Blackhawk Carving Club Rockford
Blackhawk Carving Club
Rockford, Illinois 61109
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(p) The Blackhawk Woodcarver
         Volume XXII, Issue 4,  April 2015

Presidents Corner

As a relative newcomer to the organized world of wood carving and burning, I recently came across something very interesting and entertaining. Some of the long time members of the Blackhawk Club bring old copies of Chip Chats magazine and put them on the table by the coffee pot each week. I guess I just didn't notice or understand what they were before. There are photos of the work of carvers and burners with all levels of skill from the unbelievable to just starting out. Also, regular articles from carvers and burners in the US and around the world.

So, thanks to you who share your old magazines with us, and to you starting out pick up a couple of copies of Chip Chats and have some fun. When I get through the ones I've taken I'll bring them back and take a few more.

Gary Curl

Blackhawk Carving Club
P. O. Box 8285 Rockford, IL 61126
Open Carving every Wednesday (8:30-11am).  Ken Rock Community Center (Sacred Heart Academy, Multi-purpose room) 3218 Eleventh St, Rockford, IL 61109
Business Meeting; third Wednesday of the month. Friends and spouses of carvers are especially welcome to come to meet and visit. Carvers bring in finished carvings for “Show & Tell.”

CLUB OFFICERS       (815 area code)
President - Gary Curl  -
Vice Pres. - Frank Lay, 677-1190
Treasurer - John Skaggs, 547-6951
Secretary - Martha Fitch, 399-2453

COMMITTEES   (815 area code)
Librarian - Dawn Rozanas—229-8996
Show Co-Chairmen - Gary Curl  224-688-2659, 
Elaine Terrell 765-2886
Webmaster - Gordy Moscinski, 874-7978
Membership  - Chuck Drewes, 316-0398
Newsletter Publisher, Gary Johnson 399-1697
Newsletter Editor, Gordy Moscinski, 874-7978
Photographer - Larry Clark, 262-9982
Historian - Elaine Terrell 765-2886
Programs—Bob Matthews 544-2359 & Denny Neubauer 515-508-9524
Petty Cash—Dona Wisner
Christmas Party -
Rosalie Wesley
Picnic -
Tony Devita

Soap Carving –Gary Lundquist

Club Activity Schedule

March 18 - business meeting
Bob Cole  is going to give us some pointers on carving old books. There have been some unbelievable things   carved out of the pages  of old books, telephone  books, etc. Bob has carved some amazing   faces out of old books.  The process of  doing  this  is quite  fascinating.  One you will not want to miss.

March 25
- open carving

April 1 - open carving
April 8
- open carving
April 15 - business meeting
Rick Ferrell and Bill Minton, chainsaw carving
April 22 - open carving
April 29 - open carving

May 6 - open carving
May 13 - A presentation by 'The Northern Raptor Center
May 20 - business meeting
May 27 - open carving

June 3
- open carving
June 10 - open carving
June 17 - business meeting
June 23 - Club Picnic at Bauman Park In Cherry Valley
June 24 - open carving

July 1    open carving
July 8   open carving
August 15 
Blackhawk Carving Show

April Birthdays
(that we know about)

9     Larry Clark
   Franklin Johnson
   John Skaggs
  Bunny Nordheim
   Marjorie Simonds

Minutes for March 18, 2015

The meeting of the Blackhawk Woodcarvers was called to order at 9:03 am by President Gary Curl.


Minutes of last meeting held on February 18, 2015 were not read as the Secretary had momentarily misplaced those papers.  No remarks or additions were mentioned.

Membership Chairman Chuck Drewes reported no new members since the last meeting and all but a very few members have paid dues for the current year.  He will notify personally anyone who has not paid dues.

Petty Cash Chairman Dona Wisner gave her report.  A copy of her report is available for review.

Treasurer John Skaggs is away on vacation and unavailable to give his report.

Unfinished Business

2 raffle drawings to be done at this meeting to give away 2 carvings from the collection left to the Club by a former member.  This will be done just after the meeting.  Tickets are now on sale by Tod Wisner.

