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The Suburbanite
  • Postcard from Wilmot: Woodcarvers come together to be in their own worlds

  • Well, if you take a beginning woodcarving course to be offered on the next five Sunday afternoons by The Wilderness Center Woodcarvers Club, you don’t even need the knife. Members will loan you one. And they’ve probably got a pretty good first-aid kit available, too.

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  • A  sharp knife and a box of Band-Aids. That’s all the equipment you need to become a woodcarver, an avid carver once said.
    Well, if you take a beginning woodcarving course to be offered on the next five Sunday afternoons by The Wilderness Center Woodcarvers Club, you don’t even need the knife. Members will loan you one. And they’ve probably got a pretty good first-aid kit available, too.
    Certainly they’ve got enough talent to provide tips.
    “We had three people
    who have won world competitions, so we have some expertise,” said Jim Homan of
    Orrville, club president.
    The Wilderness Center Woodcarvers meet at 9 a.m. the second and fourth Saturdays of each month at the center. A club that has about 45 members generally gathers 20 to 25 carvers for a meeting.
    “We have people from everywhere,” said Dick Gish of North Lawrence. “Sometimes we do some good carving, and sometimes we do some bad carving, but we have a good time.”
    At last Saturday’s meeting, former member Jim Atkinson of Orrville demonstrated airbrushing. In attendance was Wanda Wentling of Brewster, who said she enjoyed providing detail to carvings with the painting technique.
    “There are more guys than girls who carve, but the girls are generally better detailers,” said Gish.
    Woodcarving is not as solitary a hobby as might be thought from watching a whittler alone on his front porch. Still, carving is something you can do by yourself, for self-satisfaction.
    “You get involved in it and you don’t worry about what’s going on around you,” explained Gish.
    It’s no surprise, then, that the club’s carvings are as varied as those carving them.
    The beginners course, which starts Sunday, will instruct in a diverse number of techniques. The basics of carving will be taught to novice carvers who will “learn by doing.” Club members will do the instructing.
    Bob Hawes will teach basic cuts and safety during this Sunday’s course, while Gish demonstrates tools. On Oct. 23, Homan will present a program on wood selection and carving a Scottie dog. On Oct. 30, Bill Stollar will teach layout of a project and will help students carve a flying pheasant. Betty Graves will present a program on simple faces and distinguish between craft and art carving on Nov. 6. And on Nov. 13 Wentling will teach bark carving and finishing.
    Call Carrie at The Wilderness Center at 330-359-5235 to sign up. Classes will be from 2 to 3:30 p.m. each Sunday and cost will be $7.50 for members and $10 for nonmembers. You can become a member simply by being a member of the Center. There are no dues for the carving club.
    Wait, there is one requirement, said John Robinson, the club’s secretary-treasurer.
    Page 2 of 2 - “They have to be able to tell jokes.”