Blackhawk Carving Club
Rockford, Illinois 61109
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The Blackhawk Woodcarver

Volume XXVI, Issue 4      April 2021

Blackhawk Carving Club

We will meet at Sinnissippi Park Wednesday mornings at 10:00am until 12:00pm across from the golf course sites 1 and 2 weather permitting

Presidents Report  April 2021

April means Spring. April has some special days for us to experience and enjoy. First is the fun of April Fool’s Day. To me, this is an opportunity to have some fun with some of our carvings, especially the figures.

In this case I used three figures from three different carvers. There is no trick photography or “photoshop” manipulation. Just one cell phone image. The first character is my smallest figure which I had carved for an Ole and Lena joke. Modest Ole is in front of the (non-wooden) “Nickel”. Next is a man holding up the “Indian Head Penny”. Denny Neubauer carved that strong little guy. The largest is an olive wood carving of a boy carving wood with a mallet and a chisel. While in Israel in the early 1980s, I purchased the carving as a gift for my father.

brother anthonyThis year we observe Easter the first Sunday in Easter. This is a time of Hope and of Renewal. Spring also is the time of renewal and rebirth of our beautiful flowers. In this picture I have utilized two carvings. First is the decorated Easter egg carved by Denny Neubauer. Along with the egg is my carving of Brother Tony (patron of Blackhawk Woodcarvers?).

On to club business: we remain financially sound. Remember a year ago we extended all paid 2020 memberships through December 2021. We have only incurred minimal reoccurring costs, e.g. our post office box.

We have resumed our weekly Carving in the Park, weather permitting. Our club has missed the ability to meet weekly indoors at Peterson Meadows for the past year. In our interest, Bob Matthews has remained in contact with Peterson Meadows regarding our club’s return to indoor group meetings at their facility. The Director of Peterson Meadows has mentioned vaccination as a prime consideration and has questions if our members have been vaccinated. To enable us to be able to respond accurately, we are requesting our members inform us as to their vaccination status.

I believe it would be much easier for Peterson Meadows to reopen their facility to our club if our members are vaccinated. Also, many look forward to another Christmas Party at Peterson Meadows.

I will close with this  caricature of our club by Denny Neubauer.

little guys

Tyrone Johnsen

 Blackhawk Carving Club Minutes March 2021

A meeting was not held, therefore no minutes.

How you got started as a woodcarver

Here is an opportunity to present your background of becoming a woodcarver.  The following questions are your guide to start the juices flowing for your responses Jot some ideas down and send them to me.  I’m willing to help put them in a form for the newsletter.


What was your life style or situation that encouraged you to wood carve?

Who influenced you in your carving career and why?

Assuming you developed a niche, why did you choose it?

Over the years what have you gained from this experience? 

Roger Benedict -

Special Chip Carving Issue

 freeform chip carving

Freeform chip carving

Don Stansfield

chip carved plate

Gordy Moscinski


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 April 7, 2021 deadline.


Carving woods for sale

Del Lohr of Cedar Ridge Hardwoods called me to ask if we would let the club members know that he has a large inventory of carving woods, including basswood, butternut (both clear and wormy), catalpa, pine, cherry, etc.  He can provide all widths, thicknesses and lengths.  Del used to sell his wood at our annual shows.  His phone number is 815-938-2263.  

  Don  Stansfield


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,

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.

May Birthdays (that we Know of)

1 Rosalie Wesley
 2 Roger Benedict          
14 Wes Englund
21 Bob Matthews
22 Steve Terrill
23 Jeanne Williams
26 Chuck Drewe
29 Sue Watson
31 Colin Bystrom


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

Multi Pro Cordless Dremel for Sale





Connie Naber, Dolores Cascio’s daughter, wants to sell this Dremel that her mom used.  If you are interested, please contact her. It is still in great working order.


Connie Naber, daughter

Dolores Cascio


WoodCarving Academy

Our academy offers many hours of learning from the best woodcarvers out there. Our teachers have a combined hundreds of years of knowledge they would love to share with you. By joining, you will be able to watch as many wood carving lessons as you’d like.  New content will be added as teacher make more videos.

In order for you to be able to view the great woodcarving videos, you’ll need to sign up to one of our paid subscriptions.  We offer monthly, quarterly or annual plans. The longer the period the less the monthly cost.

November 13, 2020 Update – Our website is live! Choose from the subscription below to sign up.

Free level allowing to tour our website and watch the sample videos and sample content and receive email updates as new content becomes available.

Monthly Memberships with unlimited access to all the lessons offered. Subscription will renew every month.  $19.95

Quarterly Memberships with unlimited access to all the lessons offered. Subscription will renew every 3 months.  $49.95 Save $9.99

Annual Memberships with unlimited access to all the lessons offered. Subscription will renew every year.  $139.95 Save $100.00

Thank you & Keep Carving!

