Blackhawk Carving Club
Rockford, Illinois 61109
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Blackhawk Woodcarver

Volume XVIII, Issue 6, June 2011



Karren and Gary

Gary Lundquist and Karen Hammarberg discuss Blackhawk Woodcarver's part in Swedish Historical Society Midsommer Fest. (see News story here)


See you Wednesday,

Gary Lundquist



KAREN HAMMARBERG, from the Swedish Historical Society and the Erlander Home Historical Museum, was the featured speaker at our May meeting.  She gave us background on the Swedish cultural activities in Rockford, and told about the coming Midsommer Fest to be held Saturday, June 18.

Midsommer Fest is an old, old Swedish custom to celebrate the longest day of the year.  It traditionally features lots of food, music, singing and dancing.  In Rockford, they shut off some of the streets by the Erlander Home on south Third Street.  The Chicago Nordic Dancers’ folk dance group puts on a lovely demonstration, and leads the Maypole Dance.  Of course, there is the food pavilion, and craftspeople with their individual tents.

Last year, Blackhawk Woodcarvers highlighted the children’s craft activities with our always fun soap carving class.  We have been invited to do it again this year.  President Lundquist will have a sign-up sheet available.

Karen suggested that perhaps the Club might like to have a demonstration booth.  Members could be doing actual carving of traditional Swedish objects.  Dala horses, spoons, ale bowl, flat-plane caricatures, Christmas tree decorations like a tompte, etc.  It would not be amiss for the member doing the carving to have some of their own finished carvings on display. (For sale.)  Naturally, the demonstration booth would have recruitment materials for signing up new members.

You should know that Karen Hammarsberg is a full-fledged member of the Blackhawk Woodcarvers Club.  She is also one of the honchos at the Erlander Museum, and is talking with Gordy Moscinski about getting a woodcarving class going there.  (Ed Note: Swedish flat‑plane carving, perhaps?)

PS - Did anyone get to the Kubb  matches Saturday, May 21?  This Swedish game is similar to lawn bowling, or bocci.



PLEASE NOTE CHANGES in the Club Activity Schedule.  There have been some messy occasions in the past where we crammed Show & Tell and Club Carve-Along and program speakers and the Business Meeting all into the same day.  And then, when you added a coffee & potty break, confusion ensued, and the speaker would sometimes seem like an afterthought.  It’s not too bad for Club members, but it’s extremely rude to the program speaker.

This rudeness can be avoided by scheduling some of these activities on their own special day.  For example, Show & Tell is a really interesting function.  Carvers talk briefly about their work ... is it a special kind of wood; were there some distinctive finishing methods; were there any special carving techniques required; and etc.  This takes time, but it’s important enough to deserve all the time it takes.

The other activity that deserves its own time is the quarterly Club Carve-Along, where we all get to work on the same special, interesting carving project at the same time.  It’s always fun, but you don’t do this in five minutes!

These changes are reflected in the Activity Schedule.  We can try this system for a while to see how it works for us.

There may be some Business Meeting where we do not have a program speaker.  In such a case, we will simply have a short meeting.  The Quarterly Club Carve-Along is not chiseled in stone. (Or carved in wood)  If we have one, OK.   If not, that’s OK too.

The Club’s overarching purpose is to make us happy to belong, and enjoy our times together.... And that’s a good thing.




Shotgun wedding - a case of wife or death




DON’T FORGET THE PICNIC!  Tuesday, June 14, Sinnissippi Park pavilion, across the road from the golf clubhouse.  4PM - 6PM.  Bring your meat to cook on the grill, also your own table settings and your dish to pass.  The Club furnishes grills, charcoal, ice, and beverages.



GO MAKE A DUCK!  Create a Teal hen duck with Bob Matthews.  He will be teaching a class at Rock Valley College’s Center for Learning in Retirement this Fall.  (Affectionately known as “CLR”) Class starts Thursday, September 15, 1pm to 4, and will run for a total of six sessions.

While the course will be listed for “Advanced Carvers,” Bob says that in his opinion, all members of our Club could handle the project without any trouble at all.  This will be presented in the same format as the Goldfinch class he taught in our Club sessions.  And that one was quite well received.

Students will create this lovely little bird from start to finish in the six-week course.  They will learn proportions, shape, carving, woodburning the feathers, and the final painting.

They will be expected to bring their own carving tools (gouges & knives), woodburning set, paint brushes, and $25 for the body and head blanks.  Bob will provide all the paints for the project.

Class size is limited to twelve.  If you’re interested, call CLR at 815-921-3930 to register.  Naturally, there is a CLR fee in addition to the duck blank charge.




Franlin JohnsonFRANKLIN W. JOHNSON was the second president of the Blackhawk Woodcarvers.  He served the Club for three terms.  1995, 1996, and 1997.  We are proud of you, Franklin, thank you.  He is such a modest and quiet gentleman that you would hardly notice him at the Wednesday carving sessions.  But he’s usually there. 





No June babies.

  September must be a slow month,










Roger Benedict’s relief carving class at The Clearing in Door County starts in June.

Bob Matthew will start teaching his  Teal Hen classes at CLR in September.

For details, see the Carving Classes section later in this Newsletter.




I heard a lady say, “There are only two kinds of old men ... dirty old men, and the dead ones.”  Can you believe that?




CONDOLENCES to Judy Suit on recent loss of her husband, Lou.  Some of our older Club members may remember Lou was also an accomplished woodcarver.

TOM BACKER started back May 4 to Wednesday carving again It’s been a long time, Tom!  It’s great to see you again.

EMILE LeBEAU is coming along, but still not driving himself in to carving.

