Blackhawk Carving Club
Rockford, Illinois 61109
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The Blackhawk Woodcarver

Volume XXVIII, Issue 4    April 2023

Blackhawk Carving Club

We meet every Wednesday at 9:00 am until 12:00 noon at the Ken Rock facility at 625 Adams Street, Rockford, IL.  KenRock is located in the area of Rural and North 2nd St.

Presidents Report  April 2023

Welcome to all carvers attending our Wednesday carving sessions. It's nice see those who have been isolated for health protection, yucky weather, etc. We have several new members whom we are delighted to see, also. 

Easter is here. Please carve an Easter-related item for our Show & Tell on April 19.  

Over the years, we have had fun joking about sanding vs non-sanding our carvings. Bob Matthews refers to his sandpaper as his #80 gouge and I prefer a very sharp knife/gouge and very thin cuts for smooth surfaces. I was recently reading a carving book by Kurt Koch, who appears to be a no-sense professional architectural ornament carver. He states, "Sanding is an unacceptable practice for the ornament carver." He then gives his reasons for this, including that sanding tends to remove crisp detailing from a carving. Another caveat about finishing with sanding vs knife/gouge work is if you use both on a carving, the two areas will not take paint and other finishes to match. The sanded area will absorb more finish than the non-sanded areas. If you want to know why, ask me sometime. 

Thanks to Denny and Gordy for teaching the carving classes the last several weeks.

Don Stansfield


Free tools

carving tools

Tom Backer’s daughter gave the club members her dad’s carving tools and equipment for carving. The new students were given knives and then there was a free raffle to all who were in attendance.  We would like to thank Julie Browne for this gift.


Secretary report for March 2023

Minutes of the regular monthly business meeting of Blackhawk Woodcarvers; held on, March 15, 2023 at Ken Rock Community Center, 625 Adams Street, Rockford, Illinois 61107.

President Don Stansfield opened the meeting at 9:34

Don wanted to thank all of those who carved Irish things for St. Patrick’s Day.  For the next month he requests that people carve something for Easter.  He showed a miniature rabbit he carved, no larger than a half an inch.  He said that he carved this great big rabbit a number of years ago…. He wanted a small rabbit for a display he was making and when done he felt it was too big so he carved an even smaller one and this sat in a cupboard for years unpainted. 

Don is clearing out all of his sales tools.  All OCC’s are $15 apiece and Drakes are $20 apiece.  OCC is currently out of production. 

Steve read the minutes of the previous meeting.  There were no additions or corrections to the minutes as read. 

In the absence of our Treasurer, Don reminds us that we continue to be solvent. 

There was no old business or new business presented. 

Gordy Moscinski presented a number of items from Tom Backer who was deceased about 4 years ago.  There was a free raffle for each of the 32 club members present to come up when their number was called to come up and select an item that they wanted.  Also available were wood pieces from Bunny.

There was no old business and no new business. 


Respectfully submitted; Steve Terrill, Club Secretary.


Classes held

Four sessions of carving were held at KenRock in the month of March.  They were through Rock Valley College CLR. (Center for Learning in Retirement)  Denny Neubauer led a group of advanced carvers.

Gordy Moscinski taught beginning carving to a group of enthusiastic learners.  The Club is pleased that many from these classes joined the club.

Look for several classes in the Fall through CLR that will be taught at KenRock. 


Blackhawk Carving Club Website

The Blackhawk Carving website is  It has the newsletters from the beginning of the club plus other good information.

Newsletter deadline

Keep sending your pictures and stories by the May 3, 2023 deadline.


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.

