Blackhawk Carving Club
Rockford, Illinois 61109
Home   January 2011   February 2011   March 2011  April 2011  May 2011  June 2011  July 2011  August 2011  September 2011  October 2011  November 2011 December 2011


Blackhawk Woodcarver

Volume XVIII, Issue 8, August 2011



Here comes the SHOW!  Let’s all get behind Don Stansfield to make this a great one!  This is not a one-man show.  It takes many people to make it go.  Volunteer.

The other important need here is to collect carvings for the Sale and Raffle.  Some of our members have carved pieces just for the Show.  If you’re one of the folks who has not made special Show carvings; go through your collection of old carvings;  sift out some of the ones you don’t need to keep; and donate those to the Show 

Above all, get to Don to reserve a display table to show off your art work.  When you get a table, you automatically qualify to enter one piece in the judged competition.  It’s always more fun when you have a horse in the race.

To our newer members, I would like to extend a special encouragement.  If you have only a few carvings to display, get together with another carver and share a display table.  Don’t miss out on the Show experience.


See you Wednesday,

Gary Lundquist




When - Saturday, August 20, 11am - 4pm

        Setup begins at 8am, Cleanup at 4pm

Where - Tebala Shrine Center

   7910 Newburg Road, Rockford Admission $3, 12 & under  free with adult

What - Display table, $10 includes fee for one carving in competition

       Special multi-class competition

       Live carving

       Hand-carved art for sale

      Vendors of tools an supplies

       Food - sandwiches and beverages

Who - Judges Dennis Neubauer; Iowa

      Greg Wirtz, Wisconsin


DON STANSFIELD gave a presentation at the business meeting exhorting members to help him with the Show.  He noted that the show was only one month from then.  He emphasized that the success of the show depends on you (the members) both in your participation in display tables and in volunteering to work that day.  He passed around a sign-up sheet for volunteering.  He also has pieces of paper for people to jot down what they signed up for, “not that any of us would forget”.

Don noted that Gary Lundquist has posters, mailing cards and business cards available for advertising the Show.


You don’t stop laughing because you grow old — you grow old because you stop laughing.



RAY OLSON’S “School Master” carving class for the meeting day was postponed until the next week because we had a guest speaker after the meeting.



ralph cane vetRALPH ROSSIGNOL a member of the Lakewood Carving Club in Mt. Dora, Florida, came in to carve with us.  Ralph carves with us every summer when he comes to town to visit his kids.  (Ralph carves while his wife is playing  bridge.)  Ralph spoke at our business meeting about the Canes For Vets program at his home Club.  So far they have given away 39 canes.

Canes are made special for each Vet according to information on a Cane Request Application filled out by the Vet.  Each cane has an Eagle’s Head carved at the top with a sturdy handle coming out the back of the head.  Curved metal plates with information about that Vet’s branch of service and his/her service record are attached along the shaft of the cane. If the Vet has a Purple Heart, a replicate symbol of the Medal is also attached to the cane.  (Purple Hearts are awarded only if you are injured in battle with the enemy.)

          canes for vets

Ralph spent 9 years in the Marine Corps.  This helps explain his dedication to the Canes For Vets program.  Our Club President, Gary Lundquist, is a retired career Navy veteran.  You may have heard him promoting a Canes For Vets program for our own  Club.  To that end, he got a copy of the application form Ralph’s Club uses, and at least one of our members has already bought an Eagle Head cane handle roughout from Ralph to make a Cane For a Vet.



ELAINE TERRELL and Dona Wisner are heading up the effort to publish a Blackhawk Woodcarvers Cookbook as a fund-raising .  They intend to have it ready to sell at the 2012 Carving Show.  Johanna Backer has volunteered to do the pre-printing writing on a computer when they get the recipes collected,

We need at least one family recipe from each member so it can be truly representative of the Club.  Marshall Field

has contributed  his famous baked beans recipe.  And Carl Hicks gave his famous potato recipe as well as his Grandma’s recipe for making soap from hog fat. If you want to contribute two or three (or more), give them to Elaine Terrell or Dona Wisner.  We can’t sell a skinny book.





gordy moscinskiGORDY MOSCINSKI was our Club President in 1999.  What some of our members may not know is that he has been teaching Introduction to Woodcarving at Rock Valley College Center For Learning In Retirement (CLR) since even before our Club existed.  Gordy was one of the instigators who put the Blackhawk Woodcarving Club together.   He is the guy who got many of us started in carving wood and is personally responsible for many, many of our members joining the Club.

