Blackhawk Carving Club
Rockford, Illinois 61109
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The Blackhawk Woodcarver

Volume XXIV, Issue 4        April 2019

Blackhawk Carving Club

P. O. Box 8285 Rockford, IL 61126
Open Carving every Wednesday (
12:00 to 3:00pm).  Ken Rock Community Center, 3218 Eleventh St, Rockford, IL 61109
Business Meeting; third Wednesday of the month. Friends and spouses of carvers are  welcome to come to meet and visit. Carvers bring in finished carvings for “Show & Tell.”

Weekly Carving Session Time Changed!

Our weekly carving session meeting time has been changed from our Wednesday morning time period to Wednesday early afternoon, noon to 3:00 pm. This was done in an effort to cooperate with Ken-Rock and to eliminate or minimize the problem we have experienced with unexpected building availability. Ken-Rock has found it unsustainable to continue to open and staff the building in the mornings when they have no other reason than to open and man the building for our club. The new Ken-Rock policy will be to open the building by noon on weekdays.

Tyrone Johnsen

Presidents Report  April

Spring has arrived! No more snow – I hope! Less shoveling and chipping ice; and more time for carving.

That lead me to ask fellow member Roger Benedict: “What inspires us and what would constitute a ‘work of art’?” After staring at me with a look of contemplation, he replied:

“My hunch for most carvers, it is about a personal enjoyable pastime having goals influenced by an outside source; such as an experience, magazine, or a colleague carver.  On the other hand how many times have you heard the statement, ‘the art of carving’, and not given it any thought?   If you are like me there would be a typical response of probably very little. It seems to be a powerful phrase ‘in the art of’, that had me thinking about our Wednesday carving group.   As far as the word itself---art---I am not sure what significant influence that has with some woodcarvers?  However, how about a thought or two to explore how art-aspects influences woodcarving and realize it does exist during our Wednesday sessions.

During my years in the club I have seen many carved objects having to do with curiosity and inventive thinking. Whether or not any of this has art as a definition, it is the outstanding creativity that is often displayed.  For years I am continually amazed by the manner limits are exceeded and perhaps a risk was taken.  My appreciation is not just about how well carved was the subject, but also how well creativity and originality were provided. 

I would like to suggest the next time when viewing “show & tell” carvings look for the evidence that the carver accomplished within the art of creativity.  You will be surprised how much creativity lies below the surface of the carved cuts.  Thus, try not to take for granted it is just what you see---explore.”

Well, maybe soon I will be sitting on my back patio carving my “Octopus in Meditation Pose” or some other work of art (hopefully).               

Tyrone Johnsen with Roger Benedict

Club Activity Schedule

April 3 open carving
April 10 open carving
April 17 open carving and meeting
April 24 open carving

May 1 open carving
May 8 open carving
May15 open carving and meeting
May 22 open carving
May 29 open carving

June 5 open carving
June 11 Picnic at Bauman Park (see artic
le below)
June 12 open carving
June 19 open carving and meeting
June 26 open carving

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

May 1 open carving
May 8 open carving
May15 open carving and meeting
May 22 open carving
May 29 open carving

Blackhawk Woodcarvers annul picnic

The Blackhawk Woodcarvers annual picnic will be on 11 June 2019 at the Bauman Park Shelter from 3:00pm until sundown.  Attendees should bring their own lunch and may bring a dish to pass. The club will provide soft drinks and water. If you plan on grilling bring your own charcoal and lighter. There are grills available at the park.     
           Gary Lundquist

Mid-Wisconsin Chippers Annual woodcarving

The Mid-Wisconsin Chippers Annual woodcarving show is moving to the Oshkosh Convention Center in Oshkosh, Wisconsin this coming spring.  Our show date is Sunday May 5th.  The 2019 show is moving to a great venue that is about a 3 hour drive from Rockford with plenty of parking, a food concession, wood and tool vendors and we already have 33 tables registered.  A club table is $30 , and entitles six of your club members to have one entry each in the competition for judging.  A regular single artist table is also $30, but entitles that artist to 4 entries for judging. 
This year with our move to Oshkosh, we hope to see some Blackhawk Carvers here promoting their club and bringing their art to Oshkosh.  We always have many pyrographers too.  In addition, our club is sponsoring five upcoming classes. are in our December newsletter on our website with sign up forms and other information.   Betsy Popp will have a six day class on the Pygmy Owl (Feb. 28, March 1,2, 7,8, and 9).  Lee Belanger will teach a cottonwood bark carving class on a lighthouse (March 14, and 15).  One of your own, Denny Neubauer, of Denny Knife fame, will teach three classes: knife making on May 6th, Sharpening on May 7th, and carving "Little people" on May 8th. Please spread the word to your club and if anyone has any questions they should feel free to call me or send me an e-mail.
Thanks, Cedric Richeson, Secretary Mid-Wis. Chippers Woodcarving Club. e-mail tel. 920) 420-1225