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)

  2 Roger Benedict
21 Bob Matthews
22 Steve Terrill
31 Colin Bystrom

Club Officers   (815 aera code)

President,  Don Stansfield, 235-0075
Vice Pres,  Richard Dunphey, 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

Upcoming Shows in 2023

Karve In 7 will be held on April 22, 2023 at Westby Elementary, 122 Nelson Street, Westby, WI. This is a new location. Free admission. Contact Steve Michaels @ or John Sutton @ 608-634-4396 or

• The Mid-Wisconsin Chippers will be holding their 47th Annual Show, Competition, and Sale on Sunday May 7, 2023 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the “Oshkosh Convention Center, 2 North Main Street, Oshkosh, WI. Admission in $5.00, Ages 12 & under are free. More show information is available @ or from Paul Wolters (920-727-2139).

• AWC Congress will be held in Maquoketa, IA from June 10 to 17, 2023. Competition, Seminars, and Show. More information from Ron O’Kray, the website, or Facebook: Affiliated Wood Carvers

• The Rock River Woodcarvers will be holding their show on September 9, 2023.

• The first Carve in On the Chippewa was a success. They are planning next year’s show for September 16, 2023


Snow Daze Carve In  APRIL 28-30, 2023 Sponsored by Central Minnesota Woodcarvers Association of St. Cloud, MN. Loyal Order of Moose Lodge 1300 3rd St. N., Waite Park, MN 56387

A - PYROGRAPHY - Brenda Lodermeier. Brenda has been carving & working with pyrography for the past 12 years. She is an active member of the Central MN Woodcarvers Association and on the Board of Directors for the Rio Grande Woodcarving Show in Mission Texas. If you are a beginner or advanced pyrography student, this is the class for you. Let’s learn or renew the basics and work with different techniques, emphasizing your style and completing projects on a variety of wood species. Instructor will discuss preparation of wood, patterns, and use of burners including variety of tips and cleaning. Students are encouraged to bring additional lighting, graphite paper and their burning units. Many patterns and design available. Student may start with a barn project or bring one of their own. I have many patterns to choose from. Brenda is an authorized Colwood Dealer with burners, tips, wood and supplies for purchase. Cost: $50.00 Skill Level: Beginner to Advanced Class size: 10-12

B - RELIEF, WOODBURNING & PAINTING - Fred and Elaine Stenman Students will learn the techniques developed by Elaine and Fred, which combine low relief carving with details that are wood burned. The carvings are painted with very thin acrylics and stained with oil paint. Tool techniques for full sized gouges and wood burning tools along with elements of design will be taught. Students may select from three of the Stenmans’ original designs: 1. A building and fence post are carved. Details woodburned. Background will change to due to limited time. 2. A rainbow trout jumping. The fish is carved. 3. A common loon swimming (carved). Woodburned grasses. The projects will be executed in basswood with the bark remaining on the edge to create a natural frame. The paints and brushes are provided. We encourage students who are new to the class to do our low red barn or cabin relief as they are a great learning experience.
If you have any questions, you can phone us: (651) 485-0580. You can also email us at: Students new to our style of carving, should practice woodburning details on a 6” X 9” printed board during the class. Cost: $30 Materials: 12 1/2” rounded board (with design): $18.00 6” X 9” printed practice board (optional): $8.00 Skill level: Beginner to Advanced Class size: 10

Show and Tell




Bob Coleman carved this house and two Santas.



Jim Foster brought in a Celtic knot spoon which incorporated a leprechaun with gold.

 cross  bunny

Don Standsfield brought in a Leprechaun pin, a shamrock, 4 crosses that were chip carved, a small bunny, and an Easter egg. 


Roger Benedict a relief in progress of Queen Elisabeth’s hat

 cubs player

Gordy Moscinski brought in a Chicago cubs…#42 player.



Rich Talbot showed a wood-burned fish and a leprechaun.  Rich also showed a number of middle and large leprechauns


Tony Devita had a clown on a cage in which he has inserted a golf ball that is larger than the cage openings. 


John Skaggs brought in 2 large leprechauns. 





John Skaggs brought in 2 plaques for the fighting Irish and a large shamrock plaque plus a Viking. 


bear   bear

Jerry Robey sent a couple more recent carvings from Florida.



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