It is our good fortune that Gordy still teaches at CLR.  He is presenting another Introduction to Woodcarving class at CLR this Fall.  The 8‑week class will provide participants an opportunity to practice and learn the basics of woodcarving with the chance to insert their own personal touch.  (See information in CARVING CLASSES)



STEVE TERRILL deserves the credit for most of the stories you read in this Newsletter.  He’s the one who feeds business meeting notes to your editor ... who, in turn, embellishes Steve’s words and passes the news back to you.




SALEM BARKER lists himself as a maker of “fine art sculpture.”  And he certainly is that.  Salem was the featured speaker for our program at the Third Wednesday Business Meeting.  He’s also a fine speaker: Clear, informative, and enjoyable.

His work is apparently almost entirely abstract in form, and has sold around the world..  He carves the shape he sees inside the wood.  A little strange, but quite beautiful and a pleasure to look at.

Salem was the Featured Carver at our 2009 Show.  Perhaps some of our members remember the work he brought to exhibit at that Show.  His featured piece of art was a black walnut sculpture of half a woman.  It was either the right half or the left half, memory escapes me on that point.  “She” stood about five feet tall.  A ravishing beauty.  His other pieces were fully as exquisite.

For our program in July, Salem brought art of a more easily managed size.  (Besides, he had sold the half-woman soon after he showed her at our Show.)  The largest piece he showed us was a two-foot tall surrealistic group of gears out of one piece of black walnut.  He had helical gears, bevel gears, tied together with a spiraling rack gear.  This was all mounted with a 1/4" steel dowel in the bottom fitting into a hole in a modest-sized granite block.  It pivoted when you touched it.  Neat!

He also showed a treble clef design he makes in quantity to sell at shows.  He demonstrated how he polishes his work with buffing wheels.  Different grades of polishing compound on different wheels.  (He bought the system from a company in Ohio.)  After buffing to a very high gloss on the wood, he finishes his work with Min-Wax Wipe-On Poly to give a deep glowing appearance.

Salem Barker will be the featured carver at our Show again this year.  Be sure to tell your friends about him.  He is as good a sculpture as most folks will ever see.




8/7 - Nancy Peters

8/9 - Elaine Terrell

8/19 - Tony Valdez




CUB SCOUT SOAP CARVING was an all-day affair for several Blackhawk Woodcarvers in Alpine Park, Friday, July 29.   Our seven-man team of carving teachers included Club President Gary Lundquist, Tony DeVita, Arne Larsen, Dona Wisner, Lonnie Hayes, Gordy Moscinski, and Tod Wisner.  (Pictures are in the Photo Section of this Newsletter.)

cub scout soap carving  cub scouts soap carving

cub scouts soap carving  cub scouts soap carving

totem poleRAY OLSON & GALE TERRELL are working on restoring the top head of the totem pole at the Discovery Center.   The original carving had rotted because it was not sealed well enough to withstand the beating it takes from weather.  Gale donated the block of wood.  The photo shows Gale working on the carving in the Discovery Center workshop.





This Club has done several projects for the community.  Some of our members may not be familiar with our past service.  So here is a shot at bringing them up to speed.

The giant head that Gale is carving is for a huge totem pole that stands in the yard of the Discovery Center, on the river side of the building.  This totem pole was hand carved by members of the Blackhawk Woodcarvers Club about nine years ago. 





Long ago when men cursed and beat the ground with clubs, it was called witchcraft.   Today, it’s called golf.




TONY VALDEZ was a hospital resident twice during July.  Once for three days, and the second time for four days.  Hopefully, he’s back to normal now.  At least, he gets out for breakfast!

TOM BACKER is coming around to every Wednesday carving session now.  Many, many thanks to his wife, Johanna, and to his good friend Art Brown.




Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Meeting was called to order at 9:04, with 42 members present.

STEVE TERRILL read Secretary’s Report of minutes from the June meeting.  Report was accepted and approved as read.

JOHN SKAGGS’ Treasurer’s report was read and approved as read.  Details are available to active members on request.

DONA WISNER presented her petty cash report.  There is a nice cash balance.

Membership Chairman DONA WISNER reported we have two new members: Bunny Nordheim and Martha Fitch..  Dona went on to report that Bryan Allen, Herb Page, and Richard Shields have not paid 2011 dues. Since they have not responded to phone calls either, they are being dropped from the membership rolls..  That gives us 83 Active members and 25 Associates, for a total membership of 108.


Newsletter Editor, TOD WISNER, announced that recent eye surgery and continuing problems with macular degeneration are forcing him to give up the job of Editor on this Newsletter no later than December.  If no one steps forward to pick up the job, the Newsletter will have to cease publication.