Bob Matthews addressed the members regarding the purchase of video equipment for use by the Club for classes and demonstrations.  He has researched the costs of a video camera and other necessary equipment and expects the cost to be between $750.00 and $900.00. A motion was made to purchase the equipment.  A second was called out, but President Curl asked to postpone for further discussion. 

Question 1:  Can a cabinet be used instead of a tri-pod.  No, due to need to move equipment easily when needed at an alternate location.

Question 2:  Do we have people to set up and run the equipment?  It should be a plug and play operation; at least 6 people will be trained in use of the equipment.

Again it was moved and seconded that we go ahead with this purchase.  The motion passed with no dissent.  Bob stated he expects to have the equipment ready to go in 2 months.

The premiere of the Door Prize Drawing was held on March 4th, 2015 and was a success.  The donated items were interesting and it was fun to see who won and what they plan to do with their new items.  We look forward to the next drawing and encourage anyone who wants to do so to contribute stuff to be given away.

Gordon Moscinski gave an update on his request to email Newsletters instead of printing them.  He will send around the sign-up sheets again so that everyone can have a chance to accept email or request a paper copy.


Rosalie Wesley announced that Vesterheim is coming up and we have been invited to participate.  This is a carving contest for original Norwegian style carvings held in Decorah, IA.  If anyone is interested in participating they can contact Rosalie for information.

Rosalie also said that she is beginning to plan the Christmas Pot-luck already and is trying to organize things to be simpler than last year.  If anyone has ideas or questions, please contact her.

Leaf Relief Challenge
Don Stansfield issued a challenge for Club members.  This is a leaf relief, with at least 1 human face also in the carving.  There will be prizes and he hopes to have many entries.  Don handed out copies of the rules and also pieces of wood cut to the contest size requirement.  Ideas can be found at  No copying allowed.
The Rules
1 The relief carving must be 4-1/2” x 6-1/2” in total size.
2 Al least one human face must be carved into the leaf’s surface.
3 The face or faces must be given an appropriate name.
4 The carving must be one piece, no add-ons.
5 The finished carving can be painted or of natural finish.

The finished carvings are to be presented at the Blackhawk Woodcarver’s meeting on May 20, 2015.
You can contact Don with any questions.

Gordon Moscinski announced that the Musky Carvers Club of Boulder Junction, WI is having a 3-day carving event.  This is an opportunity to carve or to fish or to just hang out with other carvers.  The event will take place August 18 through 21 this year.  Anyone interested can contact Gordon for more information and to see a brochure.

Motion to adjourn received at 9:29am.  Meeting adjourned.
Raffle of carvings ---  $83.00 raised for the club.
Presentation by Bob Coleman  “Carving in Books”  

Martha Fitch, Recording Secretary


Hi!  Some of you call me "The Coffee Lady".  O.K. I can live with that.  Actually, my name is Dona (with one N) Wisner. Back in 1999 someone or two said it would be nice to have a cup of coffee in the morning while carving.

 Well, I figured it was safe to say, "I'd make coffee if there was a coffee pot around."  Lo' and Behold!  And Shut My Mouth!  Elaine Terrell said, "There IS one around here - we used to have coffee years back."   So, that's how it all began.

    We have been through 3 coffee makers, one that was donated by Nordine Bolstad.  Sad to say they couldn't stand up to the weekly Woodcarvers sessions of a Cupa'.....30 to 36 cups a session!!  (It's decaff)  There's some cocoa and bags of tea for non-coffee people.  Of course you need a little something to nibble while you slurp and chat.  So the cookies came in next.  A few kind souls brought in cake, cupcakes or donuts for special occasions like Birthdays. All goodies are accepted with great appreciation.  You see how fast they disappear from the table!

     Elaine Terrell (she's a peach) helps by counting the money (self auditing) and cleaning up for the school children who come to eat at 11am.  We are responsible to leave the place clean for them.  So be sure to sweep up your chips!

    I use a little register to keep track of the 25 cents or more that you give to pay for the expenses. The computer is handy to record this on a spreadsheet and print out a report for the business meetings.  We have always ended up with a surplus (or profit) by the end of the year so we decided we could help pay for a party at Christmas.  This is up to you.

