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Mohawk Valley Art & Woodcarving Association

September 2002

edited by
John Raucci & Mike Bloomquist

Next Meeting:
Oct 1, 2002
Time: 7:00pm
Location: Inman Senior Citizen Center, Amsterdam, NY
Program:"Everyone Carves Something" - with a special  emphasis on carved Christmas Tree Decorations


Letter from the President

Well Folks, either: 1) you’re all gluttons for punishment, 2) nobody really wants the job, or 3) I’m doing OK as president of this here woodcarving crew.  Yeah, probably 4) all of the above!  Regardless, you’re stuck with me and my “letter from the Prez” for another year, and I’m real proud to be here.  More good news:  George Hallenbeck stays on as my VP and Don Painter is doing another term as our treasurer.  Bad news:  We lose Martha as secretary (again).  Good news: Paul Ferenczy steps in at secretary for the coming year.  I think this is his first stint at the “big table”, so go easy on him. <Mental Note: Remember to sit between Paul and where ever Ron Meyers is sitting>

Dick Moran!  I don’t have any idea how you come up with all these programs, but they are awesome.  I got e-mail from a couple in the Onondaga Club (Syracuse) that were interested in MVAWA membership specifically for the club programs.  This past one with Allen Aardsma from the Adirondack Museum was on the top of my list for the year.  Lots of good “stuff”, and if you missed him at the club meeting there is a good possibility he will be at our Woodcarving Show.  He says he doesn’t like to compete (Thank God!), but was real interested in being a judge.  It’s to bad we have to finish up the year with that Borst fella, but you can’t hit them all out of the park Dick.  I can get away with saying that… Carl says he never reads this part of the newsletter anyway.

Well Gang, I’ve gotta get packed for the weekend.  I’m going to South China, Maine to see a whole bunch of woodcarvers I’ve known for a couple years, but never met… in person.  These folks are part of a computer chat group for woodcarvers that meet on Sundays and Wednesday nights.  Last fall I missed this yearly shindig, but not this year.  Want to catch it before it moves West.  “Lobstah”, a lake, loons, and woodcarving, you gotta love it.  Give you all the gory details next issue.  So, keep those edges keen, the chips piled high, and remember… you didn’t have to put up with this abuse for another year if you had voted me out!

Your Prez,
-Mike Bloomquist->

  Highlights of Sept Meeting…
  • Show report is being readied for publication in Chip Chats.
  • John Raucci would appreciate articles for the Newsletter by the 15th of each month.
  • Wood for Nativity figures will be available at the October meeting.  Ron Myers will have pictures of Christmas ornaments.  Please plan to pick up whatever you need to start carving.
  • Dues of $10.00 should be sent to Don Painter or paid at the October meeting if you were not at the September meeting.
  • Jim Molitor is the Chairman of the Beaver Project, the Saranac Carousel carving figure.
  • A $50.00 donation will be made to the Kiwanis Club, who maintains the Park where our picnics are held.
  • Fred Jenzer, assisted by Dick Moran, will purchase a portable loudspeaker for use during meetings.
  • Officers elected for the coming year are 
    • Mike Bloomquist- President
    • George Hallenbeck- Vice president
    • Paul Ferenczy- Secretary
    • Don Painter-Treasurer.
  • Dick Moran selected another excellent program. The bird, turtle, and frog carvings were displayed by Allen Aardsma, resident carver at Blue Mountain  Museum.  His commentary covered experiences in his carving career, carving methods and sale

New Membership Chairman!

Eric Lawrence has graciously agreed to take over duties as Membership Chairman.  He will be responsible for signing up new members and keeping our club membership lists up to date.  He will be a great asset to the club and he should be congratulated for stepping up to the task.   I really appreciate his help and will now be able to lighten my load to only newsletter duties.
Thanks Eric
John Raucci

Program Report
By Dick Moran
The program for our next meeting on Oct. 1 - Everyone Carves Something" night. Everyone is asked to bring some woodcarving tools and whatever carving project he/she is currently working on…with a special emphasis on carved Christmas Tree Decorations which can be donated for our show’s fund raiser. Also, members are asked to bring a recently completed carving to share with everyone during the "Show and Tell" portion of this informal program.

