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Wheeling, West Virginia  

Vol.12 Issue 1         June 2010

This Issue's Stories:

Upcoming Events
Stan Ruminski
Welcome New Members
Past Activities Wrap Up
New Stuff
Stiffel Fine Arts Center
Carving Class
Show Update
A 'Typical Monday Session
Carving Tips
Club Assets
Guild Meetings
Mission Statement
Guild Leadership



ON GOING - Carving of ornaments for the annual Christmas Tree Raffle.

Formal Meetings - Held quarterly on the first Mondays of March, June, September, and December.

JULY - Mailing of Woodcarvers Raffle books to local members. This is our chief supporting device to stay solvent and fund club. Do your best to support this Guild.

SEPTEMBER - Distribution of Christmas Tree Raffle tickets.

SEPTEMBER 4 and 5- 31st Annual Show and Sale.

SEPTEMBER 13 - Monday business meeting.

OCTOBER 1, 2, and 3
- Oglebayfest celebration in Oglebay Park. A four day opportunity to enjoy the Park and sell raffle tickets on the Christmas Tree with carved ornaments. Benefit Stifel Center and indirectly as thanks for our meeting facilities. We need your help!

DECEMBER 13 - Monday business meeting.

DECEMBER 16 - Last day for submission of Christmas Tree ornaments.

DECEMBER 20 - We meet, we eat, we say grace, we listen to the music by John Tomaszewski, we celebrate, we give gifts and we eat again and then we pull the winning tickets for the Christmas Tree raffle.   Then we go home full of food with some disappointment that our ticket was not pulled in the raffle.


Stan Ruminski, 1926-2009, so says the obituary about this fellow carving member.  Between those years of his life a great deal took place. Stan held many jobs and learned much about commerce, industry and teaching but we only know him as a carver. 
Stan, joined the guild prior to 2000 and at one time held the position of Guild President.  During the years his attendance was marked with his extreme friendliness.  He was always willing to help other carvers from advise to assisting them in tool sharpening. 
Spirit faces carved into wood slabs was his specialty of which there were many and filled his display table at our annual show and sale.  He gave away many to his relatives and friends.
His active mind to try something new led him to become a master gardener (Ohio), to try metal spinning, wood turning, swimming, and just plain acting as a loving and teaching grandfather to all of his grandchildren. 
His friendliness sometimes led other people to take advantage of his giving nature. 
Stan’s first wife passed away some years ago and he later married Molly who also lost her husband and they both became members of the guild.
We who knew Stan will always have kind thoughts about this gentleman.
Stan will be joining our other carvers who left us to carve perhaps elsewhere in the unknown.


We once again welcome some new member to our group. Please help those who are new to carving and say thanks to those who are experienced we can all learn something new.

Say welcome to:

Ed Mehlmauer, Burgettstown, PA, Jan 2010
Joe Rabel, New Martinsville, WV, Jan 2010
John Glinka, Benwood, WV, Jan. 2010
Paul F. Hill, Moundsville, WV, Jan. 2010
Shirlee Kelly-Holloway, Wheeling, WV, Jan ‘10
Ann Sweargen, St Clairsville, OH, Jan 2010
Phil Topa, Glade Spring, VA, Mar. 2010
John R. Petrie, Homer, N.Y., Mar. 2010

A great big welcome is extended to all of the folks listed.  Most are local and we hope to see you attending frequently.
Phil Topa joined after looking at our web site.  He hopes to travel to Wheeling in September to attend our show and meet all of us.  John Petrie, joined after attending a carving session with member Joe Rabel in March. 


Health :  Some folks recently experienced some health problems and now with the spring weather most are on the mend. 
Some whom I know about include Clark Adams, Jim Showalter, Ed Peyton Fred Logsdon, Betty Flanagan, Joe Whitmore, and probably some others unknown to me.

FebruaryWeather conditions really caused us some problems as to when, and if, the Stifel Center would be open for our Monday evening and Thursday morning carving sessions.  Thanks to the internet many were advised by E-mail about the status of the Stifel.  My communications with Denise Pittenger, Stifel receptionist, kept me informed and I was able to relay the messages to those with computer access.

November:  John Tomaszewski, of New Martinsville, informed us of his acceptance into the Tamarack System in West Virginia.  Tamarack is a one-stop shop which features “The Best of West Virginia” culture, heritage, handcrafts, art, food, and music.  It is located at exit 45 on I-77/I-65, WV turnpike. 
John, an excellent carver was qualified for his colorful bird carvings.  Way to go big John!

