Blackhawk Carving Club
Rockford, Illinois 61109
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Blackhawk Woodcarver

Volume XVIII, Issue 7, July 2011




Bob Capion sent me a letter in which he is resigning his post as Club Vice President.  His reasons are primarily personal.  We are losing a good officer.  Bob’s live-wire approach to Club needs and activities will be sorely missed.  Fortunately, he is not leaving the Club, because we need members like him.

I’m truly sorry that personal business suddenly came up to prevent Helen and me from attending the Club Pot-Luck picnic.  I’m told that the affair was lots of fun, just like always.  Food - food - food - and all delicious.

For those of you who helped at the Swedish Sommer Fest, “The Club thanks you.”  We are doing good work for our Community, and getting some pretty good press coverage as well.

Our next “gig” is an all-day affair at Alpine Park July 29, with the Cub Scouts.  We have done this before.

When you stop to think about it, there are probably not many Arts ‘n Crafts clubs doing as much Community Service as we.

See you Wednesday,

Gary Lundquist



   OUR  SUPER  SIZE  CARVING  SHOW. Will be held once again in the huge 7500‑square-foot main ballroom of the Tebala Shrine Center at 7910 Newburg Road, Rockford, IL.  Saturday, August 20. 10:00am - 4:00pm. Admission $3, kids under 12 are free.

Last year, we had 32 display tables with hundreds of carvings.  Fifty-five carvers from six states had 174 carvings competing against each other for ribbons and cash prizes.

Judging this year will be done by Dennis Neubauer from Iowa and Greg Wirtz from Wisconsin. two professionals in the woodcarving industry.  We have had these two before, and they are extremely careful in their judging. 

There will be live carving going on, with lots of hand-carved art for sale.  Vendors with tools, wood, & magazines.

Foodservice with beverages, Chicago-style hot dogs and pork chop sandwiches with all the trimmings.



SHOW is the active word.  Each of us gets a wonderful opportunity to show our carvings to friends and relatives and all the public.  It’s always amazing to see how easy it is to impress people with work that we, as carvers, might sometimes think is rather plain and quite ordinary.

Here’s how you do it:

Reserve a Show table from Don Stansfield.  It’s only $10, and that includes your entry fee for one carving in the competition.  Of course, If you want to enter more than one carving, the others come in at a somewhat lower price.

Bring a table covering of some sort in to the Show.  Bring in “all” your completed carvings.  Set your carvings out on the table, then sit back and be amazed and proud as visitors come by and exclaim in admiration over your work.

“But I don’t have very many carvings, because I haven’t been carving that long.”

Not to worry.  Buddy-up with another carver who feels the same way.  Then, the two of you can share one display table.  Or, maybe even three carvers could share one table.  With over a hundred members in our Club, you are sure to find another who, just like you, feels they don’t have enough carvings to fill a table solo.  Ask around if you have to.  But, SHOW!




What’s the definition of a Will?

It’s a “Dead Giveaway.”



picnic 1    picnic 2

THE CLUB POT-LUCK PICNIC was a success.  Unfortunately, our genial host, Tony DeVita, was called away to a family funeral in Florida.  Dona Wisner stepped in, ably assisted by volunteers Lorraine & Gale Terrell with Barb & Bernie Budzynski.

Gale Terrell brought two four-note train whistles, accurately tuned for two specific rail lines.  He powered them with an old Electrolux vacuum cleaner.  These created quite a stir when Hale fired them up.

Picnic pictures in the photo section of this Newsletter were all taken by John Skaggs’ wife, Sara.  A piece of good fortune, because the Newsletter Editor had forgotten to bring a camera, and the Club Photographer forgot to come to the picnic.

Thanks, Guys, for all your help!



MAQUOKETA, IOWA.  The annual International Woodcarving Congress and Competition went on during the week of June 12.  Several of our Club members were enrolled in carving classes there ... Don Stansfield, David Arraguine, Larry Christenson, Bob Capion, and Rosalie Wesley.  We expect to see their work at the next Show & Tell.

Ted Peters, Lorraine & Gale Terrell, and Jeff Hartman with his Mother drove over to Maquoketa to check out the show and competition winners.

