEASE EXCUSE any disruptions in Newsletter distribution. Our Publisher has been sun bathing in Florida for the a couple of months.  And without him, the staff has had to struggle all on their own.



April 9            Larry Clark

April 10         Franklin Johnson

April 19         John Skaggs



CORRECTION; Last Newsletter said Roger Benedict’s “relief carving” had its first session Tuesday, March 1.  That should have been Relief Carving Class.  Look for some good pictures in next month’s Newsletter.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Secretary’s Report, Steve Terrill

38 members signed in present at the meeting

- Minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved.

- Treasurer’s report was read by John Skaggs and approved.

- petty cash report by Dona Wisner.

- Webmaster Gordy Moscinski reported that progress is being made on the new website but construction is taking many hours.  It will look very professional when done.  We have already gotten positive comments on our existing website.  .

- Librarian Bernie Budzynski was not present but will soon be returning for at least one Wednesday before he leaves again.

- Bob Hallstrom and Bob Capion reported on the show that is a mere 5 months away.  Members are asked to donate a carving of good quality for a special raffle.  4-5 volunteers are sought.  Bob C. suggested that we could form teams to work on a common project and used as an example a mounted small relief carving of a duck mounted with a duck stamp. 

- There was no old business. 

 Under new business;

- The Annual Picnic will be held June 14, a Tuesday, from 4:00 to 6:00.  Tony DeVita has the space rented and will provide the ice, soda, water and charcoal.  We need volunteers to bring extra cookers.  Members are encouraged to bring meat and a dish to pass.  There will be a sign up sheet available in May.

- Gordy Moscinski knows an artist, Sharon Bechtold, who is willing to teach a class on woodburning, or drawing, or painting.  Gordy will be in communication with her about dates and details. 

- Don Stansfield has catalogues for good roughouts from Moore Roughouts that he will place in the library.  They are an easy way to get started.  The Wood congress has a category for roughouts.  Blackhawk does not care.  Roughouts cost from less than $10 to more than $50.  Each comes with pictures of the finished product.

- Bob Capion reported that Cark Hicks has not been able to attend because of flat tires on his wheelchair.  Bob is interested in helping and is open to volunteers. 

- Gordy Moscinski reported on the Madison Carving show which was held with the local wood turners group.  He indicated that this increased participation in the show and is something we could consider.  The local Woodturners group is open to the suggestion.  Gordy will talk to Don about the possibilities and details. 

Treasurer’s Report, John Skaggs

- The Club is well solvent.  A printed copy of the report may be seen by any member who so desires.  Just ask John.  Financial details are not made public in print.

There is a current project underway by Bob Capion to develop a formal working budget for our Club.


Coffee Cash, Dona Wisner:

 - All is well.


Membership Report, Dona Wisner

 - Two new members joined during the month; Art Sinden and Karen Hammerberg.  We now have a total  of 112,  87Active Members and 25 Associates.  Judy Deets changed from Associate to Active status.



We had a nice batch of wood carvings in for Show & Tell this month.  Steve Terrill’s  descriptions are by the pictures in the Picture Gallery at the end of this Newsletter.  Also shown are some pictures of February’s Show & Tell that didn’t make the print deadline.




Business Meetings & Special Events -

ð April 20 - Business Meting, Quarterly carving project

ð May 18 - Business Meeting, Program: Karen Hammarberg

ð June 15- Business Meeting

   June 14 - Club Picnic

ð July 20 - Business Meeting, Quarterly carving project

ð August 17 - Business Meeting

ð August 20 - Blackhawk Carving Club Show & Compete @ Tebala Temple

ð September 21 - Business Meeting, Wrap-up report on the Annual Show

ð October 19 - Business Meeting, Quarterly carving project.  Select 2012 Nominating Committee

ð November 16 - Business Meeting, Announcements: Club Member of the Year.  Slate of officers nominated for 2012

ð December 21 - Christmas Party Brunch & Swap Meet, Election of Officers

ð January 18, 2012 - Business Meeting, Quarterly carving project

ð February 16 - Business Meeting

ð March 16 - Business Meeting


CARVING  CLASSES -These are classes within a short drive time of Rockford.  Be sure to check ahead of time, because some of the classes fill up fast.  For  complete listings in all States, look in the different carving magazines.

April 29 - May 1, Bettendorf Iowa, Realistic “Native American” bust (about 7"x7"x13") carved with Marty Dolphens.  Cost $185 includes butternut roughout.  The Woodcraft Shop, 2724 State Street, Bettendorf, IA, 52722.

May 27-29, Bettendorf, Iowa, Medium/Middle Relief Carving with John Engler.  Pre-stenciled blanks will be available on a wide variety of subjects. $185, plus cost of blanks @$30 - $35 each.   The Woodcraft Shop, 2724 State Street, Bettendorf, IA, 52722.

June 13-19,  Maquoketa, IA. Many classes on many different carving subjects, taught by world-class master carvers.  Call Larry Yudis, 563-676-8264, for an information packet.


CARVING  SHOWS - Shows within 3 to 4 hours one-way drive time of Rockford will be listed as they become known.

