April 2001

Art Center Relocation

Plans are set for the transfer into the new St. Peters Community Cultural Arts Center in June. The March closing on the new facility was completed and renovation is underway. The new facility is scheduled to open June 1st with the official grand-opening celebration June 3rd. Our first day there will be Wednesday, June 6th and Monday, June 4th for the Seasoned Eye Woodcarving group. Baring problems, of course.

The new building will have about 1,500 square feet more than the old 8,000 square foot facility. Parking will increase from 27 spaces to 145 spaces. Although there will only be one extra room, each room will have more amenities.

The old Dave Grones Restaurant building is on the East side of Mid Rivers Mall Drive, roughly 1.5 miles South of Interstate 70.  It is behind Dairy Queen and across St. Peters - Howell Road from Vista Grande Mexican Restaurant. Take a left at the Dairy Queen onto St. Peters - Howell Road and turn at the second entrance on the Left. 

A digital sign will be installed at the entrance and will list information about upcoming programs for the arts center. A new kiln room and clay arts room will be constructed and each room will have water available.


Show and Tell

Jack Combs has been a busy carver. He completed a great mountain man and a cardinal. The cardinal was carved to be given as the door prize at Jack's class reunion. One lucky classmate will get a great carving. 



 I completed a penholder. It is basswood with lead added to the bottom for weight and stability. I also completed a basswood egg with a dogwood motif.


Charles Adams attended a class on carving firewood. This piece was a fresh cut linden tree that the instructor split like firewood. It was so wet, it rained in the room while they were carving them.  The back had a cardinal on it.  Look close and you will see the spirit face face.

Billy Lee completed a mountain man. It's carved out of buckeye. An unusual wood for carving.

April Display Case - Stan "Red" Cross 

Affiliations: St. Charles Area Woodcarvers, Mid America Woodcarvers, Holzschnitzers Carving Club of Belleville, and The National Woodcarvers Association. 

Background: I retired from General Motors in 1986 and started carving a few months after that. I carve mostly in the round, but enjoy relief and chip carving. I took up woodburning to go along with my carving, and taught woodburning at the Cultural Arts Center for two years. A woodburning seminar presented by Cheryl Dow was a great help. 

Training: I have taken classes from Cletis Sparks, Walter Schmierbach, Dave Lincoln, John Engler, Don Wilson, Wilbert Brewton, Debbie Edwards, Len Dillon and Gerald Sears. I have also received a lot of help from club members and from reading.

Thoughts: Carving is a great pastime and a hobby where you meet a lot of great people.


Confessions of a Woodcarving Derelict
Part I - You can make Stuff!

I want to thank all of you members of Woodcarving Anonymous for letting me relate this to you, and for letting me unburden my weary soul. You wouldn't think to look at me now that once I trod the straight and narrow. . .well dressed. . . a good job, a nice home and family. But that was before I met Murry...

It all started four years ago. One evening, as I was walking home, I noticed a man furtively beckoning to me from an alley.
"Pssst, hay, kid!" He had the feral eyes of a salesman coming in for the kill. They gleamed hypnotically. Helplessly, I followed his crooked finger into the depths of the alley.

He opened a door, motioned me through, and I found myself in a Woodcarving Supply Store. The man wore a large, yellow badge bearing the words, "THE WOODCARVERS FRIEND." Hello, I'm Murry the manager. His finger uncurled and pointed to what looked like a bunch of funny shaped tools with sharp dangerous ends.

"There it is, kid! Your ticket to paradise!"

"What is it?" I asked, my eyes growing wide.

"What is it?" he repeated with feigned amazement. "Don't you know that you're in the midst of a Woodcarving Revolution? That's the complete set of the best Italian flexible pre-sharpened wood carving tools available today."

"Gee!" I exclaimed, my eyes growing even wider, "Carving Tools! What do you do with them?"

"Not me, kid. . .YOU! You can make Stuff!" he replied.

"But I can already do that with my pocket knife." I insisted.

