Blackhawk Carving Club
Rockford, Illinois 61109
Home  January 2017   February 2017  March 2017  April 2017   May 2017   June 2017  July 2017  August 2017  September 2017  October 2017  November 2017  December 2017   old newsletters

The Blackhawk Woodcarver

Volume XXIV, Issue 6,  June 2017

Presidents Report

How did I join the Blackhawk Wood Carving Club

After living and working in Rockford for a number of years I got married and started raising a family.  I would play around with scrapes of wood that I acquired through normal home repair projects.  At age 50 I heard about a program at Rock Valley College for people 50 or older to continue their education into retirement CLR (Center for Learning in Retirement).  I acquired a current class catalog and saw that there was a class on How to Wood Carve.  It took a couple of years before I signed up and took a class offered by Gordon Moscinski  .  That was a great class.  Thanks Gordy!  This experience was followed by other classes offered by Gordy, Don Stansfield, and Bob Hallstrom and others.  Here, I was introduced to the existence of the Blackhawk Wood Carvers Club. 

After I retired in 2009, I joined the club.  Its been only eight years, eight fun filled - educational years.  I’m very surprised by the number of carvings I have finished and some of which I have placed around the home. 

Which brings us to today, and 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!
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.”


Why do people run over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it and then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?


Club Activity Schedule

June 7 open carving
June 14 annual picnic (see article 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

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


Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do, write to them?  Why don't they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the mailmen can look for them while they deliver the mail?


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

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.

Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?


How do those dead bugs get into the enclosed light fixtures?


June Birthdays (that we know about)

2  Dave Meyer                      10  Gary Johnson

Blackhawk Carving Club Minutes May 2017

Minutes of the regular monthly business of Blackhawk Woodcarvers; held on May 17, 2017 at 3218 Eleventh Street, Rockford, Illinois.

 Jerome Mais opened the meeting at 9:05. 

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

 John Skaggs reported little activity but we have had $75 in dues.  We are still solvent with some insurance payments recently.

 Dona Wisner reported on Petty Cash and we continue to be solvent.

 Chuck Drewes did not have a report. 

 Old Business:

 The Executive Committee met recently.  The money paid by Bob Hallstrom to deal with our past insolvency has been paid back.  The committee is working on reducing our excessive balance for a non-profit organization.  We are planning some constructive ways to spend the money. 

 Tod Wisner questioned whether the liability insurance could be dropped since we do not have a show this year.  John Skaggs reassured him that we need that liability insurance for our daily functioning as a club. 

 Tyrone Johnsen is now the new Vice President. 

 The Cub Picnic will be Wednesday June 14 at Bauman Park in Cherry Valley by the tennis courts.  Tony will bring charcoal and lighter fluid to use the grills at the park.  Tony asked if we want pop and or/water and the loudest answer was “Beer”.  The picnic is scheduled from 3 to 6. 

 New Business:

 Tyrone Johnsen proposed we have a Facebook page.  It is a way of getting known both locally and internationally.  There is no cost.  It is a place where we can post pictures and news items and blog about issues.  We can also share information we find on the internet that is relevant to woodcarving.  We can post information about conferences,  This is not intended to replace the website.  We could cancel at any time if it is not serving our purposes.  Tyrone will be an administrator and others could be a second administrator.  Larry Clark noted that we could also post old pictures by scanning them.  Tyrone currently has a Facebook page for his model train layout and has had thousands of hits to things he posts.  You Tube videos could be posted or a link posted.  It is important to not post or engage in long winded political debates, this will just be about woodcarving.  He made a motion to start a Facebook Page.  It was seconded and passed.  Denny Neubauer will act as a second administrator. 

 Tyrone also suggested that we make business cards for the club that we can pass out.  Steve showed the cards that Larry had made.  Vista Print will print 500 for us for about $10.  We will revisit this topic next month. 

 Gary Lundquist suggested we pursue having the door repaired.  John suggested that we need to approach the Sacred Heart about repairing the door before we offer to replace the door.  There was some discussion.  Jerome will talk to them and report back next month.

Jerome proposed that we work on reprinting out picture directory at this point. 

The meeting was closed at 9:53. 

Respectfully Submitted, 

Steve Terrill,

Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale?


 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


Why is it that, no matter what color bubble bath you use, the bubbles are always white?