April 9-10, Waterloo, IA.  38th Annual Iowa State Show, Waterloo Center for the Arts, 225 Commercial St, Sat noon-5, Sun 11:00-4:30, free admission.  Roger Beane 319-283-2688

April 15-16, Rockford, IL, Art Spring Scene at the Brew House, on the Rock River by the ice skating rink.  Admission is free. See your paper for details

April 16-17, Wheaton, IL.  North Suburban Carvers Members’ Members’ Exhibit & Sale, Cantigny Park, 1S, 151Winfield Rd.  Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4, admission free, parking $5. Frank Samat, 773-763-1788

April 30, Sheboygan, WI, Kettle Karvers Klub, 21st Artistry In Wood.  Sheboygan Falls Municipal Bldg, 375 Buffalo Street, 10-4pm,  admission $2, Bob Lawrence 920-458-4947

May 1, Appleton, WI. Mid-Wisconsin Chippers 37th Annual Woodcarving show, competition, & sale.  Monarch Gardens, 2311 West Spencer St. 10am-4pm, admission $2, children under 12 free.  Jayne Neuenfeider, 920‑982‑5582

May 7, Ames, IA Mid-Iowa Woodcarvers 2nd Annual Adventures In Wood Show.  Special even “What’s Bugging You?”  Reiman Gardens, 1407 University Boulevard, Art Mann, 4004 Fletcher Blvd, Ames 50012.  515-292-2459.

May 21-22, Bloomington, IL, Cornbelt Carving Club 10th Annual Sculptures in Wood show, sale, & contest.  Shirk Center, Illinois Wesleyan University Campus, 302 East Emerson Street, Saturday 9-5, Sunday 10-5.  Admission $3, children free with adult.  Mike Hartzler, 309-662-4276,

June 17-20, Maquoketa, IA,  Affiliated Woodcarvers, Ltd. ( PO Box 104, Bettendorf, IA, 52722) presents annual  International Woodcarvers Congress at Jackson County Fairgrounds, 1212 East Quarry St.  Admission charged.  Larry Yudis @ 563-359-9684,

June 18-19, Coon Valley, WI.  Coulee Region Woodcarvers 15th annual show at Norskedalen Nature & Heritage Center. Tom Ladwig, 608-582-4353

AUGUST 20, ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS Blackhawk Woodcarving Club’s 16th Annual Show, Sale, & Competition, with cash prizes, food, & supplies @ Tebala Shrine Center, 7910 Newburg Rd, 9:30am - 4:30pm, admission $2.  Don Stansfield, 815-235-0075

September 17 - Janesville, WI, sixth Rock River Valley Carvers’ show/sale at Rock County Fairgrounds, Craig Center, 1301 Craig Ave.  10am to 4pm.  Free admission.  Mary Johnson, 608-754-3569.  Also contact at

September 25 - Utica, IL.  23rd annual Valley Carvers’ judged and juried show/sale at Starved Rock State Park main lodge.  9am to 5pm.  Free admission.  Bob Wills, 190 West Willow St., Coal City, IL, 60416.  815-634-3086.


WANT ADS - Carving stuff only.  Free listing for individuals, clubs, and vendors (members and non-members ).

2010 Annual Members Directory -   Names, pictures, and phone numbers. Copies available Wednesday mornings -. $2.00

Carving Wood, all kinds - Del Lohr, 40251 West Rt #2, Lightsville Rd, Forreston, IL 61030, 815-938-2263


CIRCULATION STATEMENT:  This issue of the Blackhawk Woodcarver is mailed to 88 members, 17 Friends of Blackhawk, 26 Associate Members.  Total = 131.  Copies of our Newsletter not picked up in person go out USPO, First Class, for most benefit to all.



Roger Benedict had another carving class at Rock Valley College CLR.  This one was on relief carving a picture of your own face.  Larry Clark got some really great pictures of the class in sessions, and will print them next month.



 carved humming birds carved man with golf ball carved floral relief

Rich Andersen showed two flat hummingbird carvings, part of a set of 6 which will decorate a door in their house.

Don Christenson showed a guy  carved out of box elder. holding a golf ball over his head.

Jack Basford did a flower relief, his first attempt at something other than a landscape.

 carved musical spoons carved old world santa burned gourd

Tod Wisner did the musical spoons with a caricature figure and stand.

Steve Terrill finally finished his first project ever, a Santa that Gordy coached him on.

Carrie Lay showed woodburning and painting  on a gourd she had carved.

carved face carved head carved cowboy

Bob Coleman did a wood spirit in an apple wood slab, and a wood spirit/Viking head  with a purple heart box for a stand. Bob has been carving since October. Nice work Bob!

Art Sinden, new member and new carver, showed a caricature of a cowboy.   Only his second carving, and done with a Dremel.  Nice work, Art!

 carved birds

John Hartwig showed a couple of birds he had carved, as well as  two front ends of ducks.  (His wife cooked the back ends.)

carved bottle stopper carved bottle stopper carved bottle stopper

Larry Clark’s bottle stopper named, “Party Hardy Marty”.

carved gun carved monk

The gun and the monk was the work of Tony DeVita.

 bark carving

The bark carving was done by Frank Lay

carved wooden shoe

One of Gordy Moscinski's first carvings

 carved bird carved face carved face

I don't know who carved these three carvings.

carved people      carved buffalo carved duck and dog

carved boot flower relief 

These are some of John Skaggs first carvings.

carved plyers Bob Capion did a pair of working pliers carved if wood.  They are part of his experimentation for a club carving project.  Supposed to be carved with only ten cuts of a knife. ( Really?)

woodcarver See - I told you I really made chips.  (Tod Wisner)

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