Mohawk Valley Art & Woodcarving Association
September 2000 Newsletter
There’s lot to talk about this month, but first lets hear about a
couple events that our club was well represented at. First up is
GE Quarter Century Picnic
Our club was invited to demonstrate and display our talents
for the GE Quarter Century Outing on Sept.9th at the Altamont Fair Grounds.
GE expected 3000 to 4000 people! The weather was threatening and
some 2000+ showed. Cider donuts and coffee at 9:00am with muffins
and fruit salad! At 11:00 am sausage and peppers, chili, clam chowder
and hot dogs & sauerkraut! Then at 1:30pm, NY 10oz strip steaks,
grilled salmon or bar-b-que 1/2 chicken! Fried Dough, beer and soda
were served all day. One of our members was seen inserting this entry
in his Diet Book, “Disaster Day”! Although the weather was not great,
we had a great time. From 10am to 2:30pm we had hundreds of people
at our tent, constantly. We carved, answered questions and
gave club info to many interested carvers. I thanked GE and expressed
our hope of being invited next year. Our thanks to Fred Jenzer, Andy
Ebli, Margaret Farrell, Bud Murtlow, Pieter Paulding, Jim Harvey and John
Don’t know about you folks, but I gained 10lbs just reading that report! Bet we get a few more attending next year. The next report is anonymous, but came to me through John Raucci...
For years Ron & Bette Myers have represented us at the Fonda-Fulton County Fair. Eileen Douglas, in charge of the Fairs Agricultural Bldg., thanked and applauded them in an article which appeared in the Amsterdam Recorder. Marcus Kruger, Dick Moran and John Raucci, a formidable array of talent, who displayed and demonstrated their wares as well, accompanied the Myers this year. They created much interest, and demonstrated to many of the fair attendees. Ron just (quietly?) goes about his business of furthering the interests and reputation of our club. Thanks a load Ron & Bette.
Don’t know who wrote it, but using the word ‘quietly’ in the same
sentence with Ron Meyers takes a lot of writing skill (even with the ‘?’).
This month I actually attended the meeting. Let’s see if we can convey
the mood and motion of the gathering (probably just have to make stuff
up as we go). Most of this comes from Martha Colinas with only small
Thirty three members of the Mohawk Valley Art and Woodcarving Association convened at the Inman Center for the September meeting. President, Carl Borst, presided.
Sister Mary Ellen’s program was great. Especially good since
she backed up most of the woods mentioned with live samples from Bill McCormick’s
collection of wood. Some of the highlights:
Well, I had not planned on including my seminar with Ian Norbury
in this month’s issue, but thanks to a last minute business trip earlier
that week this issue got delayed and poor John Raucci had to wait for it
again. Thanks to that trip I got to fly the ticket back through Phily
instead of 12 hrs of driving round trip to the seminar from Rome,
NY. The down side is hauling most of my carving equipment (including
my carver’s arm) through the airports on my way to Philadelphia, Pa. via
Tampa, Fla. While I’m in
The Ian Norbury Seminar offered a choice of five projects. Out of ten carvers one did the relief carved eagle’s head, two are chose to do a woman’s head, one is carved an elderly man, four are took on an in-the-round hawk, and two lecherous carvers went after this female torso. I was lech number two (got there late, remember?). I really had no choice with the project, Yvonne said after all the raving I did about this guy Norbury as a figure carver that I’d better do something related to the human anatomy or else... At this point my knives entered into the conversation again, and you already heard about them so I won’t bore you with details. I offered to see if Ian would let me do a male torso, but she said... ummm... well the conversation kinda degraded at that point, and doesn’t belong in this newsletter. All projects were band sawed out for us and carver clamps were provided by Woodcraft. Yeah, that’s 10lbs of carver’s arm I could have left home, sheesh! The clamps were waiting for us, already secured to the top of several carver’s benches in a workshop classroom. Very nice set up.
Despite the rocky start, the seminar developed into three days of pure carving heaven. Ian and Betty Norbury are both from England, now living in Ireland. As with most successful couples I’ve met, they are a team. Through conversations over the weekend you learned that Ian’s artistry and craftsmanship and Betty’s business and marketing skills complimented each other to a frightening level. Both have published books in there fields. We traded cultural viewpoints on several levels intellectual and otherwise. Thanks to humor e-mail I recieved from Carl earlier in the year the terms ‘recreational sex’ and ‘dolphins’ came into close proximity. This happened during conversations at the end of Saturday’s session. Obviously it was time to put the gouges down for the day. That evening, those that could went out to dinner with the Norburys. The evening was a great bonus to a really full weekend of carving instruction. Conversations lasted well past dinner and late into the evening.
Towards the end of Sunday’s session it was obvious I was surrounded by some very talented and experienced carvers. Combined with Ian’s instruction, there were some masterworks there. My torso? Well, it looks female, and it looks human, so I’m satisfied. From a certain angle it does remind me of this Rumanian ladies shot putter I once... well never mind!
To cap it off, Ian gave a slide presentation of his carvings. Where his earlier works were carved from a single piece of wood. Later works are assembled from several pieces of differing wood species. Many carvings included metals, crystal and other materials. In all of his examples you could easily see where breaking with the one-piece-of-wood philosophy enhanced the work’s strength, durability, and variety of color. Many of his most recent works included acrylic colors painted on the wood as well. I could not imagine any of these being somehow better if left as natural wood only. In a year or two the Norburys plan on coming back to the US for another tour. Maybe we can get them to swing by our way, even if it’s only for Ian’s slide show.
Well gang, keep them edges sharp, the chips piled high, and see ya
at the meeting Tuesday.
Full of it, like always,