December 2001

Christmas Party Time

The last big Hoo-Rah of the year is coming on the 5th. The annual Christmas party wraps up the official activities for our club. We provide the meat and cheese tray and everyone brings a dish of their choice. A sign up sheet circulated at the meeting on the 21st. For the information of you who were not there, we had four sign up for salads, four for vegetables, and six for deserts. Obviously, we lean toward deserts.  However, we have a lot of people who prefer lower calorie meals so you can let your conscience be your guide. Coffee is provided and the Art Center has an ice machine.

We usually have a gift exchange.  If you would like to participate, just bring a wrapped, hand made, Christmas gift. We will give out numbers to every one that brings in something and draw for the order of choosing your exchange gift. So if you bring one, you get one. In the past we have had things carved, chipped, burned, turned, and scroll sawed. They should be small ornament type items. The more who participate, the more fun it is. 

As I said, this is the last official club meeting. Saturday carving on the 8th will be discussed at the party and may be held, depending on interest. The Seasoned Eye Carvers usually continue through the week before Christmas which would make December 19th their last day.


New Officers and Board of Directors for 2002 

Thanks to Charles Adams and Charles Sapp for continuing to serve as our President and Treasurer, respectively. Welcome aboard to Charles Mitchell, Vice President, and Martha Byron, Secretary. The Board of Directors continues with Don Jackson and Dave Lincoln in their second year. Don Wilson, Wilbert Brewton, and Jim Leifeld joined the group to round out your governing body. They contribute their time and effort to maintain order of the club meetings and guide its activities. However, they all welcome input from any member, as do I. We can not do our jobs without your help. Please discuss your ideas with an officer or director.

Why Club Money? 

There has always been discussion on why the club needs more money. How about this. Once again we have contributed to Glen Remington's Christmas Dinner fund for the under privileged. How about easing up a little on the extra work we have to go through to reduce expenses for our annual show. Maybe we could just pay for our table at the Belleville show without having to beg for ornaments to sell to off set the cost. How about if the club paid some of the cost of our seminars for those who attend a set number of meetings each year. How about a prize drawing for those who bring in Show and Tell. How about paying for outside speakers for meetings. What do YOU think? Tell someone.


Show and Tell

Dee Kley brought in an interesting little snow angel. She was working on another one that could very well be one of the gift exchange items at the Christmas party. Who wouldn't want one of these.

Charlotte Cross completed another Gerald Sears Santa rough out. I don't know just how many of Gerald's projects Charlotte and Red have done, but I think that between the two, they are running neck and neck with Perley Cassady, who has completed one or more of everything Gerald has to sell. Good job, Charlotte.

In the tool category, Sal Amato brought in a egg holder. The bottom rests over the edge of the table and the sides are "V" shaped boards covered with sandpaper. [NOTE: You might consider using leather or something soft to prevent dulling tools that might slip off the egg and hit the side.  But, the idea is great for these hard to hold little devils.] 


I built a new tool sharpening belt sander add on for my John Burke style sharpener. It's based on the belt sander Gerald Sears had at his seminar in July. I included some features from last month's sharpener built by Billy Lee. The wheels are plywood with bearings scavenged from roller blade wheels, an excellent source idea from Russ Sears.

If there's one thing I do good, it's use ideas from other members and combine them with my own to improve (or complicate) the whole mess. These pictures were taken in my workshop because one or more people were using the sharpener through the whole meeting. 

It took me a while to get all the kinks worked out. Sears had his seminar in July and this was in work until mid-November

If there is one thing I don't do good, it's get all the pictures. Apologies go to Jerry Burson who brought in some great wood burning plaques that I didn't get photographed. Sorry Jerry. 


December Display Case - John Bouchillon

Affiliations: St. Charles Area Woodcarvers, National Wood Carvers Association, Mid America Wood Carvers, and The Belleville Holzschnitzers.

Background: I retired in 1993, after 33 years as an Electronics Engineer in Army Aviation. I started woodcarving when I retired, with classes in basic woodcarving and tool sharpening. I continued with seminars sponsored by our club and added more advanced classes by Jeff Phares, Debbie Edwards, Gerald Sears and John Engler. Last year was my first time at Doane and I am looking forward to Silver Dollar City in the Spring.

Awards: I have several Best of Show awards and numerous Blue ribbons from our annual Wonders of Wood Show.
Interests: I enjoy all forms of wood carving, turning, burning, and working. In addition, I enjoy computers, stained glass, photography, model aviation, and tool making. 

Thoughts: The old saying, "Only wimps use sharp tools, push harder" is always good for a laugh, but that's about all. The most important thing you can do for your carving enjoyment is to use sharp tools. The second most important thing is to learn to recognize a sharp tool. Third, learn how to create one. 


The Rest of the News

John Engler Seminar: 

We had another great relief carving seminar with John Engler November 16-18.  He has so many interesting projects available, if you can't find something that interests you, you are entirely too picky. This session was oriented toward Christmas. Check out this great Santa face done in half inch material. John has a way of adding "apparent" depth to thin stock.

This old house with tree is another good example of depth.

This time, we added an evening meal with a painting demonstration following. John's method of painting with water colors produces some bright colors. His 3S philosophy for Christmas items is pretty simple. Shiny Stuff Sells. It's a direct contradiction to the philosophy I have been operating under.  Muted color is best. But somehow, they don't seem to conflict. It's something to do with the water colors verses acrylics. We are trying to arrange for a painting seminar early next year. If you are interested, better get your name in. There's rarely any room left for John's classes.

Here, John demonstrates something to Charles Adams, Arnold Fritz and Don Wilson that seems to have tickled their funny bone.  If you have the opportunity, sign up for the next seminar. It will be worth your time and effort.

John demonstrating how to take the background back in a Santa scene to Arnold Fritz, Don Wilson, and Sheldon White. Taking the background back is the first step he uses to produce the depth that his carvings are noted for. 


Saturday Carving November 10th

For those of you who missed Arnold Fritz's lighthouse project, you missed a good one. Part of the fun is to get your project to whistle. That's a real trick. Arnold doesn't seem to have any trouble, however.  If you are interested in having one more Saturday carving session this year (December 8th) to finish up your last minute Christmas gifts, you had better speak up at the Christmas Party.  It may be canceled. 

All our Saturday Carving sessions are held at the O'Fallon Art Center. We'll get started again January 5th. Come join us. There's no project yet, but we have a great time.


Upcoming Events and Activities

December 5

Christmas Party.  Last meeting of 2001

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year  

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