November:  Six members made the van trip to Dayton on Saturday Nov. 14 to visit their Artistry in Wood Show.  Clark Adams, Jim Showalter, Harry Sykes, Teddy Parsons, Duke Jordan, and Joe Hodorowski made the trip at a cost of $37.00 per person excluding meals.   The 2010 show will be November 13 & 14.

November: Four members traveled to Mantua, OH for an open house conducted by Jim Stadtlander and his wife Diane HartoFred Logsdon, Joe Hodorowski, Clark Adams and Jim Showalter made the auto trip for this occasion.  Jim and Diane have a large carving saw mill/studio/furniture show room farm/ facility that is quite impressive.  The trip was an enjoyable event to see two great carvers in action. 
We only wish that they were located closer so we could enroll in one of their learning classes. 

November: In order to make the Christmas Party more enjoyable some members donated items for a free raffle for those in attendance.  Items included a silver bracelet made by Bob Galbraith; carved bird house and a knife by Vince Schwenk; a logo blanket by Ed Peyton, two Jesus crosses by Joe Hodorowski and a Fan Bird by Sally & David Nye of Fan Carvers World. 
Winners in order of donor items listed were Beverly Pickens, Pete Conklin, Stanley Muklewicz, Ed Peyton, Renda Muklewicz, Charlie Heffelfinger, and Al Pierson

Winners in order of  donor items listed were Beverly Pickens, Pete Conklin, Stanley Muklewicz, Ed Peyton, Renda Muklewicz, Charlie Heffelfinger, and Al Pierson

CHRISTMAS PARTYThe 2009 Christmas Party was held Monday December 14, in the Stifel Center dining rooms.  Normally we run out of shrimp so quickly that those at the end of the food line are only able to smell the cocktail sauce container. 
For the first time in the history of this carving guild a large quantity of those little tailless buggers from the sea outlasted the appetite of the crowd. 
For the first time we experienced a break down in the food scheme plan for the overall variety of WHO would supply WHAT.  As a result more people than thought, brought those tailless urchins'.  Who checks schedules anyway.  Carvers are freelancers.  The final count supplied was 240 shrimp for about 30 people or less (many don’t touch them) which resulted in what to do with the oversupply. Thank goodness some folks saved the day by taking some home.  The Stifel Center employees sighed with relief because fish and visitors start to smell after a day or two. 
The party was a success thanks to everyone who pitched in to supply good food, helped to setup, brought shrimp, made coffee, brought shrimp, greeted attendees, took pictures, brought shrimp, supplied Christmas music on the piano, brought shrimp, said the blessing before the meal and handled the raffle for the Christmas Tree and other secondary prizes including the free gift raffle for those in attendance. 
After a fine meal, President  Clark Adams, conducted the Christmas Tree raffle and the first name pulled in the drawing for the Christmas tree belonged to Donna McVehil, Washington, PA, a friend of Al Pierson, who enjoyed her prize.  Members who won a secondary prize included Dr. & Mrs. Gerald Dague and Duke Jordan. 

DECEMBER: A close call in the carving life of Joan Nugent was evident by the middle of December. 
 It seems she decided to purchase 5, Santa “rough out” carvings of intricacy to give as Christmas gifts.  The weeks were moving rapidly but her carving time was not keeping up so it was panic and sweating time.  She started early enough but as usual carving was slow and deliberate, especially with a newly acquired skill of carving in the round. 
Since I sit next to her I heard all new words associated with small errors she made and I suffered with her and her deadline.  Finally we celebrated when the last Santa was painted and a picture was taken.  All of these Santa were different and they all turned out very well and worthy of joy to the recipients.  The rough outs were from Stu Martin and Dale Green.

DECEMBER: The final business meeting of 2009 featured the election of two members of the Board of Directors.  After all was voice voted, Harry Sykes and Frank Bulian were re-elected. 
This meeting also decided the amount that the club could afford to donate to our regular charitable groups.  The 15 public libraries received on-going subscriptions of CHIP CHATS magazine, total cost $240.00. The 11 soup kitchens received $130.00 each or $1430.00, and the Stifel Fine Arts Center received $2562.00.  The grand total was $4332.00.  The prior years total distribution was $4742.00.

January 2010: After much remodeling by the Stifel Center, in the carving room the lighting was very bad and drastic re-lamping was needed.  Jim Showalter, the keeper of the coffee and donut funds was able to purchase 2 boxes of fluorescent bulbs out of these funds.  Amateur “wana-bee” electricians proceeded despite all of the “advise” from those who have trouble in identifying a light bulb.  The result was a big improvement, Braille carving is a bit chancy. 

