Blackhawk Carving Club
Rockford, Illinois 61109
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The Blackhawk Woodcarver

Volume XXVI, Issue 10     October 2021

Blackhawk Carving Club

We meet every Wednesday at 9:00 am until 12:00 noon at Ken Rock’s new facility at 625 Adams Street, Rockford, IL.  The location is next to and East of Heritage Park on Rural Street.  Travel Rural from North Second St. (going East) or from the 5 point intersection at Rural and Prospect St. (going West). 

Presidents Report  October 2021

September 15, 2021 marked our return to group indoor carving sessions. It also marked our move to our new home at the new Ken-Roc facility. The subsequent Wednesday morning Denny Neubauer, Dick Dunphey, and Steve Terrill moved our storage and sharpening cabinet and shop vacuum to our new home at Ken-Roc. This new home is expected to serve us well. You need to note that we were not able to exactly return to the exact indoor meeting times on Wednesday mornings. Please note our new time slot is Wednesday mornings starting at 9:00 am and out by noon. A half hour later start but lasting longer. The monthly business meeting remains scheduled for the third Wednesday morning but starting at 9:30 am.

I was pleased with how our Carving in the Park served us these past two Summers during the COVID-19 pandemic. I was very pleased with how well all attending members conducted themselves, cooperated, and adapted to the situations and safety concerns. Many were very pleased with the Summer outdoor carving, while others pushed for an earlier return to indoors.

Our long serving Membership Chair Chuck Drewes announced his need to retire after an estimated nine years. Chuck has graciously offered to assist until we are able to secure a new Membership Officer. In the interim, our Treasurer Larry Stenzel will perform most of these duties. Larry will collect dues and issue receipts.

As we near the end of the calendar year, our Nominating Committee has been working diligently to establish a slate of candidates for our 2022 elected officers. Our By Laws state that the annual election would be held during our business meeting on the third Wednesday of December. Last year I changed that to a sort of “mail-in” or “call-in” election utilizing Chuck Drewes as our Election Judge and it took place over a couple of weeks in November. This was due to the “pandemic” and that we were not meeting during the late Fall and Winter. I was very concerned about “in-person” voting resulting in extremely low member participation; I still have concern about that this year. The prior year I moved it up to the November business meeting to free us up to enjoy our Christmas party at Peterson Meadows on the morning which normally would have been our December business meeting date. This year we are scheduled to be indoors and we are experiencing a reasonable number of attending members. Please consider that the third week of December could be snowy or icy and that could further hamper attendance. I suggest we consider moving the voting at a meeting to a slightly earlier date of either the normal November business meeting or at the carving session the first Wednesday of December. That would give us a little pad in case it is needed. I prefer to have the newly elected officers established prior to the start of the new calendar year.

I do not regret any of these decisions and would repeat all of them under the same conditions. But, that is not all that I have experienced. While President these past four years, it is my opinion that our club has experienced two very significant events that adversely impacted our club. I assume, the most obvious event to all of you is the COVID-19 pandemic; and then its lingering impact (which is not over yet). The other is the relocation of the Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Academy from the building we were using to their new building. I was slow to understand that the Academy (or its supporter) owned the old building and there was no longer a significant reason to open that building for our scheduled sessions of Wednesday mornings unless the primary renter Ken-Roc organization needed it that morning – which it did not during the school year and especially that subsequent Winter. Other members never did understand or accept it. Most members probably never knew that the Academy was the actual facility owner. In hind sight, we should have made finding a new facility our highest priority as soon as we learned of the intended move. We still have not fully learned from this lesson.

I attended the “Janesville” club show in early September. This was the second time I attended their show. Denny Neubauer and his wife Beckie were again there with a table; and Denny gave a class on carving. The show was slightly smaller; but not obvious smaller and not lacking. I was impressed by the number of other clubs which had representation. I do hope that next year Blackhawk Woodcarvers will have a table or two and combined with Denny to best represent our club.

Finally, I expect membership to fall again this year. I am optimistic that we will rebound during the next years as the Pandemic subsides and our opportunities to gather in person increase. Our club has a lot to offer. We have continued to prove that even during our Carving in the Park through our informal classes and sharing. I believe we need to be open to other ideas and increase our interaction with other clubs.

Tyrone Johnsen


Nominating Committee Annual Report

Nominating Committee Annual Report

The unique committee of two, Bob Hallstrom “local contact man” and Roger Benedict “absentee” while in Door County, have finalized the slate for calendar year 2022.  With land separation, be it known that we communicated nearly weekly via phones and on-line to present the following nominating slate:

President----Denny Neubauer

Vice President----Richard Dunphey

Secretary----Steve Terrill

Treasurer----Larry Stenzel

We offer our congratulations to Denny Neubauer for volunteering to be President; and also our congratulations for the other three volunteers who are previously active officers wishing to continue another year.

Of course where would we have been if it wasn’t for Tyrone Johnsen who volunteered four years as president while taking the Carving Club through the rigorous pandemic as the “point guy” for all concerns and questions from our members---summer park carving, business meetings, and latest move to the new Kenrock Center?  Therefore, congratulations Tyrone for a job well done, you deserve a rest.

Submitter by Roger Benedict


Blackhawk Carving Club Minutes September 2021

Minutes of the regular monthly business meeting of Blackhawk Woodcarvers; held on, September 15, 2021 at Ken Rock Community Center, 625 Adams Street, Rockford, Illinois 61107.