The programs scheduled for the next few months are as follows:
Nov. 6 – Carving the Human Figure - Carl Borst

Dec. 4 - Christmas party (potluck dinner). Bring your favorite Christmas carving for display. Slide Show of Club Activities - George Hallenbeck

GE Quarter Century Outing

    We had 10 members show up and demonstrate their talents to the “old timers” on Sept.7th at the Altamont Fair grounds. This was the 1st year that I had an opportunity to be apart of it, and like Peter Paulding, it will take a major disaster to keep me away from any future ones.  We set up at our own tent with 8 tables set up in a circle around 9:00 AM  to find coffee and pastries being served all over the grounds. This was followed by their serving hot chili , and clam chowder. Then the word came down that the Budwieser tent was open and it became every man for himself.  All during the day, in addition to the
before mentioned goodies, soda, fried dough, hot dogs and sausage sandwiches. Then of course came a full blown dinner of your choice of chicken & ribs, or beef, or salmon complete with all the veggy trimmings.  Oh and of course the ice cream truck was there all day with a variety of treats.  This was all free for the taking along with free games and  prizes.
     I never heard what  the head count was, but their sure were a lot of people as the weather was picture perfect, and as mentioned earlier a lot of “old folks”.  It got Ron and I thinking that working for GE a long time made these people walk bent over.  Then about 10:30 Ron spotted 8 turkey vultures circling the fair grounds and we concluded that they were savvy enough to see the potential of as Good Thing.
    We all had a good day and enjoyed telling everyone, interested enough to come to our tent , about our great hobby and organization.  I cant believe that they invite us there every year - feed us, treat us with respect, and then pay us $100 for coming!
     If anyone hears about another deal like this - please call me and I will gladly
chair that event also.
Carl Borst

Fonda Fair
For years Ron & Bettie Myers have represented us at the Fonda-Fulton County Fair.   This year they were helped by, Martha Colinas, Marcus Kruger, George Hallenbeck and Walt LeClair, a formidable array of talent, who displayed and demonstrated their wares as well.  Thank you all for creating much interest, and promoting our club and woodcarving to many of the fair attendees.

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By Dick Moran

Anyone interested in signing up for the Cheryl Dow Workshop on Woodburning scheduled for May 5, 6 &7, 2003 should do so as soon as possible ; we currently have 10 people signed up for a maximum of 12 openings. The cost for the workshop is now $175. A nonrefundable $75 deposit is due at the time of signing up. The balance of payments will be due by April 3, 2003 with a $1 per day late fee. Checks should be made out to the Mohawk Valley Art & Woodcarving Association or MVAWA. See Dick Moran to sign up...or to ask any questions about the workshop.

You can check out Cheryl Dow's website at or her regularly published articles on wood burning in ChipChats for information on her work and the types of projects done by her students in similar workshops.

*Deposits and payments will only be refunded in the event that the workshop has to be canceled because of inadequate numbers, cancellation by the presenter, etc. However the original person to make payments to the MVAWA can turn over his/her deposits or payments-in-full to another interested party.  

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Dolores V. Kramkowski

This class is tentatively set up for the weekend of October 18th 2003. It will be on Friday evening, and Saturday & Sunday from 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.  Cost is $150.00 per person. Deposit of $50.00 by end of January.  This does not include the carving blank, which goes according to pick of project.  I need a maximum of 12 people and a minimum of 10.

Please contact me if you are interested in signing up for this class.  It is a great opportunity to learn some new ideas and techniques.  You can email me at or phone me at 518-234-3980.  Or you can see me at the next meeting.  I must know very soon as to whether there will be enough people to hold this class so please let me know