Rock River Valley Carving Club

The 14th Annual RRVC Carvers of Wisconsin Show & Sale. Saturday, September 14, 2019, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Craig Center, The Rock County Fairgrounds, 1302 Craig Avenue

Janesville, Wisconsin 53545.  For more information,  Please contact: Reggie James - (608) 365-4281 or Brad Crandall - (608) 931-0188.    The chain saw carver is Zoli Akacsos, of Zoli's Woodcarving


Wisconsin River Woodcarvers

 19th Annual Woodcarving Show, Competition and Sale. September 21, 2019 – 9am to 5pm and September 22, 2019 – 9am to 4pm. The Holiday Inn, 1001 Amber Avenue, Stevens Point, Wisconsin 54482. Admission is $5.00. (Attendees 12 and under are free). For more information, contact: Ron O’Kray 715-341-2214  715-570-2534(cell),  Greg Wirtz 715-423-0471  715-323-2035(cell)


Facilities Relocation Committee Formed

President Tyrone Johnsen has formally appointed the following members to the relocation committee: Denny Neubauer, Bob Hallstrom, and Don Stansfield.  They will continue to investigate potential facilities which meet the club’s current needs including availability Wednesday mornings.


Original Members of our club in 1993

Gordy Moscinski, Tony Devita, Gale Terrell and
Larry Clark

Not pictured Judy Englund, Wes Englund and
Lonnie Hayes



Roger Benedict gave a slide presentation on the history of the furniture industry in Rockford, IL. It was very enlightening and interesting.


Gordy’s Class at CLR


Saw some familiar and some new faces at the Woodburning class at CLR.


Deadline for the news for the next newsletter is May 1, 2019


May Birthdays (that we Know of)

   1  Rosalie Wesley                          
  2  Roger Benedict              23  Jeanne Williams
 14 Wes Englund                 26  Chuck Drewes
 21 Bob Matthews                28  Art Valley
 22 Steve Terrell                  29  Sue Watson
 22 John Hartwig                 31  Colin Bystrom

Longtime blackhawk woodcarver Tom Backer has died.  Memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 30, 2019 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 3300 Rural Street, Rockford. Visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. until time of service Saturday at the church. Memorials may be made to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church or Hospice Care of America, 3815 N.           

 Steve Terrill


Just a note: Phyllis Schmitt wife of the late Sandy has passed away. Sandy was a club member for years, Phyllis attend most of our club functions. 

      Elaine Terrell

 The Woodcraft Shop is being sold

The Woodcraft Shop is being sold to a company in Beloit,  WI. The 800-397-2278 number will be the same- same na, same service just a different location. More details will follow on new store as  we get them.   Larry Yudis owner of The Woodcraft Shop passed away March 17 and his services were March 22.             
           Becky and Denny Neubauer



Like us on Facebook “Blackhawk Woodcarvers”.  Many pictures and information.

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.

Want to buy or sell

If you have anything that you would like to buy or sell send me an email and I will put it in the newsletter.   Gordy


Passed Treasured Carvings

At our monthly meetings members are encouraged to bring in SHOW and TELL items along with carvings that are tucked away from the past.  Even though you might be tired of looking at them, they may be teaching tools for others. Dust them off, bring them in!

Blackhawk Carving Club Minutes March 2019

Minutes of the regular monthly business meeting of Blackhawk Woodcarvers; held on March 20, 2019 at 3218 Eleventh Street, Rockford, Illinois.

President Tyrone Johnsen opened the meeting at 1:00 pm.

Secretary, Steve Terrill read the Minutes of the previous meeting February 19th.. The minutes were approved as read. 

Larry Stenzel reported that we are solvent and gave some numbers.

Membership:  Chuck Drewes reported that Larry Clark finally paid his dues now that the glaciers are gone and the waters have receded.  

Old Business:  Tyrone asked Tony about the progress of the picnic in June.  Tony believes the date is June 11 (NB the actual date is June 12, a Wednesday).  He believes that Gary Lundquist has already secured that date at Bauman Park. 

Last year we had an open house at the end of April.  We are not in a position to do that again this year.  Talking with John Guth, if there is a Ken Rock craft show, we may be able to tag on with that.  Nothing is settled at this point, but Tyrone suggests that if there is someone interested in pursuing that, he would appreciate that. 

Tyrone revisited the matter of the time change.  He noted that the time change is in violation of the bylaws and thus needs approval of the membership.  Because of Ken Rock’s personnel constraints previously discussed, Tyrone does not have a better solution to the time change.  If anyone is interested in finding a new venue for the woodcarvers so that we can return to morning carving they need to get all of the necessary information. 

Tyrone has had suggestion that we might change back to Mornings in the summer.  While that is a possibility, Tyrone is not personally in favor of repeated time changes.  This is not a closed issue. 