Tyrone Johnsen, Vice President

I am relatively new to the Club and wood carving. I joined Blackhawk Woodcarvers late last Fall while enrolled in a beginners woodcarving class taught by Don Stansfield. I attended the class with my long time friend Larry Stenzel who I knew had been an active Club member. I have over the years attended some of the Club shows and have previously known some of the other members. I like arts and crafts and have always enjoyed seeing the creativity and craftsmanship of others.


My wife and I moved to Rockford when I started a job as an engineer at Sundstrand. I worked there for over 30 years and my wife recently retired from teaching in the Rockford schools. We have two adult children which still live in the Rockford area. I have many other interests and still very involved in model railroading and skiing.


My first remembrance of woodcarving was probably about the time I was in Boy Scouts and carved a sailboat with my jack knife out of a piece of some branch. I later remember carving a face which I gave to my father. I was happy with both pieces. I never thought about it but I did carve a six plus foot totem pole for my son and his Y Indian Guides tribe. I was inspired by our visit to Expo 86 in Vancouver, BC. I “carved” it using a circular saw and and standard (cheap) chisel and hammer. It still stands in the garden; well weathered. Then I carved a dog with my jack knife during a ski trip out of a piece of wood my friend Dave Donahue had brought along for me.


Finally, last Fall I decided to enroll in the carving class at RVC Learning in Retirement Center which was taught by Don Stansfield. I had never used a true carving knife. I really enjoyed it and decided to join the Club. I have since had the opportunity to make my own knife with Denny Neubauer and experience carving miniatures in a class by him. My latest experience was the panel carving class by Roger Benedict. His first class reminded me of how little I knew. Immediately I discovered I did not have any of the necessary carving equipment but never knew they existed. Fortunately, Roger immediately allowed me to use some of his. Bob Hallstrom was also kind enough to allow me to experience some of his tools and lend some guidance.


Although I am new to the Club and do not know all of you yet, I have enjoyed learning and seeing the variety of carving done by each of the members.


Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?

Why, in winter, do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat?


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


Deadline for the news for the next newsletter is July 5, 2017.


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.


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


Larry Clark brought in an old prize winning carving of a Rose in a Heart made out of Butternut.  He included a card saying; “If a Rose is a symbol of Love, let me open my heart and give this one to you”.  Nice Job Larry. 


Tony DaVita showed a Monk with a Cross and a Dove from 1969 that he carved.  He was not even sure how he carved it without a bandsaw or anything.  Good Job Tony. 



fantasy house     fantasy house     fantasy house

Bob Matthews showed a pair of Blue Tits that he carved this past winter (Asian birds) out of basswood.  He also carved and painted an Eastern Bluebird and a Northern Flicker.  He also carved a Fantasy house of Cottonwood Bark each house with a tree branch supporting it.  Great work, Bob


Chuck Drewes showed a shawl pin in a butterfly shape out of Zebra wood.  Nicely done. 


Elaine Terrell showed a Santa Carved Christmas Plate with chip carved “Merry Christmas” out of basswood,  Well done Elaine.


Larry Stenzel brought in an old carving from 1998.  It was an Eastern Chain Pickerel carved from Cedar.  He would like to repaint it now. 

 plaques  plaques

Bernie Budzinski showed two of the four plaques he carved for his 4 grandchildren graduating this year.  They were burned carved and painted with motivational messages out of tree cross sections. 


tree       tree

Richard Dunphey left the bark on several basswood branches from a fallen tree.  On one he carved a boy’s feet sticking out of a hollow log and on the other end a skunk half inside the log.  He had two more logs, one with a boy with binoculars on top and the other a boy playing hide and seek behind a tree.  Well done Richard


Tod Wisner showed 4 variations of Brother Anthony that Tony is so famous for carving.  He gives them away to friends and relatives who seem to need them.  He also carved a modern art piece which he calls, “Spoon”.  Go Tod

No Picture

Tyrone showed the relief carving of plums and leaves that he turned in to a plaque for Carol Burmeister who is retiring from heading up Vegetarians in Motion (VIM) for the past 30 years.  He had members sign on the back which he will seal and present to her. Nice idea, Tyrone. 





Home / Events / Newsletter / / Carving Show / History / Contact Us