"That's beside the point," he said, edgy with exasperation. "Just think, you'll be part of the Woodcarving Generation and it's only twoninetynine- ninety fiveandwetakemastercard."

"Wow! A whole set of carving tools for three hundred bucks. That's awfully cheap."

"Well, how about it, then?" he said, lightly licking his lips. "Shall I wrap them up for you?"

"Gee, I don't know. I've heard some of the guys talking about getting hooked on this stuff and having to buy all sorts of things to support their habit." I pointed to a rack behind the tools with all sorts of boxes bearing hundred dollar price tags.

"Nah!" he said, with a deprecating wave of his arm. "That stuff is only for heavy users!"

"Users?" I asked.

"Yeah, that's what we call people who get hooked on woodcarving. But that'll never happen to you. I can tell about these things."

"Gosh, I don't know," I said, scratching my head.

"Come on...." said Murray, his eyes on fire, "Don't be a sissy! All the guys do it!"

Helpless again, my charge card hit the counter. And so, I found myself entering my basement with a large assortment of cardboard boxes. I sneaked in the back way to avoid my wife's inevitable complaint about "more expensive junk to sit in the closet and gather dust!"

...........Next Month: My Heart Begins to Flutter as the Carving Begins.


 The Rest of the News

The Great Outdoor Spring Carve-out: The Spring Campout will be a carve-out this year. Due to the low number of campers, we will not be able to reserve enough space at the Cuivre River State Park. I have reserved the pavilion at Ft. Zumwalt Park in O'Fallon for June 16th, so we will have a covered area for our outing. Unfortunately, it is not on a regular Carving Saturday. We will have to decide if we want to carve three Saturday's in a row, or if we want to cancel one. Since June will be the transition month to our new location, we may want to make the 16th replace the 9th regular carving Saturday. 

Rainmaker Campout: Just a reminder that the Rainmaker Campout for 2001 is June 8th to the 10th. I know it is still cold outside, but it won't be long and June will be here and the cold weather will be behind us, I hope! I hope to have a project for Saturday so I will need to know ahead of time if you plan on attending to make sure I have enough blanks for everyone. The camping reservation list will be sent to Rainmaker Campground two weeks ahead of our camping dates, so if you want to reserve a camping spot, I need to know ahead of time. - Bob and Rochelle Biermann

Duck Club: Jim Leifeld is attempting to restart the Duck Club which met at Woodcraft. He plans to have it meet on two Sunday afternoons per month for a 4-5 hour hands on carving session. Anyone interested in attending this club, contact Jim (636.926.9656) for additional information and to get on the list.

Gerald Sears Seminar: There was sufficient interest in another seminar by Gerald Sears. Gerald is a great instructor and his techniques have helped me tremendously. He is always working on new projects, so even if you have taken his seminar, you will be able to find something new to work on. Schedule is still to be set. More information will be available soon. For more information on Gerald, you might want to check out Go to Artist Info.

Gnome Carving: Thanks to Charles Adams for the carving project at our March 21st meeting. Charles brought in blanks for a great Gnome and started the group carving. We didn't fill up the bucket this time, but it should be a good carving project for several meetings. By the way, last month, a couple of jokesters brought in chips to fill Charles' bucket. They were so devious that even Charles was fooled. They didn't make Charles fork up the $5, but it was a good joke. We have to get with the carving so we can really fill his bucket. I think we can do it. Lets Carve!


In Memorial

Roy A. Bouchillon 1905-2001
Father, Great Grandfather, Southern Gentleman, 
and Friend to all who knew him, passed away March 26.

As someone once said, he was an ornery old Southerner who enjoyed life to the fullest.   Surviving his wife by five years, all of his generation of family and friends, and most of the next generation, he came to live with us in the land of show and ice, most of which he melted with his positive outlook and ability to befriend all who he met.

He will be missed.


Upcoming Events and Activities

April 2001

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8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30          
April 4 Regular monthly business meeting
April 7 Saturday Carving, 9 to 2
April 18 Regular carving meeting.  Carve Gnomes with the Prez
April 21 Saturday Carving, 9 to 2

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