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  Thursday at the Inman Center
Thurs. Sept.12           28 carvers in attendance
     Monte Foster replacing his Pooh Bear carving!  First one was stolen from his shop. I had the tail of my jackass carving broken twice but none tried to steal it!  Monte is doing his usual good job, guess he better keep it chained!
     Saw John Paige's 24" Owl!  A marvelous paint job following a fine carving!  The claws are handmade and this is superb Owl with a professional finish!
     Bill DiCaprio finally finishing up his Golfer.  It has great eyes!  Should be able to line up those putts! Bill is a 6-handicap golfer; which is great.  He's also an 18-handicap carver! Just kidding Bill, I think!
     Bill Johnson fiddling around with a piece of teakwood.  It's going to be a "fiddle spoon" he hopes!
     Larry Jasenski has that "oh what a relief it is" feeling!  He's finishing up 3 or 4 more. A lady’s face in an attractive carved frame, a 1928 Model T and the First Motor Home, a caricature of a Box Turtle!  He's brought a new enthusiasm to our club!  Keep it up Larry!
     Chris Schmocher is carving a relief for his neighbor in Fla. the one who watches his new home.  It's in butternut and has a beautiful grain' but presenting your neighbor with Spring's first flower, a Skunk Cabbage  may take some explaining!
     Ev Bottsford brought in a fat headed Flicker.  It's really not but it sounds quaint!  As ever Ev's birds are delight and the Flicker is no exception. The presentation is neat and the feathering and painting is first class.
     Eric Lawrence is doing Halvor a character from Harley Refsal's book.  Eric is doing just fine with this type of carving and he is becoming a fine carver!
     Jim Harvey carving Swedish characters by the dozen!  He' finishing a policeman with a billy club and a nice carving it is!  But someone told him the buttons weren't right but Jim likes them his way!  You could say Jim was told "you don't have all your buttons, right"?
     New carver Tony DeGutes doing a Xmas relief.  He has done many others, mushroom and a guitar and Santas, all nicely done.  Hope to see a lot of you on Thursdays.  Holler if you need any help.
     RCREOHR SR on the bottom of this carving looked like RODEOHORSE!  Turns out to be  R.C. Reohr S.R.!   Anyway Dick's carvings are a joy but his signature is a bit vague!  The carving  is a black bear sitting on a dead tree!  Doesn't sound like much, right?  Well it's a fine carving and a fine base and presentation.  Now if Dick could only spell and write!  Oh Well!!!
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Many Thanks to Carol Ayers--

for the great job she has done setting up the purchasing system for Club paraphernalia.

She found the best source, ordered, picked up and delivered shirts, hats and aprons with Club logo, patches and decals.  For several  years, she did her best to keep us well dressed.

She has passed the job on to Ron Batcher, who stepped forward to take on the job. To reach him, WDCHAIN@NYCAP.RR.COM, 346-4090, or 2708 Granville Ave.,Schenectady, NY 12306.
Thanks Ron

