Blackhawk Carving Club
Rockford, Illinois 61109
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The Blackhawk Woodcarver

Volume XXV, Issue 12      December 2020

Blackhawk Carving Club

We will not meet again formally until further notice.

Presidents Report  December 2020

turkeyDid you carve a turkey for Thanksgiving? I think a turkey carved of wood is to be admired. They appear more rare than I thought! Bob Hallstrom sent me this picture of a carved turkey pin he picked up for his wife years ago. Carved wood Santas and snowmen are definitely more common than Turkeys.


Our members have certainly been busy carving ornaments and gifts for friends and relatives. Bob Matthews, Tony DeVita, and I carved some. Bob brought seven pieces over to Peterson Meadows to add to their Christmas decorations. Member, Ray Pederson, who is also a resident at Peterson Meadows, informed me that the main building is still off limits even to the residents. Hopefully, the forthcoming vaccines will help retard the virus spread so that early next year we can return to more open socialization.


pilgramsOur annual election of the club officers has concluded. The current officers were willing to serve again in 2021; and the membership reelected them. I wish to thank the Nominating Committee consisting of Roger Benedict, Martha Fitch, and Chuck Drewes. They also served as the Election Committee with our Membership Chair Chuck Drewes who acted as the Chief Election Judge. I also wish to thank the other members who serve in the non-elected positions which help our club to function: Newsletter Editor & Webmaster Gordy Moscinski, Membership Chuck Drewes, and Bob Matthews who coordinates with Peterson Meadows on our use of their facilities. Vice President Richard Dunphey also serves by heading up our Programs. Treasurer Larry Stenzel coordinates with former club treasurers John Skaggs and Bob Hallstrom who serve as auditors. Steve Terrill and I continue to serve as Secretary and President respectively.


May we all continue to enjoy and appreciate our blessings. Member Franklin Johnson recently told me that he stays busy at home wood carving, and carving helps him enjoy life. I wish all of you a very happy and blessed Christmas and a wonderful new year!

Tyrone Johnsen


Blackhawk Carving Club Minutes November 2020

 A meeting was not held, therefore no minutes.

The Nominating Committee

The nominating committee of Martha Fitch, Chuck Drewes, and Roger Benedict are pleased to announced the following slate for 2021:

President, Tyrone Johnsen

Vice President, Richard Dunphey

Secretary, Steve Terrill

Treasurer, Larry Stenzel

Join in to applaud these folks to continue serving in these officer positions.  We need to recognize Tyrone for his contribution to continue for a fourth term as president, which is unusual under ordinary times .  But we are not in ordinary times right now as the coronavirus has prevented our means to function in typical and familiar manners as a group.  However Tyrone's decision to continue as president is focused on his willingness to keep alive the historical meaning of the Blackhawk Carvers group. Think about what you can also provide, perhaps, with a zoom presentation, an idea for a carving challenge, or anything to enhance meaning for mutual interest.   Take care and stay healthy.


Roger Benedict


Officers results


We had 23 yes votes and no nays.

11/15/2020 10 votes

11/16           6 votes

11/17           1 votes

11/18           1 votes

11/21           5 votes


Total          23     

With a total of 41 members, 23 is a majority.

I expected more would vote.

Chuck Drewes


The Butternut Tree

The butternut tree is a deciduous tree growing to 20 m (66 ft) tall, rarely 40 m (130 ft). Butternut is a slow-growing species, and rarely lives longer than 75 years. It has a 40–80 cm (16–31 in) stem diameter, with light gray bark. Butternut wood is light in weight and takes polish well, and is highly rot resistant, but is much softer than black walnut wood. Oiled, the grain of the wood usually shows much light. It is often used to make furniture, and is a favorite of woodcarvers.

Butternut bark and nut rinds were once often used to dye cloth to colors between light yellow and dark brown. To produce the darker colors, the bark is boiled to concentrate the color. This appears to never have been used as a commercial dye, but rather was used to color homespun cloth.

