Friday, February 27, 2015

Blue Heron in Black Walnut Wins at CWS Show

The great blue heron eating a snake that I started carving last August finally got a coat of clear finish and welded steel legs in time to make an appearance at the 35th Annual Artist of the Plains Show being held this weekend at the Downtown Holiday Inn.

 I thought it still needed a lot of work, but it captured the eyes of whomever did the judging, and for the next couple of days it will wear a ribbon for the three dimensional Best of Show.

Because of an unexpected invasion of athletic event participants the hotel parking at the main door has been blocked off for busses.  There may, however, be spaces in the back (north parking ramp).  There is a baracade and sign that says "reserved for Guests, but the bar will lift as you drive through.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Wondering About Whitling

There are plenty of resources available on the internet on the subject of whittling.  Here are a couple just to get you started:

Whimseys and Tramp Art

Eddy's Wood Carvings

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Carving with Power Tools

There is a  cherished mystique about using only hand powered tools for carving and woodworking. An apprentice in one Japanese wood working school will not be allowed to touch a band saw or any electrically powered appliance until he has first mastered the art of planing surfaces and making perfect joints with hand tools.  Those young folks like Jeremy and others who steadfastly adhere to the way things were done before electric power was available have my admiration and respect.

But... I have way too much wood and way too little time to make something of it.  I prefer a gas powered chain saw over an axe to take down a tree.  An electric chain saw in my shop can be quite helpful to quickly reduce a chunk of black walnut to something closer to what I think it could be.  I also have a band saw, table saw, Dremels, die grinders, side angle grinders, and a variety of electric powered sharpening gismos.

 I am planning to bring some of this stuff to demonstrate after the annual meeting,  Jan. 17th.  If you have a favorite power carving tool, please bring it along for show and tell..
Using Dremel with sanding disk to refine inside snake coils

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

To Be or Not to Be....

That is the question.  Whether it is nobler in the spirit of tradition to suffer the requirements of an oppressive IRS and greedy State Secretary, find members willing to hold office, and comply with our written Charter and Bylaws,... OR to throw in the towel, let the non-profit corporation known as South Dakota Woodcarvers be dissolved, let it die, or put it to sleep in the annals of history.

Should we not then be free to meet as usual, socialize, and whittle pieces of wood as we have done once or more a month for over thirty years? Or why not simply enjoy the same by merging with classes regularly and weekly held at the Center for Active Generations.  No more sponsoring Shows and Sales or competitions! No need for money in the Bank or redwood signs or logos!

Ay, there's the rub, for who knows what trouble it is to end a corporation?  How do we disperse the funds? Who will keep the volumes of Newsletters, minutes of meetings, and scrapbook of clippings and pictures. And....Will Bill O'Reilly write a book called "Killing South Dakota Woodcarvers, Inc."?

I have a hard time throwing things away.  It's sort of a hobby of mine to figure out a way to reincarnate  something destined for the land fill into some useful tool.  A resolution to dissolve SDWC, Inc. has considered and proposed to be brought to a vote at our annual meeting, January 17, at the Center for Active Generations.

I, for one, will vote to let the corporation live on, another day, another year.

Happy New Year!