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By Jim Strout

The first Carousels in the United States appeared around 1867. The first is credited to Gustav Dentzel, a German immigrant cabinetmaker. He had a Shop in the Philadelphia area and he constructed and operated a portable horse driven carousel in and around the Philadelphia area.  Carousels were not new to Dentzel as his father had built and operated several machines in Germany.
     As their popularity grew, other companies emerged in Philadelphia, New York City and Tonawanda, NY. About this time, Frederick Savage adapted the steam engine to machinery that rotated the Carousel platform. He also created the mechanism that that added a galloping motion up and down. Eventually about a dozen companies were producing machines at the height of their popularity. The so-called golden age of the Carousel lasted from about 1905 until about 1925.
   There generally is accepted, three basic styles, The Philadelphia style - Realistic animals in natural poses. Gustav Dentzel, Daniel Muller, Master Carver Salvatore Cemigliaro, and the Philadelphia Tobaggan Co.(P.T.C). The Coney Island Style - Flashy Animals with Dramatic Details. Marcus Illions, Charles Loof, Charles Carmel, Master carver John Zaiar, Solomon Stein, and Harry Goldstein. Country Fair Style - Used primarily in traveling carousels strong and functional, sometimes less realistic. Simply carved to hold up in transit. Charles Dare, Charles W. Parker, and the Herschell and Spillman Families. There were two basic types of machines. Park Machines, which were Large and very elaborate with as many as 80 animals and housed, in a permanent Enclosure. The other type was the Traveling carousel, which were smaller and with less elaborate carvings. The animals were more compact and sturdier to withstand the rigors of travel and handling.  The large park carousels were often elaborately decorated with additional carvings on the Rounding Boards and shields that covered the upper machinery', and with carved a mirrored panels below to cover the drive mechanism. Band organs that furnished the distinctive carousel music were often housed in large carved wooden cases. They sometimes included animated carved figures that moved with the music.
    Some interesting notes about carousels; In the United Kingdom the Carousels turned Clockwise, while in Europe and the United States they turned Counter Clockwise. That made the right side of the Animal the side that faced out towards the crowds. This side was called the Romance side as it was the side that was most decorated, usually with highly decorative trappings replete with glass jewels. The outside row horses were mostly slanders, with at least three hoofs on the floor. They were the biggest and fanciest of all the animals, with their heads turned to the right, their manes flying and always heavier on the right side of their neck.
    There were three basic positions, Standers, where three or more feet were on the ground. Prancers; where one or two feet were on the ground, and Jumpers; where no feet were on the ground. This was the mechanized animals that went up and down.
    Most carousel animals were horses, but almost every type of animal has been carved and used on a Carousel. Some fantasy animals as well (half horse and half fish, called a Hippocampus). If a carousel contained animals other than horses it was termed a menagerie carousel. There was always one horse that was fancier than all the rest, this was called the Lead horse. This is where the ticket taker started and ended when collecting tickets.
    The maintenance of the carousel animals was often left to the park employees. More often than not they were repainted with available enamel straight from the can. This color scheme was often termed "Park Paint". "Roach Mane" (cropped) Horses were often mistaken by park employees as zebras and given a striped paint job.
     Carousels were often called various other names, such as: Rundabouts, Gallopers, Whirlagigs and Merry go rounds.  Gold leaf Manes, the innovation of Illions, later became the trademark of Coney Island Carvings.  Due to the way a Carousel is made, the size of the animals becomes smaller as you move from the outer to the inner row. Also the position of the head and legs was determined by what row the animal was in. The decoration also became plainer as you moved to the inner rows, Almost every full size Carousel horse ever produced was approximately one foot wide. The bodies were generally slab sided boxes with little shaping. The overall length of a full sized hardly ever exceeded six feet. Most of the wood was Basswood (Linden). It is lightweight, strong and easy to carve. Most of the original carvers were immigrants from Europe and were familiar with European Linden. One exception was that the horses carved in the New York area, especially Tonawanda were of Popular because it was readily available local wood. The figures were built up of many smaller pieces with the body built like a hollow box.  Various jobs in the production were assigned based on the skills of the craftsman, from cutting parts on the band saw, to gluing up the major assemblies, to carving the body and legs and finally the "Head Man" who carved the head and mane. Many variations were derived by using the same body and changing the position of the legs and head. Other times the same animal was modified only by changing the decorative trappings. The original carousels, of which only about 200 remain of the thousands that were produced, are enjoying a renaissance.  In 1973, carousel historian Frederick Fried wrote a book entitled " A Pictorial History of the Carousel".  The publication of this book seemed to renew interest in the preservation of carousel art.  A number of groups were started among enthusiasts two of which are the National Carousel Association and the American Carousel Society.  These organizations, along with corporate sponsors are attempting to save the remaining original carousels and to restore them to their original condition. A number of them have been renovated and are now featured rides at large amusement, theme parks and Malls.
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Classified Adds

If you would like to sell something you can advertise it here first and, if you want, you can bring it to our monthly meeting to display it.  Just let the members know when and where they can see what you are selling.  Let me know when you place your ads and I will get the word out if they can see it at an upcoming meeting.  Remember all advertising here is FREE!  
We have already had success with this endeavor!  

********* For Sale *********

Table Saw
- 10" Craftsman with 2 extensions, optional XR-2424 fence,  retractable casters, many extras $200.00.  Call Carol Ayers @ 518-587-6841 or e-mail

Basswood - Cut to Order - Also some Cherry and Butternut….Prices on request
Will furnish Bird Blanks from your plans or mine…..Prices on request depending on species.
For any information on the above items please contact Walt LeClair @ 518-861-6544

Reliant Dust Collector - Model # NN720 - Paid $260.00 for it will take $130 - Runs on 110 or 220 volts.  Call Tony Monte @ 518-357-4602

Delta Scroll Saw - 18" Variable Speed - Approximately 4 years old with very little use.  Original cost $450, willing to sell for $300. Call Bill Johnson @518-399-5927 or e-mail @

Alaskan Chain Saw Mill - used to convert logs to lumber- 36" w/accessories - very good condition  $100.00  
McCulloh 20" Timber Bear Chain Saw w/ripping chain and w/extra chains - very good condition $175.00  
Please call Steve Madej @ 518-842-7219 if you are interested in these items.