In the mid-19th century, inhabitants of areas such as southern Illinois and southern Indiana – many of whom had moved there from the Southern United States – were known as "butternuts" from the butternut-dyed homespun cloth that some of them wore. Later, during the American Civil War, the term "butternut" was sometimes applied to Confederate soldiers. Some Confederate uniforms apparently faded from gray to a tan or light brown. It is also possible that butternut was used to color the cloth worn by a small number of Confederate soldiers. The resemblance of these uniforms to butternut-dyed clothing, and the association of butternut dye with home-made clothing, resulted in this derisive nickname.


A Very Covid-19 Christmas carol:        I’ll be home for Christmas


January Birthdays (that we Know of)

18 Craig Sorensen

 20 Will Rottman


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


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


Club Officers    (815 aera code)

Present            Tyrone Johnsen  397-9274
Vice Present
    Richard Dumphy   633-9003
Treasurer         Larry Stenzel   389-4714
Secretary         Steve Terrill   708-0471

Committees       (815 aera code)

Programs, Richard Dunphey, 633-9003
Webmaster & Newsletter Editor Gordy Moscinski  874-7978
Membership  Chuck  Drewes   985-8575
Photographer  Steve Terrill
Picnic   Tony Devita


Carvers wanted

Sometimes I get calls from people wanting to have a carving done (for money).  If you are interested in any of these contacts, let me know and what kind of carvings you are interested in doing for people.  Don Stansfield,

Let’s get creative

We would like to challenge all members of the club to carve a snowman for the JANUARY newsletter.  It can also be one that you have already carved from other years.  You can make them any size or thickness, in the round or one sided, chip carved or woodburned. This will showcase the diversity and talent of our club members.  Sorry, no $$ prize.  Send them in by January 6th 2021.


Thank You

A big thank you to all who contributed pictures and commentary for this newsletter. 
Great job! Keep the knives sharp!

Keep sending your pictures by the January 6, 2021 deadline.



Gary Lundquist sent a note saying that Lois Bachelor had passed away.  She and her husband used to belong to Blackhawk Woodcarvers (around 2014). The obituary is on RRStar website.


A look behind closed doors


A Christmas surprise for my wife. Black walnut trees with small ornaments. Finish is tung oil. They'll get another coat

The small trees are about 7 inches tall.

Chuck Drewes

 old car

Been carving more snowmen for Christmas and worked on a wood burning project.

Phyllis Hogberg


This carving is 22 x 28 x 1-1/4 inches basswood plaque to be mounted on the exterior of our house in Door County---a pair to be mounted in an offset viewing format.  I had to use about every carving tool imaginable to create it; including a hand jig-saw and powered rasping.  The finishing will be two coats of primer, and two or three coats of house paint.  If it lasts five years in the outdoor weather I will be happy.

Roger Benedict

man                man

One rough-cut & one my-kinda-cut

Richard Dunphey



basset hound

Here are three burnings: an aardvark, a rattlesnake, and a basset hound.  I did a similar rattlesnake several years ago but didn’t color it.  This one is colored with watercolor pencils. 

Larry   Stenzel


Here are a few of the items I have been carving for Christmas after I finished the Halloween witches.  I plan to carve about 12 each of the Christmas items.

John Skaggs


These are Christmas  ornaments for gifts this year.  Chip carved from pattern in "Woodcarving Illustrated" winter 2020.  A fun project.   

Jerry Robey 




A Kingfisher bird, 3 small santas and a group of Santas was sent in with the excellent help of Mary Lou. Tony wants to be sure Bob Mathews gets credit for the help he gave him with the bird.

Tony Devita



Bob Matthews


An angel for Christmas

John Martin


Icicles with tops

Gordy Moscinski

 santa      santa

Santas being donated to Peterson Meadows.

Tyrone Johnsen

 santa carving

Santa Claus

Gordy Moscinski


Happy Holidays Everyone




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