Louis suggested that we might change the bylaws to remove the specific time so we would not be in violation.  Tyrone opened the possibility of a motion to change the bylaws.  A show of hands was requested to see who can attend mornings and who can attend afternoons.  Louis asked that his request be put into a motion.  It was seconded by Roger.  Carol also requested a show of hands to see for whom the Morning or the Afternoon would be a problem.  There were 15 people who said that they found the afternoon time acceptable.  There were 13 people who found the afternoon unacceptable.  The caveat is that we are taking the vote in the afternoon. 

Elaine suggested a remedy:  10 people this morning went to the Keen Age Center in Belvidere and count it was a very nice place with good lighting and did not cost a thing.  The caveat is that we cannot do that as a club and cannot move our equipment into there.  That group decided that they would do that on Wednesdays (8:30 to 10:30) yet still remain members of Blackhawk Woodcarvers.  Larry Clark suggested that a decision like a short term time change can be changed by executive decision.  He feels also that we need to make a permanent decision and change the bylaws.  Chuck indicated that whatever we decide we can inform the population through e-mail.  Roger suggested that we live with what Tyrone has done, that he did it in good faith.  He noted that in investigations a few years ago with the Terrell’s they found that there is no other place in Rockford that we can afford.  Roger suggested that we are not ready for a bylaw change at this point.  There was a motion to table the motion on the floor which takes precedence over any other business.  The motion to table passed and will remain tabled until such time as there is a vote to take the motion off of the table. 

Tyrone asked Larry, Gordy, Gale, and Tony to come up.  We have 4 charter members that have been with the club since 1993.  They were given a round of applause and will get a group picture taken.  Gordy has been everything except Treasurer. 

Bunny commented that she thinks Tyrone is doing a nice job.  There was a round of applause.

The meeting was adjourned for show and tell. 

New Business:  Roger Benedict is interested in giving a presentation on the Rockford furniture industry at the next business meeting.  It will be a pictorial presentation. 

The meeting was adjourned at 1:40 pm. 

Respectfully Submitted: Steve Terrill, Club Secretary

Following the meeting, there was a slide presentation by Roger Benedict on the history of the furniture industry in Rockford. 


Club Officers     (815 area code)

 President,  Tyrone Johnsen, 397-9274
Vice Pres,  Louis Jurisch, 568-7096
Treasurer,  Larry Stenzel, 389-4714
Secretary,  Steve Terrill, 708-0471

Committees   (815 area code)
Photographer - Larry Clark, 262-9982
- Chuck Drewes, 985-8575
Librarian -
Bernie Budz
Webmaster and  Newsletter Editor- Gordy Moscinski, 874-7978
Newsletter Publisher, Gary Johnson 399-1697
Historian - Elaine Terrell 765-2886
Programs -
Tyrone Johnsen, 397-9274
Picnic -
Tony Devita

Show and Tell pictures by Larry Clark comments by Steve Terrill

 brook trout









A very prolific Larry Stenzel showed his latest woodburnings.    He did a brook trout, a leaf with water droplets which he had never done before.  He did some very colorful frogs.  He did several butterflies, all in all, he had 10 woodburnings.


Bunny Nordheim had a woodburning of a flower and bird from Gordy’s class at CLR which she colorized.



Bob Matthews carved and painted a cardinal and an Eagle catching lunch in the water. 


Chuck Drewes showed a Lilly in relief that he had done in the 80’s before any classes.  It was pine and carved with his pocket knife and a gouge he made from a file.  He has been carving all his life. 

 fantasy house

Carol Behning carved a fantasy house of bark but was not satisfied with how it came out so she enhanced it with pine cone leaves. 


Gordy Moscinski showed a plaster cast woodcock that he painted in Josh Guge’s class. 


Jim Foster brought in two caricatures he had carved and painted.  One of a hunter with a duck and the other a carver with setting on a stool, his head carved from an article from Pete LeClair on carving caricature heads. 



Tony DeVita brought in a leaf he had carved into a bowl out of cedar and a fish woodburning from a design he found in a magazine.    


Denny Neubauer showed a number of small carvings on clothes pins, with a focus on a bird who dips forward to drink water when the clothes pin is opened.  The hard part was the dipping mechanism he made out of a paperclip. 

 oscar and sara

John Skaggs brought in two flat plane carvings of a Swedish man and a woman, Sara and Oscar. 


walking stick

Frank Lay showed a round carving of four people in a group hug that was really difficult to carve.  It was basswood and stained. He also showed a walking stick he carved from cherry that Tod brought in. since it already had a nose, Frank added a face around it. 


Martha Fitch showed a woodburning of a ship that she had done in Gordy’s class that she colorized with water color pencils.

 leaf tray

Louis Jurisch showed a beautiful tray shaped like a leaf.



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