    I buy the cookies and supplies (coffee, sweeteners, creamers, cups, napkins,) usually on Tuesdays, so if you decide to bring a treat, it would be appreciated if you let me know ahead so I don't buy cookies.

    That's All Folks!  Dona Wisner

Carving Shows/Classes
Shows within 3 to 4 hours one-way drive time of Rockford will be listed as they become known.

April 18, 2015 - Sheboygan, WI
25th Kettle Karvers Show at (new location) Lakers Ice Center, 1202 South Wildwood Avenue.

August 15, 2015 - Rockford, IL
The Blackhawk Wood Carvers will hold its 20th annual carving show. The show location is at the Tebala Shrine Temple, 7910 Newburg Rd in Rockford, Illinois, 61108. The show is open to the public starting at 10:30 AM until 4:00 PM.

Kestrel Class with Josh Guge
March 8-12  a carving class at his studio in Illinois, with an option of adding a 1 day Habitat class on Saturday March 7. This class is designed to take each carver to the next level.

Classes at the Center for Learning in Retirement

March 17 thru April 21, 2015  Woodburning (Pyrography) Basics, Gordy Moscinski instructor. Tuesdays 1:00pm to 4. 
March 19 thru April 23, 2015    Abstract Relief Carving by Roger Benedict. Thursdays 9:00am to 12.

Classes at The Woodcraft Shop
Habitat Making and Airbrushing with Josh Guge
Fri - Sun: March 27, 28 and 29, 2015 - $185.00 + $20.00 Material Fee
Advanced Pyrography with Sharon Bechtold
Fri. eve. - Sun: April 17, 18 and 19, 2015 - $210.00
Knife Making and Carving Miniatures with Denny Neubauer
Thurs. - Fri: April 23 and 24, 2015 - $95.00    Sat. - Sun: April 25 and 26, 2015 - $95.00

The reason farmers don't like daylight savings time: That extra hour of sunlight each day during the summer burns their crops.     Gary Curl

 CLR Art Showcase Wednesday, April 20, 2015 1:00pm to 4:30pm Rock Valley College Bell School Road Center
Show off your talent Exhibit only: $5.00 Exhibit & sell $10.00.  Deadline to register is March 13, 2015 Contact CLR for registration information.  Gordy Moscinski


Programs by Denny Neubauer & Bob Matthews

We have scheduled 'The Northern Raptor Center' of Loves Park to give us another presentation in May13th of this year. The last time we did this was in the spring of 2013 and we have had several requests from members to do it again, and additionally we have a number of new members. As you can see this is not on the meeting date due to the amount of time required to present their presentation.

We are open to all ideas for presentations after our business meetings each month. The talent of this club is above average compared to many other clubs and I'm sure that any member in hour club has something to share that would be beneficial to all of us. If you’re not too bashful and would like to share your knowledge with the club call Denny @ 515-508-9524 or contact me at the meeting. Thanks, Denny

Carving Show August 15, 2015

Hello Blackhawk Carver. This note is to keep you informed of changes that are taking place. Two inch cube will be replaced with a SPOON category. Spoons can be large and small. Entry fee will be the same as two inch cube. Chairpersons at this time will be Gary Curl and Elaine Terrell with Bunny Nordheim and Martha Fitch as under studies. We need carvers to step up to the plate and help with our show. There are some jobs that need someone to take charge of them. As time gets closer to our show a sign up sheet will be handed out on Wednesday morning. Also, you may be asked to handle a task. This will help our show run with out a hitch. Thank you for you cooperation  Gary Curl and The ladies.


Musky Area Wood Carvers Workshop
August 18-21, 2015 in Boulder Junction, Wisconsin

Bark Carving with Lee Belanger, 10.5” Walleye with Darwin Berry, Gourd carving with Karen Brown, Carving Caricatures with Dan Haack, Carve and paint a Varied Thrush with Bob Harris, Penguins with Gil Jung, Wood burning with Echo Keller, Chip Carving with Sophie Kubisiak, Carving flat plane characters with David Kublank, Low relief woodcarving with Elaine and Fred Stenman, Relief carving with Greg Wirtz.
Look on the Events
page for a complete list of all the classes and pictures of the project.



