Friday, June 26, 2015

Celebrating the Stars and Strips

Perhaps in a time when even the flag of the United States of America is being scorned by some who probably refer to themselves as citizens, the flag carving project for our last meeting could not have been more appropriate.

The idea was suggested by our devoted secretary, Evelyn Huntimer, and she provided patterns and samples of work she had done.  Our president, Derek Boekoff, provided basswood cut outs in various sizes as well as how-to-do tips and techniques.

It was a fun and surprisingly challenging project--especially for some members who had never experienced carving the back and forth folds of flowing banners or drapery.  There was a question about how to divide a space into thirteen stripes of identical width.  Roger Coon, one of our new members, suggested spotting the lower edge of the blue rectangle just over half way down and get the correct stripe width by dividing just the six stripes below.

Painting (or carving) the stars was another problem.  Evelyn found a star shaped paper punch at Hobby Lobby, which she used to make a stencil from card stock.  But the flags in various sizes also need stars of like various sizes.  Making a stamp from a wine bottle stopper might work for the larger flags, but not the smaller one I worked on.  When all else fails. a tiny brush and a steady hand will get the job done!

Happy Independence Day!  (Assuming it will not be ruled out as being offensive to some people...)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

In Memory of William J. Slater

My first encounter with the South Dakota Woodcarvers was in 1982 at the New Town Mall (now called Empire East). Several members of the club had set up displays of their work in the hall way.  At that time I considered myself as sort of a "closet carver", thinking that if folks knew I liked to spend my spare time tinkering and whittling with wood, I should probably be in an institution for the mentally challenged.

Soon after that, I attended my first meeting of the club at the home of Bill Slater, who was living with his lovely wife, Barb, at 3303 S. Garfield Ave, here in Sioux Falls.  Although I was a bit shy show off my meager attempts at wood carving, I brought along a couple of things I had made.  Bill's comment about me "having enough talent to be scary", was probably the most encouraging thing anyone has ever said to me.

Thank you, Bill, for many years of comradeship, friendship, and political correctness!

Miller Funeral Home