Blackhawk Carving Club
Rockford, Illinois 61109
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The Blackhawk Woodcarver

Volume XXVIII, Issue 2     February 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  February 2023

Welcome to eleven months of the New Year that's left. Just think, you have eleven months to complete last year's projects. Are you still trying to carve the lump of coal that Santa left you? 

For our February Show & Tell, carve a heart or something that incorporates a heart  for Valentines Day. 

Welcome to new members. I hope you find the club is inviting and offers you to grow with us.  

Don Stansfield

Shop Contest

Tony came up with the idea that he has the messiest shop in the club, and I replied to him, my shop is worse than his shop. We decided to settle this difference of opinion by having a contest. We are going to let the club vote on it. Another question came up, what if somebody else’s shop is worse than ours? Let everybody enter. Wait a minute, what if you’re one of those people who are mighty tidy? Have a contest for them also.

Contest Rules

$3 per entry all money will go to the club. List one of the following, Mighty tidy or not so tidy.

Send two pictures of your shop or carving area to

All pictures will be printed set out voted on January 18 meeting

All members are allowed to vote

Each category winner will win a custom-made knife made to their design

 Thanks, Denny Neubauer


Secretary report for January 2023

Minutes of the regular monthly business meeting of Blackhawk Woodcarvers; held on, January 18, 2023 at Ken Rock Community Center, 625 Adams Street, Rockford, Illinois 61107.

President Don Stansfield opened the meeting at 10:26

Don reported on CLR , the Center for Learning in Retirement.  They will be having carving classes and will be starting to have them in this location in March.  It will be a beginning/Intermediate class.  It will be taught by Gordy Moscinski for the beginner portion and Denny Neubauer for the intermediates.  We have CLR catalogues available. 

We sent a birthday Card to Jane Pheiffer for her 102nd birthday and she sent a note to us saying that you and all of the carvers are a joy to her.  She says she is doing well but not carving.   She is expecting go exchange blessings in another year.  Don notes that she started carving when she was about 9 years old.  She is at independence village and Tony has continued to see her.  

Since Valentine’s Day is not far away, Don brought some Valentine,s carvings he has made for display.  Don challenges us to all bring some carving with a heart in it for show and tell in February. 

That is all that Don has for notes. 

Steve read the December minutes. 

There was no old business, new business.

Gordy did have some monkey business, however.  He was looking at old records and John Skaggs took Gordy’s class in 1988, Tony DaVita in 1991, Bob Hallstrom in 1992, Roger Benedict in 1994, and Larry Stenzel in 1994. 

The meeting was adjourned at 9:41

Respectfully submitted; Steve Terrill, Club Secretary.


CLR Beginning Carving Class

CLR Beginning Carving Class will be held at 9:00 am until 12:00 noon at the Ken Rock facility at 625 Adams Street, Rockford, IL. Ken Rock is located in the area of Rural and North 2nd St. The dates are March 8, 15, 22, and 29.

 Knives and wood blanks will be furnished. If you have any questions call Gordy at 815.558.1938 or Denny at 815.238.5296

Blackhawk Carving Club Website

The Blackhawk Carving website is  it has the newsletters from the beginning plus other good information.

Accepting dues for 2023

We are accepting dues for 2023.  Larry will try to be at each meeting, although things do come up.  If people want, they can send dues to Larry Stenzel’s home address: 7689 North Gate Road, Roscoe, IL 61073.  $25, Cash or check.  He will get them a receipt.

Larry Stenzel


Clearing Off the Bench

carved flowersBelow a carved surface, perhaps, are hidden secrets that would reveal an untold story.  Viewers see only the surface of the carving without knowing of its creation.  The untold story of a carving is not obvious but becomes of interest when known.  Usually, I keep my carving stories to myself, but from the occasional interest from the Wednesday carving group I have prepared this untold story. 

My carving titled, “Wonder,” is a story relating to an interesting beginning and ending.  It began when Bob Matthews giving me a large panel that sat in my workshop for months without any idea of carving it.  Eventually by seeing flower gardens in Door County I became inspired to create sketches with Bob’s panel in mind.  In July 2021 a final design was made with a long flowing stem having flowers (hollyhocks), leaves, and roots.  For novel reasons the small leaves were added without any connection to the primary theme.  The design was transferred to the panel and carving began.

Quickly the carving became a “labor of chore” because the basswood was aged-hardened, and my tool sharpening ability had diminished.  For several months I had thoughts to give up, because I was not enthused to continue this project---what should have been a three-month project became 13-months. 

I am a grateful person, because on a Wednesday carving morning Denny Neubauer specifically took over to regain my confidence and sharpened several tools for me.  This renewed my attitude into a “labor of love.”  Continuing I made a goal to complete this carving for showing at the Christmas party---completed three days before December 14, 2022.

Keep your tools sharp,

Roger Benedict

Carving Session

Newsletter deadline

Keep sending your pictures and stories by the March 1, 2023 deadline.


Forest City Forging

Have you ever wondered what it would be like make your own knife? Now you can! Experience a mini version of “Forged in Fire”. We will make knives out of Allen wrenches, drill bits, garage door springs, car coil springs, etc. Contact Denny at Forest City Forging to make arrangements. This is a one-day experience for the low cost of $55, plus a propane and materials fee of $10. Class size from 1 to 6 persons at the same low price per person.

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.

March Birthdays (that we Know of)

26 Ray Pederson

31  Grey Scott

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


Here is this years carved valentine for my wife Sara.  John Skaggs


Here a few of previous years carved for my wife Sara.  John Skaggs

 geometric star

Joel Taylor showed a geometric star that was the size of a volley ball and represents a Moravian star.



Don Stansfield showed many hearts that he carved.

 beetle bailey

Richard Dunphey showed his carving of Beetle Bailey.


Denny Neubauer showed his carving of a bird


cane   cane              ace

heart    heart

heart      heart

Richard Prutz a relief carving of an Eagle that he carved from pine and a cane.  Also hearts.


house finch

owl   owl

Bob Matthews showed a relief carving, a house finch and an elf owl


Jim Foster showed a gob of little people.


Gordy Moscinski showed clowns that he carved in the 80’s with no models, all out of his own head.







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