Sunday, November 27, 2011

Kachina Dolls and Carving Them...

Hopi, (literally translated) means a person who behaves in a polite or peaceful way. The Hopi are a communal farming people who reside on and near three mesas in northeastern Arizona. More than nine thousand Hopi live on a 1.5 million-acre reservation that encompasses a dozen villages.
The word kachina (kah-chee-nah) has long been used by outsiders to refer to any of the hundreds of spiritual beings central to Hopi religious life as well as to the dolls that depict them. However, according to the Hopi, katsina (kahts-ee-nah) is more correct and preferred. In English, the plural of kachina is kachinas, but in the Hopi language the plural of katsina is katsinam.

The first known kachina dolls were obtained by traders in 1857. From then on others were picked up sporadically until about the end of the 19th century. Little is known about these except that they were basically simple in style, with slightly detailed masks and simplified bodies. 

How Kachina dolls are made

Kachina doll making today involves both tradition and artistry. Kachina dolls are traditionally carved from the roots of cottonwood trees which once were abundant on and near the Hopi lands. The Hopi word for cottonwood root is paako, which means water wood, and the cotton-wood root's ability to seek and find abundant water mirrors the ability of the katsinam to do the same for the Hopi people.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Importance of the PENCIL

The importance of the pencil sharpener has always been underrated.
I remember a story about Werner von Braun when he was working for Adolph Hitler designing the V1  rockets during World War 2. Money was very tight and only available for items vital to the project.
One day he ordered a "milling machine" to be used for shaping small wooden dowels. When his request was approved he went out and bought a pencil sharpener.
Al Limiero

Artisanal Pencil Sharpening

Click here for details.

"Little Shaver" Pencil Sharpener

A century ago, pencil sharpeners held a much more important role in daily life than they do now, since the pencil was then the predominant writing implement.   Read the rest click here

Sunday, November 13, 2011


His illuminating hobby -- lighthouse carving

Vincent Keating, 81, of Stony Brook, has spent
Photo credit: Gwen Young |  Vincent Keating, 81, of Stony Brook, has spent the past 15 years or so crafting dioramas that are built around a lighthouse. He donates them to those whos spirits need lifting. (Oct. 13, 2011)
Vincent Keating's woodworking skills have earned him a nickname from his friends -- Geppetto, after the fictional woodcarver who created a wooden puppet named Pinocchio. But the 81-year-old Stony Brook resident doesn't mind a bit; the only thing that matters about his hobby is that it makes people happy.
After retiring from his career as a Long Island Rail Road ticket agent, Keating combined his love of woodworking and his fondness for Long Island lighthouses into gifts for friends, as well as strangers.
Each wooden lighthouse is set in a box frame and surrounded by miniature holiday scenes and popular themes to please adults and children alike. There's a World War II scene, complete with tiny airplanes ready to take flight, a snow-covered Christmas theme, and pieces that are inspired by popular children's movies such as "Pirates of the Caribbean," "March of the Penguins" and "Cinderella."

Thursday, October 13, 2011

How to Begin Woodcarving with a Utility Knife

Woodcarving is a time tested hobby that is both relaxing and fun. However, starting out can be intimidating. If you want to give the hobby a try without buying a lot of expensive tools, here's how to get started on a simple carving using just a utility knife and a few other things that cost very little.

Choose your pattern. The first part of any woodcarving project is deciding what to carve. There are many places you can find good pattern books, such as hobby shops and the internet, or you can draw your own. The rest of the here!

How to Carve a Crochet Hook

In order to crochet, you'll need a proper crochet hook. If you're more of the do-it-yourself type of person, or can't find the hook size you need in your local shop, it's easy enough to carve your own. Your own hand-carved hooks may become some of your favorites, even if you also have purchased hooks on hand.


