Blackhawk Carving Club
Rockford, Illinois 61109
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The Blackhawk Woodcarver

Volume XXIV, Issue 4,  April 2017

Presidents Report

FYI: I’m Jerome Mais, President of the Blackhawk Woodcarvers Club 2017. I was born and raised in Wausau Wisconsin and grew up near the base of the ski area on Rib Mountain (the ski area is now known as Granite Peak). Graduated from Wausau High School in 1962 and continued my education at the Wausau Technical Institute, graduated in 1964. There I received an Associate Degree in Electronics Technology. Note, this was the age of the vacuum tubes, transistors, and the introduction of the integrated circuit. There was a lot of talk about the wave of Digital Electronics. Boy, we have come a long way since then.

I got my first and only job here in Rockford, Il. at the Barber Colman Co. I have enjoyed working there for over 39 years.

After retiring I joined the Rock Valley College CLR (Center for Learning in Retirement) Program. There, for fun, I took some classes with Gordy Moscinski and Don Stansfield on woodcarving for beginners and finally joining the club in 2009. And the rest is history.

Speaking of history, I would like to have our club members start bringing in along with regular SHOW and TELL items, some of your carvings that you have treasured from the past. We all have carving packed away or setting on a shelf that no one has seen for years except our spouses. I will have an extra table set up so we can show our favorites on the Wednesdays that we have our meetings!

So---- Let the chip fly and see you at the club!

Jerome Mais

Blackhawk Carving Club

P. O. Box 8285 Rockford, IL 61126
Open Carving every Wednesday (8:30-11am).  Ken Rock Community Center (Sacred Heart Academy, Multi-purpose room) 3218 Eleventh St, Rockford, IL 61109
Business Meeting; third Wednesday. 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.”

Club Activity Schedule

April 5 open carving
April 12 open carving
April 19 open carving and meeting
April 26 open carving

May 3 open carving
May 10 open carving
May 17 open carving and meeting
May 24 open carving
May 31 open carving

June 7 open carving
June 14 annual picnic (see article right below)
June 21 open carving and meeting
June 28 open carving

July 5 open carving
July 12 open carving
July 19 open carving and meeting
July 26 open carving

August 2 open carving
August 9 open carving
August 16 open carving and meeting
August 23 open carving
August 30 open carving

The Blackhawk Woodcarvers annual picnic

The picnic will be held on Wednesday, 14 June 2017, from 3:00pm until dusk at Baum Park in Cherry Valley, IL.  We will be at the pavilion by the tennis courts.  No grills will be provided other than the ones at the pavilion, if anyone wants to use them please contact Tony DaVita and he will provide charcoal and starter. The club will provide soft drinks and water.

submitted by; Gary Lundquist

The Woodcraft Shop, Bettendorf, Iowa

Denny Neubauer, sharpening class and carving miniatures. Saturday and Sunday: April 8 and 9, 2017  - $95.00.
John Engler, medium relief woodcarving. Friday to Sunday: May 26, 27, and 28, 2017 - $185.00.
Josh Guge, realistic bird carving and painting.  Friday to Monday: September 15, 16, 17 and 18, 2017 –  $270.00 + a $20.00 material fee.

For more information call toll-free 800-397-2278 or go to

Musky Area Wood Carvers Workshop

August 15-18, 2017 in Boulder Junction, Wisconsin. Teachers include: Wes Spadgenske, Dan Haack, Bob Harris, Echo Keller, Sophie Kubisiak, David Kublank, Gordy Moscinski, Denny Neubauer, Elaine & Fred Stenman, Greg Wirtz, James Thalacker, Dorthy Huse and Lee Belanger.  For the full layout go to 

Wednesday Coffee

Dona Wisner does a fine job of providing coffee and treats for the club members each week.  Please continue to support the coffee fund by contributing a donation each week if you participate.

Thank you Dona for a job well done.

Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?

Pelican by Bob Matthews

I have always enjoyed woodworking and wildlife. I have carved many other types of birds; however, this time I decided to try my hand at carving a pelican. I referenced a copy of National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America and settled on the West Coast Brown Pelican in breeding colors. The field guide was full of information about size, feather and eye color, and range. My next step was to surf the web to find additional photos that showed side/back profiles, contours, and feather details.  After gathering the images, I was able to begin developing my pattern.  Basswood was selected for the project because it is tight grained, resists splitting, and carves easily. The head and body are carved separately and then joined together. This enabled me to conserve wood and the pieces were easier to handle during carving. I used both power and hand carving tools and sandpaper to round the wood, develop contours, and relieve the major feather groups. The head and body were textured with a Detail Master wood burner and a Gesswein high-speed grinder.  The bird was finished with a Gesso base and airbrushed with acrylic paint. The paint was applied with a Testors Aztek 470 airbrush, with a fine nozzle, to finish the bird. I find it was easy to use, light in weight, and sensitive to the touch. Final touch-up was done by paintbrush. A clear satin Krylon finish was used to protect the paint and add a little shine.


