Blackhawk Carving Club
Rockford, Illinois 61109
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The Blackhawk Woodcarver

Volume XXIV, Issue 8,  August 2017

Presidents Report

This month I have been doing the one thing that I really enjoy doing other than looking at my Carving magazines and that is watching other carvers carve.

While reading a magazine article, written by a great woodcarver, on how to carve one of his projects with pictures of some of the steps can be helpful, its sometimes difficult to understand just how did he accomplish a particular step. This is when I have found that a video would have helped. I realize that most carvers don’t video record their carving processes. Some do, and sell them, but some are expensive. Examples are Figure Carving Scandinavian Style with Harley Refsal and Carving & Painting and American Kestral with Floyd Scholz (which is in our library).

Another process that I use is on the computer. It is to watch Carvers carve something on YouTube. I have been surprised at the number of videos you can find on woodcarving subjects. There are subjects like Wood Carving for Beginners and Advanced Wood Carving. There are even videos of Power Carving (for instance, Carving with a Dremel). There are subjects like Wood Carving Tool Making. Just like the class that Denny Neubauer did in which we got to make our own carving knifes. There are videos which show how to sharpen and care for your tools.

I don’t necessarily look for something I want to make but to see how they, other carvers, do it. I like to see how they decide which tools they want to use to accomplish their carving. How they layout the project on the wood and how they rough it out. The step by step operations in producing the final project is very interesting. Many of these carvers will also show how they paint their finished projects.

There are videos where you can just view pictures of carvings if you wish. Wandering around in YouTube can be interesting. But don’t forget about that project you have, it is waiting for you to spend some time working on it.

So --- Let the chips 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

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

September 6 open carving
September13 open carving
September 20 open carving and meeting
September 27 open carving

October 4 open carving
October 11 open carving
October 18 open carving and meeting
October 25 open carving

November 1 open carving
November 8 open carving
November 15 open carving and meeting
November 22 open carving
November 29 open carving

December 6 open carving
December13 open carving
December 20 open carving and meeting
December 27 open carving


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 

The Woodcraft Shop, Bettendorf, Iowa

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

Rock River Valley Show

The Rock River Valley show in Janesville.  Applications for a table are available.  The show will be Saturday September 9 from 10-4.  See Jerome Mais for applications.

I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks, so I wondered what do Chinese mothers use - toothpicks?


August Birthdays (that we know about)

    1   Richard Prutz
    8   Elane Terrell
   14  Hervell Fuse
   14  Judy Englund
   28  Dennis Neubauer

 Blackhawk Carving Club Minutes July 2017

Minutes of the regular monthly business of Blackhawk Woodcarvers; held on July 19, 2017 at 3218 Eleventh Street, Rockford, Illinois.

Jerome Mais opened the meeting at 9:03 AM. 

Jerome started with asking if there were any announcements.  Bob Matthews noted that he had a message from Roger Benedict.  Roger has wood (basswood) that was 4x8x8ft.  Bob is still awaiting confirmation on the dimensions. 

There were no further announcements.

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

John Skaggs, Treasurer, reported on our financial situation.  We continue to be solvent. 

Dona Wisner reported on Petty Cash and we continue to have enough money to buy cookies.  She also reported that our coffee pot is dying.  John Skaggs authorized her to purchase a new one.  She is working with Elaine Terrell in searching for a pot that will fit our space. 

Chuck Drewes reported that Gary McGraw is a new member as of last week. 


Old Business:  Tyrone was not present to report on the Facebook page. 

Jerome passed on information that the Christmas Party has begun meeting. 

Jerome spent the last month trying to find the Repair person at Sacred Heart about the door and was not successful in finding him.  He will continue to work on that. 


New Business:  There was none.


The meeting was concluded at 9:16.
Show and tell
The meeting was closed at 9:21. 