Wisconsin River Woodcarvers

20th Annual Woodcarving Show, Competition and Sale

The Largest Woodcarving Show in Wisconsin

Featured Carvers:  Vic Hood and Gregg Thompson

Also Featured:

We are also featuring supplies from Hummel Carving Company, Beloit, WI, and Moore Wood and Roughouts.
Free demonstrations throughout both days
New for 2021 Carving Contest on Sunday morning from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM.
We have an awesome RAFFLE!


September 18, 2021 – 9am to 5pm
September 19, 2021 – 9am to 4pm
Event Schedule-TBD


The Holiday Inn
1001 Amber Avenue
Stevens Point, Wisconsin 54482

Admission Prices:

Admission is $5.00.
(Attendees 12 and under are free)


For more information, contact:
Ron O’Kray  715-341-2214  or 715-570-2534(cell)
Greg Wirtz   715-423-0471  or 715-323-2035(cell)

Carving and Painting a House and Gold Finch by Bob Matthews

finch step 1

Picture 1 - Three original cutouts (I noticed one was a little large so I finished it as a House Finch.

finch step 2

Picture 2 - Rounding and shaping each bird.

finch step 3

Picture 3 – Feather pattern on the back and front of wing.

finch step 4

Picture 4 – Detailing and drilling eye holds.

finch step 5

Picture 5 – Setting the eyes with Apoxie Sculpt.

finch step 6

Picture 6 – Wood burning each bird.

finch step 7

Picture 7 – Making Feet using wire and Apoxie Sculpt to thicken the legs.

finch step 8

Picture 8 – Drilling holes for legs for each bird.

finch step 9

Picture 9 - Drilling leg holes and fitting feet to each bird.

finch step 10

Picture 10 – Everybody has feet and glued to each bird using 5 Minute Apoxie.

finch step 11

Picture 11 – After the glue sets you need to use Apoxie Sculpt to create a cowling where the leg and body meet.  Bend the toes (gently gently) to fit the Base.

finch step 12

Picture 12 – Two coats of Gesso applied.  Remember to water down the Gesso  and to cover small areas then using  a tooth brush and brush towards the feather vanes.  You can also use a third coat if you feel it’s not white enough,  also after the gesso dries you can use a brass brush if you feel it is rough.

          House Finch

finch step 13

Picture 13 - Base coat on back and tail, create grey brown using Raw Umber and a touch of Warm White.  Use a lite grey to edge the wing and tail feathers.

finch step 14

Picture 14 – Create the red on the head, breast, cape and front of the wings using Red Medium, Red Lite, and White .  Mix three shades and use a dabbing  method.

finch step 15

Picture 15 – House Finch is complete.

          Gold Finch

finch step 16

Picture 16 – Base coat on back and tail, create a warm black using Ivory Black and Payne’s Grey.

finch step 17

Picture 17 - Use a lite grey to edge the wing and tail feathers.

finch step 18

 Picture 18 – Using Yellow Medium and Yellow Lite and White.  Make three shades and use a dabbing  method.

finch step 19

Picture 19 – Everybody is painted and now to attach them to the base.  Again I like 5 minute Apoxie for the job.  Finish with a lite spray Krylon Satin Spray.

finch step 20

Picture 20 – Complete.

Presented by Bob Matthews

A big thanks to Bob for taking us through his process of carving these birds.  A great learning experience.  He says he is taking time off and someone else should step up!


A look behind closed doors



I decided to challenge myself to character carving. I can say it was a fun challenge. I try to carve something everyday but life gives two step backs. Hope you enjoyed.

Lisa Hanus




Hi everyone. Not chip carving but, I did finally paint several Santas.
The one, that is standing, is similar to a past Santa. I changed the face. Then there is one with long hair and beard.
I really like the icicle shaped one. It is the first time I have used a pearl coat paint. I liked the looks of the pearl coat white better before I put the water based poly on it. It had a better sheen to it, it was almost sparkly.

Then there is a refrigerator magnet. And the last is Santa's helper, napping, on December 26th.
Hope you are well. Looking forward to seeing everyone soon.

Carol Behning 

 light switch

plan ahead



I don’t have any chip carvings but I have this switch plate I carved for my daughter 40 years ago with a cheap Exacto V-tool.  If I ever do any chip carving, this will be the kind of free-style carving I would want to do.  It’s carved in basswood, stained, and painted with oils.  The others are recent wood burnings.  Two are WWII aircraft commissions and the other is just a sign, similar to something I saw somewhere and liked.

 Larry Stenzel

 marty gras

marty gras

Gordy Moscinski


Here's an Easter egg that has an even longer shelf life than Peep.   it was carved in 1998.  

Don Stansfield




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