Craftsman Wood Lathe - with live center, face plate and set of turning tools. $150
Craftsman Tabletop Shaper - with numerous cutters. $85 Call Ev Botsford at 518-438-4788

Anvil  - For sale - Please contact Gordon Litke @ 584-1128

********* Wanted *********

Old draw knife with folding handles, call Marcus Kruger  @ 518-829-7008 or e-mail @

Old, Used Chain Saw Chains -  In any condition.  Call Bud Murtlow @ 518-885-9579

To place want ads for any wood carving related items please contact Carol Ayers @ 518-587-6841, 3 Poe Court, Ballston Spa, NY  12020 or e-mail  ……it's free!  Don't forget that you can also place an Ad for something WANTED.

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Club Apparel
By Carol Ayers


All of the items are embroidered with our club logo and the prices including sales tax is as follows:
  • Polo shirt, light ash gray (short sleeve with collar and tab front) is $11.00
  • Long sleeve T-shirt, light ash gray is $12.50
  • Crew neck sweatshirt, light ash gray is $16.50
  • Hooded, full zipper front sweatshirt with side pockets, light ash gray is $22.00
  • Apron, natural with no pocket is $8.50
  • Hat, tan is $7.70
  • Club embroidered patch is $3.50
  • Club static cling decals are $2.00
    (sales tax is included in all the pricing)

Ordering these items is as follows:
Patches, hats and decals are on hand and can be bought from me at any time.
Shirts, sweatshirts and aprons  need a total of 6 orders, any combination.


From now on, I will try to always have club hats on hand just like the patches and static cling decals for the car window.  It is great to have a hat, club shirt or logo apron or sweatshirt when doing the fairs or demos or shows.  You can place an order by e-mailing me, Ron Batcher WDCHAIN@NYCAP.RR.COM or writing me at  2708 Granville Ave. Schen. NY 12306 or phoning me at 518-346-4090.

Club members and other clubs have asked who does our shirts, hats, and now decals. The company is Cameo Productions, Amsterdam, NY . They have quality merchandise, give you personal attention, and are capable of producing almost any quantity. They have also are willing to meet deadlines and fill our small orders. If you would like a catalog please call Joe at 1-800-809-4839 or 518-842-4839. If he is not there, Lisa will help you.

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Club History
By Fred Jenzer

history pic 1

CARVERS, COWBOYS AND INDIANS _ Characters from the American frontier are among figures entered in the annual show and competition of the Mohawk Valley Art and Woodcarving Association by association members, from left,  Ron Myers, John Gomula and Monte Foster. Gomula and Foster serve on the committee for the Saturday.

1987 Carving Show, Competition at Amsterdam Mall

- The Mohawk Valley Art
and Woodcarving Association will present its annual show and competition Saturday, from Noon to 4pm at the Amsterdam Mall.

 *  *  *

Nearly 60 carvers from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Virginia will exhibit, demonstrate and sell their work.

  The competition has novice, intermediate and advanced classes in 17 carving categories, including human figures, song birds, ducks, animals, relief and caricatures. A prize of $150 will be designated for best of show, and prizes will be awarded in each class.

A whittling contest for exhibitors will be conducted Sunday from 12.30 to 2 p.m. by Marcus Kruger.  Mike Wojtowski of Pittsfield, Mass., will show his collection of antique and new woodcarvings acquired on trips to Poland.

                        *   *   *

Rick Butz of Blue Mountain Lake will be on hand to autograph copies of his book, “How to Carve.” Three suppliers will sell carving tools and materials.  Roger Montgomery of Johnstown heads the show committee.  Members include Alice Montgomery, club president Monte Foster, Palatine Bridge; Everett and Dorothy Byard,Duanesburg, and John Gomula and Marcus Kruger, Amsterdam.               

                         *   *   *

   Admission is free. The show has partial funding from the state Council of the Arts Decentralization Program administered by the Schoharie County Arts Council

Letters to the Editor

Send correspondence to...
Mike Bloomquist
117 Riverview Parkway
Rome, N.Y. 13440

Or Email to;

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