Blackhawk Carving Club
Rockford, Illinois 61109
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The Blackhawk Woodcarver

Volume XXIV, Issue 6       June 2019

Blackhawk Carving Club

P. O. Box 8285 Rockford, IL 61126
Open Carving every Wednesday (
8:30 to 11:00pm).  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 to Morning

Our weekly carving session meeting time has been changed back from our Wednesday afternoon time period to Wednesday morning,  8:30 to 11:00 am.

Presidents Report  June

Our carving sessions each Wednesday morning give us many benefits. We form friendship with the other members who share our common interest. Opportunity to make more friends with new members is also part of that. Sharing knowledge, experience, and even failures with our fellow members is certainly another. In many cases the less experienced person receives the benefit of the wisdom of the more experienced. But, not always! There is always more to learn. There are always new ideas and ways to look at a situation. Social interaction is one way to experience these benefits. Our club is the organization. Our members comprise the club; and make the club what it is.

Our club has evolved over the years. It has aged as its members have aged. When formed, it primarily consisted of a number of working people who were interested in wood carving. Now it is a club primarily consisting of retired people interested in wood carving. This change from working to retired also led to a change in the meeting time and frequency. We evolved from monthly evening sessions to the current weekly morning sessions. Certainly much more convenient to us retired folks! After all, who does not prefer to go out during the daylight as apposed to heading out in the evening. Especially during the winter! But this also comes with a price. As our membership ages, we do lose members. Numerous reasons. Health is a big one! Are not the younger people aging and retiring? Certainly! Will they, can they, fill the voids? Life is filled with different experiences. Trends change. Interests change.

Life is filled with constant change. We must accept it and make the best of it. Our club is an all voluntary organization. Its success is dependent upon its members.

Tyrone Johnsen


Club Activity Schedule

June 5 open carving
June 11 Picnic at Bauman Park (see article page 3)
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

August 7 open carving
August 14 open carving
August 21 open carving and meeting
August 28 open carving

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

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


Blackhawk Woodcarvers annual 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 and your own beverage.  If you plan on grilling bring your own charcoal and lighter. There are grills available at the park.      Gary Lundquist


Affiliated Woodcarvers Congress

The Affiliated Woodcarvers Congress will be held in Maquoketa, IA from June 8 thru June 16, 2019

Doane Experience

The Doane Experience will be in Crete, NE from Sunday July 21 to Friday July 26, 2019

Lake County Carvers

Lake County Carvers will be holding their Woodcarving Show on Saturday August 2, 2019 at the “Life Enrichment Center” 1306 West Wisconsin Ave. Oconomowoc, WI from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.


The Musky Area Woodcarvers Workshop

The Musky Area Woodcarvers Workshop will be held from August 13 to 16, 2019 at the Community Center in Boulder Junction, WI.


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 AvenueJanesville, 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.   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)


Artistry in Wood

Artistry in Wood will be holding their last show on Saturday and Sunday October12 & 13, 2019 at the Roberts Centre; 123 Gano Road, Wilmington, OH.


Capitol Carvers of Wisconsin

Capitol Carvers of Wisconsin will be holding their 31st annual show & sale at the Abundant Life Christian School; 4901 East Buckeye Road; Madison , WI on Sunday October 20, 2019.

The Woodcraft Shop has been sold to a company in Beloit,  WI. The 800-397-2278 number will be the same, same service just a different location. More details will follow on new store as  we get them. 

           Becky and Denny Neubaue

Deadline for the news for the next newsletter is July 3, 2019


July Birthdays (that we Know of)

  3 Richard Dunphey
 5 Ed Vitell
 7 Dona Wisner
17 Steve Johnson
21 Tod Wisner
22 Jerome Mais
22 Bob Coleman


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 May 2019

Minutes of the regular monthly business meeting of Blackhawk Woodcarvers; held on May 15, 2019 at 3218 Eleventh Street, Rockford, Illinois.

President Tyrone Johnsen opened the meeting at 9:15 am.

Secretary, Steve Terrill read the Minutes of the previous meeting April 17th.  The minutes were approved as read. 

Tyrone wanted to clarify that as to our not for profit status, his checking indicates that we do not have not-for-profit registration with the state of Illinois. Gordy indicated that we once did have not-for–profit status with the state but since we never used it, we let it lapse. 

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

Membership:  Chuck Drewes reported that there is no new news for membership or dues.  The new picture membership booklet should be ready for distribution next week.  . 

Picnic:  the picnic is coming up, the second Tuesday of the month, June 11.  Tony, who is in charge, indicates that he will no longer get water because no one uses it and we have a bunch left over.  So, bring your own beverage. 