Marilyn Thorsen, Franklin Johnson’s sister-in-law, and the widow of Tony Thorsen, has most kindly given these carvings to our Club. Tony Thorsen was an enthusiastic wood carver, and through the years he collected fine examples of the art done by other carvers.  Several of these carvings were done by Canadian carvers.  Others in the collection have no prof of origin.

Although Tony and Marilyn Thorsen lived in Dwight, Illinois, they came to our Carving Show every year.  Tony even had a membership in our Club.  When Tony passed away in June of 2010, he left Marilyn with a “boat load” of carving stuff.  Perhaps readers will recall that she has had a sales table at our Club Carving Show a couple of times to sell some of Tony’s carving things: tools, wood, books, etc.


Leaf Relief Challenge
The challenge is to carve a leaf in relief with a human face carved into the surface.   The rules are simple:
1. The relief carving must be4-1/2” x 6-1/2” in total size.
2. At least one human face must be carved into the leaf’s surface.  3. The face or faces must be given an appropriate name.  4. The carving must be one piece; no add-ons.  5. The finished carving can be painted or of natural finish. 6. The finished carvings are to be presented at the Blackhawk Woodcarvers meeting on May 20,2015
There will be prizes awarded to challenge participants.
Haven’t got a clue? Go to but no copying.  Don Stansfield


In Memory of

Emil LeBeau 87 was born in Rockford, Il A long time member of Blackhawk WoodCarvers. Emil worked for Amerock for many years. He enjoyed fishing, carving and RVing. Emil will be missed by fellow carvers, friends and family.  Elaine Terrell


Anthony at 847-774-3550 would like a name carved in on top of a jewelry box.  Give him a call if interested.


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. The first one on March 4th went well with four happy winners, thanks to Mike Petty bringing some nice things. The next one is April Fools day. A chance for some fun maybe.

Gary Curl


Pyrographic Portraits

   Searing, stippling and smoke are sure signs of a pyrography at work. Larry Stenzel is an accomplished artisan in this endeavor.  Using a flex shaft Foredom , a wood burner and water colored pencils, he turns wood into works of art.

   His works of art are often indicators of his respect for nature and it’ s bounty. The wood burned sea turtle was a labor of love for his daughter and grandchildren.

   Carving for Gary Curl has been a journey.  For a year, he tried carving in the round, but carving in 3-D was a struggle, because “my brain is not wired that way”. Inspiration came when he noticed Martha, Bernie and Larry had wood burning set ups. “Hey I could do that.”

   Gary started wood burning. 95% of the time he uses a bent over shader. The other 5% of the time he uses a ball point to sign finished wood burned projects. Occasional he will use a skew. The journey continues - he has started low relief.

   For a long time Bernie Budzynski has been involved in wood turning and then started to incorporate wood burning to add depth and shading for a more professional finish.

Bernie’s tools of preference are: a shader, a writing tip (small ball) and a skew tip.

   Bernie finds he finishes more projects with wood burning rather than work in the round. As long as you have ventilation, you can burn in a carpeted room and have no accumulated wood shavings.
    Rosalie Wesley

Show and Tell By Larry Clark


 Bob Coleman –Wizard (Gandalf) carved in the round and mounted on a turned base.  Wood is Kauri wood from New Zealand.



Bob Matthews – West Coast Brown Pelican (mating colors) and painting done by airbrush.  He did this as a demo for the airbrush manufacturing company.  Carved from basswood.  Also a Blue-wing drake (duck), carved from basswood and painted.


  Carrie Lay –bunch of flowers carved, painted and wood burned on barkwood.


  Frank Lay –Pierced relief carving over black felt, carved from basswood

  Gary Curl --  Cowboys around a campfire, woodburned on barkwood.


  Gordon Moscinski --  Leprechaun (not carved), in honor of St Patrick’s Day,  painted on pine.


Larry Stenzel –Head of a brown trout, woodburned and highlighted with pastel chalk on birch plywood.  Also Blue Gill, woodburned on birch plywood.


  Richard Prutz –Totem pole  painted and carved out of pine and Douglas fir.


  Will Rottman  --In the round carving of a blacksmith working at an anvil.  Original design, carved out of Basswood.  Black pepper flakes are the small bits on the base.


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