January: The final tally of ornaments for the Christmas tree project was 47 members donating 228 carvings.  Kevin Cecil had the honor of carving the tree top.     John Tomaszewski has agreed to carve the tree topper for the 2010 tree. 
Reminder: lets start getting those ornaments in to Harry Sykes or Joe Hodorowski, so far we have very few.  New members should ask others about this annual project

May:  Long time member Bob Brosch, has intentions of moving from this area so he donated many boxes of carving items from misc usable wood scraps, cutouts, plastic models, old CHIP CHAT and other woodworking magazines, patterns, carving plates, and many other items. 
Other donations include calendars from Ron Pickens, duck cutouts for a future carving class by Fred Logsdon, other cutouts by Joe Rich, and a Christmas tree by Phil Maxwell

May: A carving show located near Wheeling was well represented by this guild in Castle Shannon, PA.  Members Bill Baker, Frank Bulian, Vince Schwenk, Harry Sykes and John Yancosek, participated in the show with their display tables.  Other members who visited included Jim Showalter, Joe Hodorowski, Larry Freshwater, Ed Mehlmauer, Ted Parsons, Clark Adams and Fred Logsdon.  Some carpooled and some attended singly.

May: As most of you know we maintain contact with the Stifel Center regarding closures, construction or any other things affecting carvers and I then send out E-mail notices.  The contact person from the center is Denise Pittenger who does a great job.  Misty Klug, Marketing Director for Oglebay/Stifel recently asked to be abreast of news about our club.  We will welcome her to our mailing and E-mail list.


Folks have been asking for the date of the Elizabethtown Festival, that in the past was held in May.  This year it’s the 12th annual festival and the date is September 25 & 26.  It will be held at the same location, in Moundsville, within the walls of the former West Virginia Penitentiary, 818 Jefferson Avenue.
In the past some of our carvers were able to display at no charge because we were an attraction for this event.  Perhaps they will once again extend the same invitation. 


The place where we meet to carve is an old 100 year old mansion owned by, of course the Stifel family.  The property, named Edemar in honor of the Stifel’s three children (Edward, Emily and Mary), had an Olympic-size swimming pool, tennis courts, a putting green and expansive gardens.  It was completed in 1910, and had 30 rooms and nine bathrooms.  Oglebay Institute was given the property in November 1976, (the same year this club was chartered) and transformed this private home into a public building. 

The rare Steinway concert grand piano is almost as old as the mansion and is used for classes and during our Christmas party, played by carver/musician John Tomaszewski.

The historical information given here appeared in the Wheeling newspapers recently and the Stifel received and award in a ceremony in honor of Historic Preservation month by the Friends of Wheeling group.  Kate Crosbie, Oglebay Institute’s director of performing arts, shared this information.


If you have a book out from our library please return it so others may have use of the book.  Presently we have one book that was borrowed some time ago titled Woodcarving by Bondhus.  Records indicate Gary Kish has not returned the book. 


Dues of $5.00 are still being collected for 2010, if you do not have your card and have not paid please do so before the year is out.
Those non-payers names from 2007, will be purged from the roster and others who have been inactive will be removed from the newsletter mailing list.


At the recent business meeting held June 14, a suggestion was made to hold an outdoor carving picnic to change up our regular routine and to create some new interest.  This past business/carving  meeting yielded only 20 people who took the time to attend; this is evidence that we need a shot of something to move forward.
 A show of hands during that meeting indicated that over half of those in attendance favored this picnic.
Joan and Milt Nugent stepped forward during this meeting to offer their large back yard for just such a picnic. 
We wish to thank the Nugent's stepping up and for offering to help.  However, after discussion we feel that it may be easier to hold  this about mid week in Wheeling Park on the open picnic tables thus eliminating bringing tables, chairs, and all of the extra work and supplies involved in the back yard location.   This location would be simpler  and as many as wish to attend could be accommodated.  My proposal is that each member (or group) could bring a small covered dish (much like our Christmas Party) and your own drinks.  The committee could supply hot dogs, hamburgers, condiments, paper plates, cups, utensils, charcoal, lighter fluid, etc.  We would need for someone to loan a charcoal grille.  It’s a bring your tools, your cooler and a lawn chair to enjoy carving under a (basswood) tree. 