Insurance:  We have had a general liability insurance policy.  Our intention is to not renew the policy.  The premium is $400 each May 11.  The reason for having the liability insurance is because of the show that we no longer have and the carving classes that we no longer seem to have.  Carol Behning asked if we do soap carving, are we still liable if someone gets hurt.  Gordy responded that if we have an accident in the club, Ken Rock is liable.  If we do something at a church, the church is responsible for the liability. 

Tyrone will contact our agent and cancel the policy.  Richard Dunphey wanted to know what the top coverage was.  Tyrone read that our coverage was one million dollars.  

Our rent is due the first of June and the first of December.  We have no written contract or oral agreement.  Denny noted that a friend suggested that Ken Rock is looking for a new place.  

Bob Mathews indicates that he has looked into Peterson Meadows down by Tebala on Newberg.  He has talked with them twice.  They are currently in construction on a new community center which should be finished and opened somewhere in the middle of July.  They would have a room that would hold up to 40 people. They would have rectangular or round tables with chairs.  Wednesdays would not be a problem.  We would not have to be a resident there.  He has not yet discussed our storage cabinets but he has set another meeting for the middle of June.  There would be no cost.  That does not mean we could not donate money to them.  The meetings would be open and receptive to any one including residents there.  We could consider doing classes or demonstrations for the residents.  The subject of liability would have to be discussed.  Denny’s wife meets there monthly for a basket weaving club and says that the people there are just great. Denny suggests that for most places, storing our cabinets is the primary deal breaker. 

Don suggests we try for storing the wooden cabinet but not the other two.  John Skaggs suggests that we offer them a stipend which would cover storing our cabinets.  Don suggests that regardless of the floor covering, we, as individuals need to be more responsible for cleaning up our own mess.  There was discussion about reconfiguring our wooden cabinet to remove the extension and considering what to do with the equipment in that and the other cabinets without a firm conclusion to the discussion.

The meeting was adjourned for show and tell at 9:40 am

Respectfully Submitted: Steve Terrill, Club Secretary

On a sad note, Monte Spinker, 78, Blackhawk Carving club’s first president, passed away June 3, 2019.  Memorial service was held at 10:00 a.m. Friday June 7, 2019 in the Christ Rock Lutheran Church, 8330 Newburg Rd. Rockford, IL. He will be remembered for his fine carving skills and wonderful sense of humor.


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

Webmaster and  Newsletter Editor- Gordy Moscinski, 874-7978
Historian - Elaine Terrell 765-2886
Programs -
Tyrone Johnsen, 397-9274
Picnic -
Tony Devita and Gary Lundquist

Show and Tell pictures by Gordy Moscinski and comments by Steve Terrill

bobble head


Richard Dunphey showed a bobble head sigh holder he carved and painted.  He has grandchildren who enjoy miniatures so he carved a miniature boat and figure of bark and made water and oars for the kids to enjoy. 


Don Stansfield brought in 4 chip carved pendants he had done a long time ago.  He gave some instruction on chip carving, acknowledging that Bob Hallstrom is the expert.  Don has made gauges that he uses with the correct angles (55-65 degrees) so that he is consistent with each direction.  He likes to copy his designs to paper and glues them to the blocks he carves and removes the paper with solvent after the carving is done.  He cuts out his small pendants after he is done carving.  These 4 carvings are not all he has done, but just the best of what he has done. 


Chuck Drewes showed one of the buttons that he has finished with gloss varnish which has taken a long time to dry.  He thinks that this piece is made of “greasewood” aka creosote wood. 

 leaf dish


Tony DaVita showed a leaf dish he had carved of cedar and a burl which he carved and finished.  He also showed a cane made of apple wood that a worm helped him carve. 


Gordy showed a squiggly open rope like carving in which he hung a silver bell made by a friend.  The bell is hammered out of two half dollars and you can see the date of 1969 which commemorates his 50th wedding anniversary. 


Jerome Mais showed a pumpkin on a base with a hat that is lighted inside and has “Boo” on the stand.  It was his winter carving project in Florida.   The plan comes from a fall issue of Carving Illustrated. 




Bunny Nordheim showed a colorized woodburning on a slab of tree with bark of four chickadees on a tree branch with an “almost” haiku saying burned in it.  She also showed two gourds that were painted and decorated.  One had a Koi fish on it with string wrapping woven on top.




Larry Stenzel showed three woodburnings.  One of a dead or not leafed out tree that looked too plain so he added other trees to give it some context.  Next was an abandoned car with some added branches to give it some context also.  The third was a colorized feather. 


Frank Lay showed two walking sticks and one cane all stripped of bark, sanded, and with semi gloss clear finish. 



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