Respectfully Submitted

Steve Terrill


  Club Officers       (815 area code)
President - Jerome Mais,  398-7904
Vice Pres. -
Tyrone Johnsen, 397-9274
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

Picnic - Gary Lundquist

Soap Carving –Gary Lundquis

Passed Treasured Carvings

Again, as a reminder, 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 carvings 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!

Jerome Mais

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.

Deadline for the news for the next newsletter is September 6, 2017

Basswood Boards

 I have three basswood boards to give away---4 x 8 inches and 4 foot long, and in good shape.  If any interest check with me at 815. 988. 3314.




How Gordy got started

I would love to hear from more members on how they started carving. While waiting for others to tell their story, I will tell mine.

I was born and raised in Rockford and became a journeyman carpenter after spending ten years as a computer programmer. I had always enjoyed working with wood and tools.  Coming from a family with six children, I learned to make my own toys including soap box cars, rubber band airplanes, and any other ideas I could get from Triad Toys on Broadway. As I got older and married, I started refinishing and restoring old furniture.  This led to an interest in adding decorations to the walls.  At the time, there were crafters making pictures on boards that outlined in relief a picture and then it was painted.  This idea got my interest in doing more than just the outline, more relief carving, but I didn’t know how to go about it.  I found a Boy Scout book at the library that show basic carving patterns.  At that early time there weren’t many other pattern books available.  That was in the early 80’s.

About that same time, I saw a carved baby shoe that looked realistic and well worn and I just had to try my hand at carving one like it. That was my first in the round carving.  I was hooked.  My sister lived in Decorah, IA, and the Nordic Fest became a yearly event just to see carvers in action. I traveled to MN to take a class with Ivan Willock who introduced me to gouges. Up to that time I had mainly used white pine 2 x 4’s to carve and knives.  I joined the Woodworkers club which also met at Kenrock and found others interested in carving.  I was asked to instruct a class in beginning carving.  That was in the late 80’s. 

I taught adult education classes at Rock Valley spring and fall sessions for the next several years.  In 1993 there seemed to be an interest in the formation of a Woodcarving club, separate from the woodworking club, so postcards were sent out to all that had taken classes and a meeting was held.  Fifty-five people attended that first meeting! Thus the start of Blackhawk Woodcarvers Club.

Challenging myself has always been a goal.  I have not limited myself to one type of carving and have experimented with a variety of woods but have found basswood and butternut to be my favorite.  Projects for the grandchildren have included a four-foot glider carved horse, a complete farm with carved animals, and lately I used veneers to carve a butterfly and dragonfly. 

The latest effort to continue the art of carving is the Boulder Junction WI Musky Area Woodcarvers workshop which my wife and I organize each year with 13 instructors and over 100 participants carving with hand tools instead of power. I hope that I never stop learning and experimenting.

Gordy Moscinski


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

No pictures were taken of the show and tell items.

Bernie Budzynski showed a woodburned plaque of  his (daughter’s) house in Norridge, IL that he both burned and colored.  He had a picture of the house and it is a realistic copy of the picture.  Bernie also showed a nice plaque of an owl woodburned and lodged inside of a large egg shaped gourd with doors cut and hinged to make a show place. 

Jerome showed the Stellar Jay he carved like the one for his sister in Colorado.  She reciprocated by making a quilted bird for Jerome that he showed. 

Elaine Terrell showed a chip carved and painted plate that was her first chip carving in the year 2000.  She entered it as a beginner in that year’s show.  The judge (a club member) told her that she did not belong in the Beginner’s class. 


Tips and Tricks    Jigs and Twigs

Many of you have  figured out some easy or unique way of helping out your carving.  For example,  using a red pen when transferring a pattern on to the wood so you can see where you have drawn.

Send me some of your tips.  Pictures would help show it even better.

TIP: After you paint a carving and the grain raises, rub it with a soft cloth and it should get rid of the fuzzes.

Gordy Moscinski 


Why, why, why do we press harder on the remote control when we know the batteries are getting weak?



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