Please e-mail me (Joe Hodorowski) at info@oglebaywoodcarvers.com, or otherwise let me know if you are interested in participating.  Date and time will be announced later.  The reason for mid week is normally the park is less crowed and tables are more readily available.  Rain would cancel the event.  Your input is welcome.


The club bulletin board posts two sign-up sheets for two classes.  One is another duck carving class which is scheduled after Labor Day and will be taught by Jim Ingram.  The other is a deep relief class, with the starting date and scene to be named later.  This class will be taught by Clark Adams


From time to time we hear from members and friends who live at a distance.  Some are no longer able to travel due to health and they are always notified via the internet of important club activities that I send out.
Some will E-mail back with kind comments.  They are always appreciative of any word of activities that are taking place here in the Ohio Valley. 
Lately I received word from Paul Burig, who lives in Columbus, Ohio; Howard Flynn, of Parkville, Maryland and Phil Topa, who just joined the club and lives in Glade Spring, Virginia.  
Phil, informed me that he and his wife are looking forward to meeting our members while attending our Carving Show this September. He is a new beginning carver who recently spent a few days in Townsend, Tennessee, attending a carving class, taught by Pete LeClair

We always enjoy seeing old friends both members or those who visit or participate in our Show. 


The last count of donated ornaments for our Christmas tree project stands at 33.  It’s a long way from the 228 we received last year.  Again, lets get started and hand them in to Harry Sykes or Joe Hodorowski
These ornaments can be of any size.  The larger or fancy ornament that are too large to hang are used as secondary prizes for the raffle. 
Any subject is acceptable not just a Christmas topic.  In the past we have had bird houses, butterflies, bracelets, wagons, jewelry boxes, etc. 

We also have excellent cooperation from visiting carvers to our Show.  Thanks from last year go to Ray Thurston, Duke and Betzy Leeper, Sally and Lester Powers, Ed Allen, Bill Baker, Sally and David Nye and Richard Kent


President, Clark Adams has informed me that Ray Thurston, Bob Stadtlander and Walt Thompson are signed to show once again during our Carving Show. 
Walt, just returned from Ocean City MD where he won 2’nd prize in his class at the prestigious Ward World Championship Carving Competition. 
 Vendors will be selling during the two day event.  Tools and supplies will be available from Richard Traczyk, of  Little Mountain Carving Supplies, Front Royal, VA. 
Various species of carving wood by Jim and Rita Lukens, Knightstown, IN, will have your carving wood species. 
Knife builder, John Dunkle, Archbold, OH will be sharpening and selling his DUNKLE brand knives.  
A dinner as in years past will take place after the Saturday showing for participants, members and spouses. 

This fast approaching Labor Day weekend Show will be our 31st CONSECUTIVE show.  It is quite an accomplishment.  The officers and the committees again ask for your help on Friday afternoon and the two days of the show it requires a lot of work but things run smoothly when many participate. 


At a recent Monday carving session which was “almost” totally typical, the following observations were recorded. 
   Joe Rich and Doctor Ortiz were huddled and Joe was assisting “Doc” in  how to carve a foam Santa.
   Jim Showalter and Ted Parsons were working on a ladies boot.
   Kelli Dague, Wilda Brinkmeier, and Joan Nugent were doing a bit of chip carving and Doctor Milt was on a flower relief.
   Clark Adams, was visiting and discussing computers, programs, carving show comments and the status of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team and the Wild Things, semi-pro team.
   A symbolic Irish wreath had George Predragovich’s total concentration as he sat in the far corner so he could work without being disturbed. 
   A fire eating Dragon kept Susie Mozena busy along with the fine homemade jelly she sells at the club. 
   Ann Sweargen, was completely engrossed, except for a coffee refill, in the carving of a cabin in relief.  As a beginning carver, this is one of her first large carving attempts and her natural talents are showing.
   Jim Maggi was just sitting quietly contemplating the effect of nuclear fusion upon the advancement of wood carving.
    A secret carving venture was taking place under the watchful eye of Dave Crunelle.  It was so secret that I did not really observe the progress that was being made.  The conversation subject was excellent with those around him.
   Finally a return was celebrated with the appearance of Keith Miller, who promptly spent the evening trying to catch up on all of the conversation that he missed during the many months that he was absent.  Keith will start to carve next week, we hope.  Illness kept this young man away from his passion for carving.  Welcome back, Keith. Due to the high humidity Harry Sykes, was among the missing.  His staggering input on any subject was missing, hopefully this will be short lived.  