Librarian, BERNIE BUDZYNSKI, reported everything is “copaesthetic.”

Webmaster GORDY MOSCINSKI had nothing to report.

PRESIDENT GARY LUNDQUIST read a letter from the Erlander Museum thanking us for participating in their Midsommer event.

LONNIE HAYES reported that he bought a raffle ticket at the Erlander Midsommer Festival and won a $220 plate.

JOHN SKAGGS has three Spruce trees that he has to remove this fall, and offered them free to Club members for carving.

WILL ROTTMAN asked if anyone had seen the wood carvings in Monroe Wisconsin created by Zoli Akacsos, a former Romanian who is now a resident of Monroe.  Several people have.  Don Stansfield noted that there are 24 carvings in all and quite something to see. 

SOMEONE (didn’t catch their name) reported that there are also some nice carvings in the Old Railroad Yard on Hwy 64 in Savanna, Illinois.  These are some pretty good size carvings, and including some Eagles. 


The meeting was adjourned at 09:37.





SALEM BARKER, a Rockford native, was our Speaker for the program.  He showed several of his pieces of very modern art. 

He works mostly in wood, but also has done some work in alabaster and marble.  Most of his works are mounted on pieces of stone - granite, alabaster, or marble.  This is material he scrounges from waste piles at local stone merchants.

(Read more about Salem in this Newsletter.)



 There was an interesting mix this month.  See the pictures later in this Newsletter.

WES ENGLUND Wes Englund showed a very realistic Jack Rabbit in recognition of the many he sees in Texas during the winter.  He carved it out of pine.  ( I think Wes carves just about any wood that comes along.  ED.)

JOHN SKAGGS did a female figure carving.  He says it’s too tough to get the female figure just right, so this one will be his last attempt at the subject.

John also showed a carving bench with an adjustable arm; a removable vice; relief carving tray; and an equipment tray.  John reported he got the idea from an illustration in a carving magazine.

BOB MATTHEWS carved and painted a very handsome, life-size Sharp Shinned Hawk.  The mounting was a natural piece of wood - especially realistic.  (These little birds are true falcons, but everybody calls  them “hawks” anyway)

JACK BASFORD used the “pierced relief” technique to carve a mirror frame and reported that seasoned oak is very hard to carve.  He knew that before he started, but took it on as a challenge anyway.

MARSHALL FIELD chip-carved a small box back in the early 60’s for his Mother’s sewing.  He also showed a working flintlock pistol he had made from a kit.  He used metalworking as well as woodcarving on this project.

TOD WISNER showed a supplicant Santa Claus who is wondering what to do about his stolen reindeer.  Tod carved this from Shipley rough out.

BERNIE BUDZYNSKI carved 4 kings out of a Christmas Carving book.  He has now completed 36 of the 42 carvings in the book.  Gordy Moscinski showed him how to carve 4 at a time to make it simpler, and help you benefit from your mistakes.  Bernie also showed a woodburning of a steam train that he had done.

jack rabbit carved    carved female carving bench

Wes England                                                                                    John Skaggs

sharp shinned hawk  carved mirror

Bob Matthews                                                Jack Basford

writing box  flint-lock

Marshal Field

santa claus carved  carved scene

Todd Wisner                                                            Jeff Hartman

carved kings  woodburned train

Bernie Buzynski



Business Meetings & Special Events -

ð  July 20 - Business Meeting, Fun Carving – cylinders, Show & Tell - new stuff

ð  July 29 (Fri.) Cub Scouts, Alpine Park

ð  August 17 - Business Meeting

August 20 - Club Show, Tebala Center

ð  September 21 - Business Meeting

ð  October 19 - Business Meeting

ð November 16 - Business Meeting

ð  December 21 - Christmas Party

NEW YEAR -   2012

ð  January 18 - Business Meeting

ð  February 15 - Business Meeting

ð  March 21 - Business Meeting

ð  April 18 - Business Meting

ð  May 16 - Business & Meeting

ð  June 20- 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.

August 26-28, Bettendorf, IA, Kirt Curtis will teach power carving moose antler billet. $235 +$45 for each billet you carve.  Several unusual requirements. Call The Woodcraft Shop, 1-563-359-9684 for details.

September 15- Rockford, IL, Bob Matthews at Center for Learning in Retirement six-session class carving a Teal hen duck.  Call CLR at 815-921-3930 for times & prices.