One of the notable comments to come back from the show involved the four=foot statue carved by Mt. Cogelow.  It was reported that he had a price of $157,000.00 on that carving!

If anyone comes back with pictures of our carvers in action, maybe we can get some in the Newsletter.



PAULOWNIA WOOD may be known to a few of our members.  However, many of us have never even heard of it, let alone carved any.

Don Stansfield brought to the Newsletter an article from Chip Chats, May/June 2010.  In this article, Paul Ward, of the New England Wood Carvers Association, reported on his experience with a piece of paulownia wood.  Mr. Wood reported as follows:

It carves quite easily when fresh and still wet with sap.  Mr. Wood let the piece dry a few days, then tried some carving.  Then he let it dry some more before carving some more.  He went on in a similar fashion alternating between carving and drying until he felt he had enough experience to offer some valid conclusions.

When wet, paulownia carves as easily as seasoned eastern white pine, sugar pine, or Tyrolean pine.  (He says, ”These are the best carving softwoods in the world.”)

When partially dry, he compares it to catalpa or the sapwood of poplar - not the heartwood of poplar, which is quite similar to basswood.  He said that it carved much like a lightweight hardwood such as aspen.

When thoroughly dry, it shows a rather coarse characteristic, with some resistance to slicing.  And, while it has a nice grain, like butternut, and should finish well, it doesn’t carve as nicely as butternut, walnut, or some mahoganies.  He feels that it should be classified as carvable, because “all wood can be carved.”

 carved flower


THE WOODBURNING CLASS with Sharon Bechtold that Bob Capion was trying to put together is on temporary hold.  Things just have not come together yet.

There were 8 signed up and she may find that sufficient.  Bob is looking for a date that will work and is leaning toward the 29th or 30th of June but will need confirmation from Kenrock.  We are looking at a one day class for around $90 to $92.  More information will be coming out when it’s available. 



CARVE & CRUISE the CARIBBEAN.  There is an ad at the end of this Newsletter that promotes a Caribbean Cruise with a special carving seminar.  This info was “generously” provided to us be the travel agent who is selling cruise tickets.



ELAINE TERRELL announced that there is a plan afoot among some of the Club wives to publish a Blackhawk Woodcarvers Cookbook.  This has been talked about for a few years, and now it looks like it’s going forward.  The books will be sold as a fund-raiser for the Club.

Johanna Backer has volunteered to do the pre-printing writing on a computer when they get the recipes collected, (Ed Note: In case you’re not familiar with this kind of work, it’s a real bear of a job.  Johanna is valiant to volunteer.)

The plan is to accumulate at least one family recipe from each member.  For example, Marshall Field is famous for his baked beans.  Carl Hicks makes a dynamite potato salad.  Tod Wisner claims to have developed a really good dry rub for grilling bar-b-cue pork loin.  And so forth -

You get the idea.  Please help by donating a recipe. (Or two. Or three -) Give them to Elaine or Dona Wisner or any Club officer.




JEFF POHL was our Club President in 1998.  Unfortunately, there is no photo available in our files. 



LIFE-SIZE photo of Don Stansfield holding the flower he carved.





7/7 - Dona Wisner

7/16 - Isabella Larson

7/21 - Tod Wisner

7/22 - Jerome Mais




KUBBAR DU?  That’s Swede for, “Do you do kubb?”  (A Scandinavia lawn game, pronounced “koob,” a somewhat distant kin to Italian bocce.)

Swedish Historical Society had a successful Midsommer Fest on Saturday, June 18.  Just like last year, Blackhawk Woodcarvers helped by conducting soap carving lessons in the Kids’ Activity tent.  Club President Gary Lundquist, was backed up by Tony Valdez, Jerome Mais, Lonnie Hayes, and Dona & Tod Wisner,

 At a special demonstration tent, Bob Coleman, Bob Hallstrom, & Ray Olson demonstrated actual woodcarving in the morning. Will Rottman replaced Bob Coleman after lunch, because Bob had a Clown Job that afternoon.  Ray Olson sold his handsome Santa Claus carving.

(Check out the cover of the GO Section of the Monday June 20 edition Rockford Register Star, also see pictures in the photo section of this Newsletter.)

GORDY MOSCINSKI 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.