Bob Matthews
My name is Bob Matthews. I am retired and live with my wife Karen in Belvidere Illinois. We moved here in the spring of 2000 after having lived in Roselle Illinois for 24 years. I retired from United Airlines in 1998 after 40 years of service. My wife and I have two children, five grandchildren, and one great grandchild. 
I have always enjoyed woodworking and wildlife. I started carving waterfowl in the fall of 1979 and I haven't stopped. My first carving was developed from a kit, it is crude, however, I still have it and it is signed and numbered. Early on I attended several seminars with master carvers to improve my skills and understanding of the craft. Today after 30 some years I am still learning and striving to improve my work. If you study one of my finished pieces, you will notice that I do not attempt to improve on Mother Nature! My goal for each carving is that it should represent the species in attitude, shape, and coloring.
Over the years I have expanded my artistic skills to include Song Birds, Birds of Prey, Relief Carvings and Cottonwood Bark Carvings. The carving of a piece of Cottonwood Bark is just fun and that there is little rhyme or reason to it. I call them whimsical. As
for my Relief carving, I am just getting started and use birds for subject matter.

To see additional examples of my work, visit my website at

Roger Benedict's class “low relief” of a plum branch.

Show and Tell pictures by Larry Clark and comments by Steve Terrill



Carrie Lay brought in 4 wonderful woodburned plaques of a fantasy house, flower and barn and a colorized Butterfly



Frank Lay brought in a snake carving/woodburning of a snake with 723 scales.  It looks very realistic.  It is displayed on driftwood. 


Jim Foster brought in two relief carvings, the first from Roger’s class and the second, a flower that he did after the class with what he learned from the class. 


Chuck Drewes brought in an Owl pin he carved for a friend out of Mahogany.


Louie Jurisch brought in his leaf/plum carving from Roger’s class. 


Phyllis Hogberg did a very good job wood burning this horse .


Club Officers       (815 area code)
President - Jerome Mais,  398-7904
Vice Pres. -
Treasurer - John Skaggs, 547-6951
Secretary -
Steve Terrill,  708-0471

Committees   (815 area code)
Photographer - Larry Clark, 262-9982
Membership  - Chuck Drewes, 985-8575
Librarian - Bernie Budzynski
Petty Cash - Dona Wisner

Webmaster and  Newsletter Editor- Gordy Moscinski, 874-7978
Newsletter Publisher, Gary Johnson 399-1697
Historian - Elaine Terrell 765-2886
Programs - Bob Matthews 544-2359 & Denny Neubauer 515-508-9524

Christmas Party - Gary Lundquist
Picnic - Gary Lundquist

Soap Carving –Gary Lundquis

Deadline for the news for the next newsletter is May 3, 2017.

Blackhawk Carving Club Minutes March 2017

Minutes of the regular monthly business of Blackhawk Woodcarvers; held on March 15, 2017 at 3218 Eleventh Street, Rockford, Illinois.

Jerome Mais opened the meeting at 9:04.  Welcome back Jerome!

Jerome gave a mini recap of Bob Matthews’s wife’s stroke and miraculous recovery with immediate surgery at UW Madison which reversed all signs of the stroke. 

Jerome Mais then related his experience with his wife’s mother’s stroke in early February and her subsequent passing later in February and their involvement in details of her estate. 

Jerome is now ready to go!

Steve Terrill read the Minutes of the previous meeting.  The minutes were approved.

John Skaggs thinks we are solvent and quoted some numbers.  He did write a check to Bob Hallstrom for money he put into the club when it was insolvent that has not yet been paid back. 

Dona Wisner reported on Petty Cash and we are still solvent. 

Chuck Drewes reported that we have a couple of new members.  Nancy Mayfield joined but has not come back.  New member Ray Pederson was introduced to the group.  We have removed 20 people from the membership roles who have not paid since 2014. 

Old Business:  Roger Benedict had a suggestion for the show.  What if we still have a carving show for friends and family and it would be like a show and tell and have it at the club room. 

There was also a suggestion from Jerome that we have a Christmas Show and Tell so our spouses who come can see what we do. 

Jerome has been thinking about Show and Tell and thinks we should bring in past carvings to display at a separate table. 

Roger Benedict welcomed Gary Curl back.  His surgery was fine but he threw a pulmonary embolism.  They say it will take 6 months until he is really healed. 

New Business:  Tod asked if we have a committee and chair for the Christmas Party.  Not yet.  Jerome said that we also need a committee to replace the Vice President. 

June 14 will be the Picnic and the building has been rented. 

The meeting was closed at 9:32. 

Respectfully Submitted

Steve Terrill


April Birthdays (that we know about)

   9  Larry Clark    
 10 Franklin Johnson

 19 John Skaggs

  21  Bunny Nordheim
25  Marjorie Simonds

Door Prizes
Don't forget the Door Prize drawing on First Wednesdays. Bring something you don't need or want anymore, but know someone would be thrilled to win at the drawing.



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