September 16-18, Bettendorf, IA, Bob Guge teaches Realistic Bird Carving & Painting - a Bluebird, $235 includes study cast, cutout, & eyes.  The Woodcraft Shop, 2724 State St, Bettendorf, IA, 52722.  1-563-359-9684.

Sept 20-Nov 17, Rockford, IL  Gordy Moscinski will be teaching Introduction to Basic Woodcarving class at CLR.  Call 815-921-3930

Sept 30, Oct 1+,2, Bettendorf, IA Charlie Arnold teaches Carving and Painting a “Bellamy Eagle” relief carving $135 + $25 materials charge.  The Woodcraft Shop, 2724 State St, Bettendorf, IA, 52722.  1-563-359-9684. 

Oct 7-9, Bettendorf, IA, Josh Guge will teach you “everything you wanted to know about airbrushing, but were afraid to ask.” $205.    The Woodcraft Shop, 2724 State St, Bettendorf, IA, 52722.  1-563-359-9684.


Oct 28-30, Bettendorf, IA, P.J.Driscoll will teach a class on Carving and Painting a Santa Claus ... P.J.’s style. $160 + $22 for the roughout.  The Woodcraft Shop, 2724 State St, Bettendorf, IA, 52722.  1-563-359-9684.

Nov 19, 20, Bettendorf, IA, Chris Hammack, (Caricature Carvers of America) will teach caricature carving for experienced AND beginning carvers to advance your skills to the next level. $150 plus roughout costs (your choices).  The Woodcraft Shop, 2724 State St, Bettendorf, IA, 52722.  1-563-359-9684.

Dec 2-4, Betteneorf, IA, Rick Harney will teach “What a Relief it is to Work in Clay First.”  Learn to model your relief carving IN CLAY before you take tools to wood. $160, Some special materials required.  Call for more information before registering.  The Woodcraft Shop, 2724 State St, Bettendorf, IA, 52722.  1-563-359-9684.



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

July 13-17, New Salem, WI, LaCrosse  Interstate Woodcarving Carving show at fairgrounds.  Tom Ladwig 608-582-4353

August 20, Rockford, IL, Blackhawk Woodcarving Club 16th Annual Show, Sale, &Judged Competition, with cash prizes.  On-site food, carving supply vendors.  Tebala Shrine Center, 7910 Newburg Road, Rockford, 10am-4pm, Admission $3, children under 12 free with an adult.  Don Stansfield, 815-235-0075, or Bob Hallstrom at 815-963-1326.

September 17, Janesville, WI.  6th annual Rock River Valley Carvers’ show/sale at Rock County Fairgrounds, Craig Center, 1301 Craig Avenue.  10am - 4pm.  Mary Johnson, 608-754-3569,

September 25, Utica, IL, Valley Carvers’ 25th Annual judged and juried Show & Sale.  Starved Rock State Park main lodge. 9am-5pm.  Free admission. Bob Wills, 190 West Willow St, Coal City, IL, 60416, or call 815‑634-3086

October 22-23, Wheaton, IL, 31st Artistry in Wood show & competition at DuPage County Fairgrounds2015 West Manchester Rd.  Free parking.  10am to 4pm, admission $4, under 16 free.  Terri 847-458-2919, Email



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




CIRCULATION STATEMENT:  This issue of the Blackhawk Woodcarver is mailed to 83 Active Members, 24 Associate Members, 11 Friends of Blackhawk, 45 Carving Clubs, and 4 Carving Magazines. Total = 169.  Our Newsletter goes out USPO, First Class Mail, for most benefit to all.





P. O. Box 15488

Loves Park, Illinois 61132-5488


Open Carving every Wednesday (8:30-11am) except Dec 24, 25, 31; Jan 1; and July 4.  Ken Rock Community Center (Sacred Heart Academy multi-purpose room) 3218 Eleventh St, Rockford, IL 61109.  Business Meeting, third Wed. of the month.  Friends and spouses of carvers are especially welcome to come to meet and visit.  Carvers bring in finished carvings for “Show & Tell.”


( Ed note: For some reason, we missed getting Lonnie Hayes in any of these Cub Scout soap carving pictures.  Sorry, Lonnie!)




This is to all the new members who have joined the Blackhawk Woodcarving Club this year.  - And have not been receiving monthly copies of the Newsletter.  There was some confusion among the staff, and the mailing list addresses were not kept up to date as they should.

They fault lies with your Editor.  I am very sorry.  If any of you are especially interested in acquiring back copies.  Please let me know.

    Tod Wisner
Home   January 2011   February 2011   March 2011  April 2011  May 2011  June 2011  July 2011  August 2011  September 2011  October 2011  November 2011 December 2011