Blackhawk Carving Club
Rockford, Illinois 61109
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The Blackhawk Woodcarver

Volume XXVI, Issue 3      March 2021

Blackhawk Carving Club

We will not meet again formally until further notice.

Presidents Report  March 2021

As I write this, our winter weather has become very mild; and we have a big melt in progress. I have begun thinking about the resumption of our carving in the park. Realistically it is much too soon. Then again, maybe we can consider a carving session in the park in the next month or two. Winter is not over and the cold weather is not gone for this season. Outdoor carving sessions are still an option for our club until there is sufficient vaccinations and COVID-19 abatement. Fortunately I am hearing that more and more of our members are being vaccinated. I am not one of those; but waiting. I do hope that Peterson Meadows is also completing vaccinations. I feel our primary interest is the safe return to our indoor carving sessions at Peterson Meadows.

In last month’s newsletter, our editor Gordy displayed a pattern which Don Stansfield had sent him. Gordy also showed his carving utilizing that pattern. So this month I will share my carving.

                  elf                elf

I like decorating these figures with the Norwegian flag colors. I also decided to try a young girl’s face on one side.

I hope you are all staying healthy and safe; and are carving! Please share pictures of your carvings. We all enjoy seeing them!

Tyrone Johnsen


Blackhawk Carving Club Minutes February 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 -


Background by Tony De Vita

I started carving in 1967.  The sign company I was working for struck.  I was walking the picket line and I was bored so I went to the library and got a magazine on carving.  With my pocket knife, I started to carve a piece of wood.


The reason we struck this company was because I had worked there 17 years, got one week vacation and no paid holidays.   We asked for a 15 cent raise, they wouldn’t give it to us and we went on strike Then I got another job and worked for another sign company.   I would carve every morning that I arrived early before the crew arrived. 


This was back  in the ‘50’s and I would give my widowed mother $50 a week.  I worked a lot of overtime and she was able to get her first TV.  I was able to live on the rest of my paycheck.


When I got married, my wife saw an ad in the newspaper for a carving class at East High School.  I went there and just sat in on the class until the instructor saw I was using my pocket knife.  He said I was doing it wrong so I left.  Then my wife saw an ad for a carving class at Ken Rock and I joined taking a class from instructor Gordy Moscinski.


I also made a couple carving knives from different knives that I had.  The local shoe company I had worked for as a youth used knives to cut leather.  When those knives wore down and were used no longer, I took them, reshaped them and made carving knives out of them.  I used them until I was able to buy knives and tools from Gordy.  I have been carving ever since.


An interview with Steve Terrill

--What was your life style or situation that encouraged you to become a woodcarver?

As a young Boy Scout I got a gift of a totem pole with 4 triangular blocks that were to be carved into neckerchief slides and slid over a pole.  My mother insisted on showing me how to carve safely and showed me carving away from myself with an Exacto knife.  The knife blade broke and flipped back cutting her seriously enough to have stitches.  It soured me on carving for a long while. 

As I retired, I made a pledge to myself that I would focus on the right side of my brain, the intuitive, artsy, three-dimensional side. Woodcarving fit right in with that goal. 

I knew Gordy Moscinski as we both had children who had been in school together since kindergarten.  We met again at a party around 2010 and we talked about carving and he encouraged me to take his class which was on days that I was working part time so I could not attend, but he encouraged me to come to Blackhawk Woodcarvers.  I did and enjoyed the fellowship and the carving.  There were many carvers happy to get me started and answer my questions.

--Who influenced you in your carving journey, and why?

Besides Gordy who gave me some of his stages of carving models that he used in classes, a number of our woodcarvers influenced me.  I took classes from Don Stansfield and Bob Hallstrom at CLR, Roger Benedict at CLR and Blackhawk Woodcarvers, Denny Neubauer at Blackhawk and his garage, Ray Olson at Blackhawk, Bob Matthews at Blackhawk.  Others have been a great support as John Skaggs who was in many of the classes I took.  One of the things that I have said repeatedly about the Blackhawk Woodcarvers is that everyone is willing to help you and if you have a concern, each one has some kind of expertise that they are willing to share, whether painting, woodburning or carving a certain figure or bird or relief. 


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

I have tried to remain a generalist, carving a little bit of everything.  I have done birds, caricatures, geometric forms, ball in cages, reliefs, flowers, Santa’s, etc.

--Over the years what have you gained from this experience?

I have met a great group of guys and gals, entertained myself for hours, pleased many people with gift carvings that they would enjoy because of their interests.  I have gained a new identity and answer the question of “What are you doing in retirement?” with the statement that “I have redefined myself as a woodcarver”.  And, I may not be the best woodcarver out there, but there are a number of things that I have carved that I am proud of.


Let’s get creative

chip carving    chip carved tree

We would like to challenge all members of the club to share some Chip Carving for the April newsletter.  It can be some that you have already finished a while ago. We have great diversity in our club, we wish to showcase this talent. Send them in by April 7th,  2021.


Carving tools and supplies for sale

Darlene Ketman’s husband died and she is selling all his carving equipment.  Carving tools, wood, paint, cabinets, lights, table saw, and woodburning supplies.

Darlene Ketman
16449 West 140th Place
Lockport, IL 60441
815-409-1719 cell phone and 815-838-2216 land line


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.

April Birthdays (that we Know of)

10 Franklin Johnson
19 John Skaggs
21 Bunny Nordheim
25 Marjorie Simonds


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


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)


Steps for The Base for the Gold Finch by Bob Matthews


#1 Three Gold Finch cut-outs.


#2 The Parts, Bark, twig. Copper sheet for leaves, flower Bowl.


#3 Leaf cut-outs from Copper Sheet.


#4 Clean leaves and apply Gesso.


#5 Leaves painted with pine green and yellow green.


#6 To make the flower the long strip is painted then strip is cut with small strips on one side, the rolled


#7 The flower roll is completed and the bowl has been painted.


#8 Take the stem and glue the flower roll and it company leaves half way into the bowl.


#9  Using one of my pointed sticks start to spread pedals of the flower.


#10 Continue the spreading until all of the pedals you are done and the flower is complete.


#11 Flower complete and glued to the Stem.


#12 Glue the stem into the cotton wood base, for interest I glued some green moss into cracks and the joint where the stem is glued into base.


#13 After deciding where I want the leaves, I cut a small slot on the stem then start gluing the leaves into the slots.


#14  Continue the process until complete.  You can bend the leaves but do it very carefully.


#15 The base is now complete.


Presented by Bob Matthews


A look behind closed doors

The carving is based on a painting by Shonto Begay, where I used only this image.  I plan to give it to him showing how one can go from two into three wood carved dimensional relief.  I discovered that he has fame regarding art of the southwest, and which he is from Arizona.  Roger Benedict


Step 1                                                Step 2


 Step 3                                                 Finished



Thought I would share several of my early attempts. Both were done when I first began carving. The male trout  was done in 1992, while the Trout spearing decoy was done in 1993.

Craig Sorensen


Gordy Moscinski




Old steam locomotives

Larry Stenzel




My all-time favorite car, the AC Cobra. 

Larry Stenzel


Gordy Moscinski




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