While leafing through an older copy of Woodcarving Illustrated magazine, dated fall of 2008, issue #43, a series of articles by accomplished recognized caricature carvers caught my eye. 
Carvers Tom Wolfe, Peter Ortel, Jack A. Williams and David Boone, were featured in an article titled “First Cuts”, which told their story from when they first began their carving career.
The reason I point this out is they had some good tips for carvers, both beginners and experienced.  I will list just a few here. 

Jack Williams said many “New carvers hesitate to remove too much wood, which leaves the faces and bodies square.  The human body has few square corners”. 

David Boone, offered this “When carving a caricature, expression is everything.  The face, body—everything—must show expression”.  He further said “Over-exaggeration is good”. 

Tom Wolfe, says “when carving don’t keep carving in the same place, move around, don’t work or look too long at one place, like a leg or tail, etc”.  He also says “don’t be afraid to use oil paints.  Use oil the same as acrylics.  Just replace water with turpentine to thin paints to a wash.  The final product will be more rich in color”.

Finally Peter Ortel advises carvers to be persistent-to keep at it.  Also try to be original –make a sketch of something you would like to carve. Peter says “know your subject research information on details of what you will carve such as human, bird, animal, etc details”


TOOLS:   Most members know that many tools and supplies can be ordered through the club by Treasurer Duke Jordan, some times at a savings through group purchasing. 
However we encourage purchases from the vendors who frequent our annual show on Labor Day weekend. 
These vendors are Boxes n Such, Dunkle Knives, Lukens Wood, Roscoe Chain Sawing, and Little Mountain.

Duke Jordan also has a vast supply of tools on hand along with basswood carving eggs of many sizes, various carving plates in many sizes and configurations, boxes for chip carving, sand paper, free “carbon” paper and many other items.  Duke is working on providing a list of the items on hand with pricing so we all may know the availability within the club. 

WOOD:    Our present basswood supply in the 1” size is almost depleted.  We still have  a large quantity of 2” basswood available, mostly in non-planed form.  Available is a quantity of other species such as walnut and cherry.  In very small amounts there are some pine, maple, butternut, catalpa and cedar.  The hard woods are mostly in chunk form suitable for turning or other wood working projects.  Everything is for sale at reasonable cost.  See Duke or Joe Hod.

BOOKS N SUCH:    Various carving sticks for use in learning how to carve various parts of the face, ink stamps to aid in putting a chip carving pattern on wood, videos about carving, a wood burning tool, and various clamps are just a few of the club assets available for loan only to members. 
These must be signed out for a limited time usage by members only or may be used during a carving session.  Please see Librarian Ed Peyton or Duke Jordan for access to these items. 
Hundreds of books on carving grace our library as well as patterns that are available for loan on a two week basis.  Librarian Ed Peyton is the administrator of the book and pattern section.
If you find a suitable pattern in a book and wish a copy or a reduction or enlargement, we own a XEROX copy machine that can accommodate this request.  If a copy is needed see an officer who is authorized to use this machine. 

SHARPENING:   There are many power tools for use by members in sharpening tools.  Those are located on the long bench in the rear room.  The sharpeners range from stone to sand paper to leather and cotton type wheels.  Before using them please read the rotation arrows because most rotate in a direction different than a normal home grinder.  Safety first.  Many experienced carvers can assist you in the power sharpening process. 
In speaking about sharpness please note that Duke also has protective gloves, Band-Aids, finger guards to conserve blood loss.  Hand sharpening sticks, rouge compounds, stones are also for sale by Duke.

All that for only $5.00 per year!!!! 


All Monday evenings 6PM-9PM.
All Thursday mornings 9AM-12PM.
(All gathering sessions closed on Stifel Center Holidays)

Dues $5.00 per year.


The purpose for which the Guild is organized is to promote the appreciation and art of woodcarving through instruction, exhibitions and demonstrations.


President - Clark Adams
Vice President - Duke Jordan
Treasurer - Duke Jordan
Recording Secretary- Renda Muklewicz
Corresponding Secretary and Publicity - Joe Hodorowski

Board Members;
Jim Showalter (1)
Ed Peyton (2)
Joe Rich (2)
Harry Sykes (3)
Frank Bulian (3)

Committee Chairpersons:
Annual Show-Clark Adams
Christmas Party-Wilda Brinkmeier
Activities-Harry Sykes
Librarian: Ed Peyton

Newsletter Editor:
Joseph J. (Joe) Hodorowski
56061 Governor Drive
Bellaire, Ohio 43906
E-Mail: jhodo5@comcast.net

- END -

June 2008 Issue

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December 2006 Issue

December 2007 Issue