OZZIE WEBB is skipping our Wednesday morning carving sessions to take care of his granddaughter.  We miss you, Ozzie.

FRANKLIN JOHNSON has been missing Wednesday morning carving sessions, because he was caring for his wife, Lois, who suffered a heart attack in April.   She has had some severe complications since then, and is now in the Debes Recovery Center.




Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Secretary’s Report was presented by Steve Terrill, and approved as read.

Treasurer’s report was read by John Skaggs and approved as read.  Details are available to active members on request.

Petty Cash report was presented by Dona Wisner.  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 noted that the  policy “no dues, no Newsletter” started with the May issue.

Librarian Bernie Budzynski reported that he is currently chasing down 4 books.

Don Stansfield reported that registrations are coming in for the Show.  He encourages us to get started thinking about what we will enter in the show (competition).  Don now has some blades without handles and some intermediate sized bent tools for relief carvers.  Don passed around a code sheet for internet browsing for seniors.  For example LOL means Living on Lipitor.  FYI means Found Your Insulin. For a copy, just ask Don. 

Tony DeVita says that George K_potas is living now down in Kings, IL, and has moved his carvings to storage there. (John Skaggs knows the town - it is the big one where The Railroad crosses The Highway.)

[For those who may not know him, George K_potas is a rough old duffer, and a former member of our Club.  He’s a Greek immigrant who specialized in life-size carvings.  He lived for a long time a short way south of Rockford, just off  I‑39.  He moved to Dodgeville, WI, several years ago; and subsequently spent some time in a nursing home up there.]

Brian Steder brought in pictures of  tools that belonged to the late husband of a lady in Sycamore.  She wants to sell the stuff, and Brian is trying to help.  Brian showed tool pictures on the large TV screen after the meeting. 

Bob Capion is trying to put together the woodburning class with Sharon Bechtold.  Eight members have signed up, and she may find that sufficient.  Bob is looking for a date that will work.  He is leaning toward the 29th  or 30th of June, and is waiting for confirmation from Kenrock on availability of the room.  A one day class will cost around $90 to $92. More information will be coming.

Larry Clark has two DVD’s.  One is a Power Point presentation that must run on a computer, and the other is a photo CD review of our Club’s 2010 show.  Both will be available in the Club Library.  He has another bunch of pictures from Bob Matthews’ Goldfinch Carving Class that he hopes to convert to a DVD.  (John Skaggs pointed out the Finch he carved, that is just outside of our window on the Cross.  He says that he carved the whole nest, including strings, out of basswood.  ;-)

President Gary Lundquist plugged our Club cups, patches and decals.

Dona Wisner reported that Lisa Hanus is  pictured with her Native Dragon Flute in the last issue of Chip Chats, but they got her last name misspelled.

The RRStar Go Section, Monday, May 16, showed a picture of Wes Englund carving a dragon, along with a notice about Blackhawk Woodcarvers.  Wes offered to autograph pictures after the meeting.   Tony DeVita is a little put out that he comes every week to carving; while Wes, who goes to Texas every year for several months, gets all the fame.

Bob Capion reported that he has put out some patterns for relief carvings of leaves he wants done for the show.  He asked for people to sign up, pick a pattern, take it home and do it.  He wants carvings turned in unfinished.  They will then be finished as a group, with subtle colors, so they look like they belong to the same set.  He has some picture frames with special spaces for photos.  Bob will fasten the leaf carvings in place of photos.  These will then be used to raise money at the Show in August.

* * *

The meeting adjourned at 09:32, setting a worlds record for short meetings.   

* * *

The Speaker after the meeting was Karen Hammarberg talking about Swedish Heritage, the Erlander Museum on So. 3rd St, and their Midsommer Fest, June 18th.




carved cane

Carl Hicks carved a fine cane out of red cedar.  (That’s tough stuff to carve!)  He is donating it to the Club for the Show raffle.

carved chickadees

Bob Matthews brought in a handsome pair of Chickadees mounted on a branch.  The branch is, in turn, is mounted on a base of carved leaves.

leaf carving

Frank Lay had a large relief leaf carving in black walnut.


carved leaf 

Wes England, of RRStar fame, carved a leaf out of a piece of scrap maple left over from a table he made.


carved hobo 

Art Sinden had a handsome little caricature carving of a guy with a cigar in his mouth. 




Business Meetings & Special Events -

ð  June 8 - Show & Tell

June 14 - Our Club Picnic

June 15- Business & Program

June 18 - Swedish Midsommer Fest

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

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



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.

June 13-19, Maquoketa, IA.  Many classes on many subjects all taught by  internationally-known Master Carvers.   These fill up fast.  If you’re interested, don’t delay.  For an information packet, call Larry Yudis at 563-676-8264 

June 19-25, Ellison Bay, WI, Jun The Clearing Folk School, featuring Roger Benedict teaching relief carving.  Please call 877-854-3225 for more information.

September 15-

Bob Matthews Teal hen.



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

June 17-20, Maquoketa, IA.  Affiliated Woodcarvers, Ltd.  (PO Box 104 Bettendorf, IA, 52722) presents the Annual Woodcarvers’ Congress at Jackson County Fairgrounds, 1212 East Quarry St.  Admission charged.  For  more details, call  Larry Yudis, 563-350-9684

June 18-19, Coon Valley, WI, Coulee Region Woodcarvers 15th Annual Show at Norskedalen Nature Heritage Center , call 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,




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 Mmbers, 11 Friends of Blackhawk, 45 Carving Clubs. and 4 Carving Magazines Total = 137.  Our Newsletter goes out USPO, First Class Mail, for most benefit to all.
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