President Tyrone Johnsen opened the meeting at 10:05 am.    He reported that he had a Thank You card for signatures to Marvin Mitchell who is a carver at Peterson Meadows who has quit carving and is donating a number of tools to the club. 

Secretary, Steve Terrill read the Minutes of the previous meeting August 18, 2021.  The minutes were approved as read. 

Treasurer: Larry Stenzel was not in attendance due to a death in the family.  He reported to Tyrone that we continue to be solvent.  He is also collecting payments for dues for the next Year. He has so far collected 5 sets of dues.  The post office box has increased it’s costs and is now at $132/yearly.  Chuck asked if we really need a post office box.  Don Stanfield noted that the post office box is our only permanent address.  Chuck suggests that our website could serve as our permanent address.  Dues remain at $25 per annum.  The new facility at Ken Rock will be costing us about twice what we were spending on the old Ken Rock facility.

Membership:  We have a new member in Bob Capion who was a member 10 years ago.   Tyrone announced that Chuck Drewes is retiring.  He has mobility concerns and is concerned as the weather turns bad.  Tyrone gave praise to Chuck for the job he has done.  Chuck joined about 10 years ago and has been membership chair for probably 9 of those years.  Chuck maintains a list of active members and a complete list of members and contact information.  He has also been the main distributer of ongoing information to the club through e-mail. 

Tyrone introduced the new Ken Rock Facility.  He praised how good Peterson Meadows was to us before the pandemic hit.  He reiterated that as with the old Ken Rock facility, if the schools are closed, Blackhawk Woodcarvers will be closed. Ken Rock has room for us to store our sharpening cabinet and vacuum cleaner.  We have plans to move those items in the near future.  The plan is for us to continue to use this new Ken Rock facility as a permanent home for the future.  Bob Matthews will write a letter to Peterson Meadows indicating our interest in moving back if they would be open to us in the future. 

Tyrone suggested we have some issues hanging.  One is revising the By-Laws.  The second is the issue of a nominating committee.  There are 2 appointed members willing to take that responsibility; they are Roger Benedict and Bob Hallstrom.  Both are long term members and have served in that capacity before.  He is open to members volunteering names and even volunteering their own name if they are interested.  For the last two years we had voting electronically through Chuck and Tyrone is proposing we do that again.  We have gotten about 50% participation which he feels is s good turnout.  In regards to meeting times, he would suggest that hours in the new facility would be from 9:00 until 12:00 with our monthly business meeting at 9:30.  There was no disagreement. 

New Business:  Bunny Nordheim asked about the possibility of having a show again.  Tyrone recently went to the show in Janesville.  He would suggest that we have tables next year at Janesville so we could show some carvings.  These are just thoughts from Tyrone.  Putting on our own show is something that could be investigated if there were people interested in the work to put it on. 


Tyrone asked for a motion to adjourn.  It was moved and seconded and the meeting was adjourned at 10:50.


Respectfully submitted; Steve Terrill, Club Secretary.

Newsletter deadline

Keep sending your pictures and stories by the November 3, 2021 deadline. What a great response this month.  Thanks so much!


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 -


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.


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 


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

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 Moscinski


November Birthdays (that we Know of)

6  Bernie Budzynski


Club Officers   

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
Photographer  Steve Terrill
Picnic   Tony Devita


Show and Tell

personal time


Jim Foster does a lot of carving up North at his cabin.  Recently he completed two figures, One he named “Personal Time” (for obvious reasons), and the other he named “Lester” .  Both were of basswood.

 maple leaf

Don Stansfield showed a carving of a Maple Leaf with chip carving accents and lettering “Happy Fall, Y’all”. 


Richard Prutz showed two busts, one of a blue eyed Indian and a second of a long haired caricature.


Gordy Moscinski woodburned and painted a welcome sign.

blackhawk statue

Jerome Mais showed a likeness of the Blackhawk statue which was carved out of china wood and finished naturally.  The second carving was a very intricate picture frame with trunks, twigs, leaves and cutouts.  His wife and daughter were in the picture he displayed in the frame. 


Frank Lay carved two Pinecones out of basswood. 



Two photographs of my latest renditions. 

John Martin

 totem pole

My first totem pole 18"tall, went to a family in Boulder Junction Wisconsin. Turned out to be quite the challenge.

Denny Neubauer

 totem pole

Bob Capion brought in a two ended Totem that he carved 12 years ago that could represent different objects depending on which side was up.  It was out of Cottonwood Bark.

little people

little people

little people

little people

little people

These little people are from the Fall 2021 issue of Woodcarving Illustrated.   They are all 2" tall and carved from bass wood.  We'll be leaving for Florida this Saturday.  See you in May.

Jerry  Robey

little guy

little guy

This little guy was in the Fall 2021 issue of Woodcarving Illustrated.  I personalized him a bit.  Go Bears!

Jerry  Robey


A couple of owls carved from basswood.   A fun simple project.  Finished with golden oak stain and satin polyurethane. 

Jerry  Robey

 sea captain

This sea captain was featured in The Fall 2021 issue of Woodcarving Illustrated.   It's carved in cotton wood bark with the only piece I had on hand.  My first attempt working with cotton wood.

Jerry  Robey


I haven't been doing any carving but I do have some wood burned bookmarks. When I haven't burned in a while, I often warm up by burning these. They're fun and only take a few minutes.

Larry Stenzel


At a job interview Ole was asked, “I you found a million dollars, what would you do with it?  “If it belonged to a poor person, I’d return it.”


Ole told Lena, “You got your wish to live in a more expensive apartment. Your wish has been granted.  The landlord just called and raised the rent.”









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