Basic tools will be provided the first week.  Students may order tools at that time for future classes.  The class is intended for those who want to have fun learning and practicing this handed‑down art form.

Details are in the Carving Class Column at the end of this Newsletter.

CUB SCOUT CARVING will be the next official outing for Blackhawk Woodcarving Club.  This is all-day affair in Alpine Park is on Friday, July 29.  We will be coaching the Scouts while they carve soap.  Gary Lundquist says that they have promised to feed us.  (Do they have any idea what they may be get6ting into?)

BOB MATTHEWS has a class at CLR that starts in September.  He is teaching a Teal Hen Duck.  The class will be conducted in the same fashion as the Goldfinch class Bob did for us on Wednesday mornings.  See Newsletter Section on Carving Classes for more information.




A diplomat -

Someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you look forward to the trip.




TONY VALDEZ spent four days in the hospital in early June for a mini-stroke problem.  Then, he was back in the hospital again for heart rhythm problems the day before working at the Swedish Midsommer Fest.  Even so, he was there to work with the kids.

Compared to Tony’s problems, DONA WISNER’S berserk sciatic nerve is small potatoes.




Wednesday, June 15, 2011

STEVE TERRILL read Secretary’s Report of minutes from the May meeting.  Report was accepted and approved as read.  42 members signed in as present at the June meeting.

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 no new members.  We have a total membership of 108 with 83 Active members and 25 associates.

Newsletter Editor, TOD WISNER, apologized to the membership in general for any hurt feelings or personal discomfort that may have been caused by the article in the June Newsletter.  He explained that all opinions expressed were his own, and not those of the Management.  He hopes this will preclude any further harassment of the Club Officers.

Librarian, BERNIE BUDZYNSKI, is currently chasing down 4 books.

Webmaster GORDY MOSCINSKI reports the on-Line Newsletter now has colored pictures, and they look really good.

BRIAN STEDER has brought in tools, wood, and printed materials to sell for the widow in Sycamore.  He may still have some left.

Respectfully Submitted

Steve Terrill,           Secretary


* * *

There was no June Program Speaker.



SHOW & TELL - There was an interesting mix this month.

ELAINE TERRELL brought in three chip-carved plates that really took youre breath away - the eagle plate had details that made it look like real feathers.  There was a lovely landscape plate, and a plate with a painted Indian motif which had won a prize in competition.

STEVE TERRILL showed a golf ball face, neatly mounted in a PVC mounting.

WILL ROTTMAN showed the leaf relief carvings he did for the Show Frames Bvob Capion is working on.

FRANK LAY had perhaps the most interesting of all Show ‘n Tell items.  He brought in a sharpening system he had made.  There was such a crowd ariynd it that you could not get in.  There’s a pretty good picture of it in the phoyo section of this Newsletter.




Business Meetings & Special Events -

ð July 13 - Show & Tell

July 20 - Business & Program

July 27- Quarterly Carve-Along

ð August 10 - Show & Tell

August 17 - Business & Program

August 20 - Blackhawk Carving Club Show & Compete @ Tebala Center

ð September 14 - Show & Tell

September 21 - Business & Program, Wrap-up report on the Annual Show

ð October 12 - Show & Tell

October 19 - Business & Program, Select 2012 Nominating Committee

October 26 - Quarterly Carve-Along

ð November 9 - Show & Tell

November 16 - Business Meeting, Announce Club Member of the Year, Slate of officers nominated for 2012

ð December 14 - Show- Tell

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

NEW YEAR -   2012

ð January 11 -Show & Tell

January 18 - Business & Program

January 25 - Quarterly Carve-Along

ð February 9 - Show & Tell

February 16 - Business & Program

ð March 9 - Show & Tell

March 16 - Business & Program

ð April 6 - Show & Tell

April 20 - Business & Program

April 27 - Quarterly Carve-Along

ð May 11 - Show & Tell

May 18 - Business & Program

ð June 8 - Show & Tell

June 15- Business & Program



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.

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.

Sept 20-Nov 17, Rockford, IL  Gordy Moscinski will be teaching a beginning carving class at CLR.  Call 815-921-3930



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, or

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,



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 77 Active Members, 24 Associate Members, 11 Friends of Blackhawk, and 4 Carving Magazines Total = 116.  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.”

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