  1. Select the material you want your hook to be in. You can use a wooden or plastic chopstick, or a hardwood dowel. You can even start with a reasonably straight piece of a branch, for as long as it is well-dried. You will have less carving to do if the material starts with approximately the size and shape you want the finished hook to be, particularly the diameter. Click here for the rest of article!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Santero Pete Ortega Carves Figures From Native Woods

Author: Gussie Fauntleroy

Modern-day Michelangelo: Santero Pete Ortega carves distinctive figures from pieces of wood
Pete Ortega has been called “the Michelangelo of woodcarving.” Like the famed Italian Renaissance sculptor, Ortega “sees” a figure within the natural shape of uncarved material—in his case, gently twisting cottonwood root or other wood native to the Southwest. With skills honed over almost 45 years, he deftly removes the excess wood, allowing the saint or angel or animal he knew was in there to emerge.
Read the rest of the story...CLICK HERE

Friday, September 16, 2011


    Every carver's got his own recipe for proper sharpening. You'll develop your own as you get more and more into carving. That's why I only gave you a 'short list' above.
   You'll also find that some tools react well to one abrasive medium, while others sharpen better with another, even though all the tools are of good quality and proper hardness. This is because the tools are probably made of different steel alloys (of which there are many). Let's visit some of the tools and techniques. Read the rest of the article...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Discounts for All Seniors

Remind the cashier that you are entitled to senior discount.

108 Stores with Senior Discounts
Gone are the days of your grandmother’s “early bird special” at the local diner. As our baby boomers reach retirement age, hundreds of retailers are featuring new and improved discounts exclusively for the 60 and older crowd. We have composed a list of senior savings that will help you keep more cash in your pocket. Whoever said getting older was a bad thing, obviously didn’t know about these fantastic senior discounts!
  • Applebee’s: 15% off  with Golden Apple Card (60+)
  • Arby’s: 10% off (55+)
  • Ben & Jerry’s: 10% off (60+)
  • Bennigan’s: discount varies by location
  • Bob’s Big Boy: discount varies by location (60+)
  • Boston Market: 10% off (65+)
  • Burger King: 10% off (60+)
  • Captain D’s Seafood: discount varies on location (62+)
  • Chick-Fil-A: 10% off or free small drink or coffee (55+)
  • Chili’s: 10% off (55+)
  • CiCi’s Pizza: 10% off (60+)
  • Culver’s: 10% off (60+)
  • Denny’s: 10% off, 20% off for AARP members (55+)
  • Dunkin’ Donuts: 10% off or free coffee (55+)
  • Einstein’s Bagels: 10% off baker’s dozen of bagels (60+)
  • Fuddrucker’s: 10% off any senior platter (55+)
  • Gatti’s Pizza: 10% off (60+)
  • Golden Corral: 10% off (60+)
  • Hardee’s: $0.33 beverages everyday  (65+)
  • IHOP: 10% off (55+)
  • Jack in the Box: up to 20% off (55+)
  • KFC: free small drink with any meal (55+)
  • Krispy Kreme: 10% off (50+)
  • Long John Silver’s: various discounts at participating locations (55+)
  • McDonald’s: discounts on coffee everyday (55+)
  • Mrs. Fields: 10% off at participating locations (60+)
  • Shoney’s: 10% off
  • Sonic: 10% off or free beverage (60+)
  • Steak ‘n Shake: 10% off every Monday & Tuesday (50+)
  • Subway: 10% off (60+)
  • Sweet Tomatoes 10% off (62+)
  • Taco Bell : 5% off; free beverages for seniors (65+)
  • TCBY: 10% off (55+)
  • Tea Room Cafe: 10% off (50+)
  • Village Inn: 10% off (60+)
  • Waffle House: 10% off every Monday (60+)
  • Wendy’s: 10% off (55+)
  • White Castle: 10% off (62+)
Retail and Apparel

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Annual Competition 2011

We held our annual competition.  We had about 90 entries in many categories.
Congratulations to everyone who participated, but especially to the following winners:

Harold Canon 1st Best in Show winner:  Roger Schroeder – toolbox with various tools
Harold Canon 2nd Best in Show winner: Roger Schroeder – Bellamy style eagle
Harold Canon 3rd Best in Show winner: Howard Busch – relief carving of bamboo plants
People’s Choice: Helmut Schillings – chip carved plate
All Around Carver:  Eddie Sesack - (46 points)

Thanks to Ken Donovan, Steve Aguanno, Joel Hull and Frank Barry for helping out with running the  competition.  Thanks also to Eddie Sesack for finding some new judges.

Meeting Dates for Remainder of 2011

Meeting Dates for the calendar year:  ***= change from the normal date you would expect

Tuesday meetings:                                                                                                                        
September 13th                                                              
October 11th                                                                   
                     November 16th***(no 11/08 meeting-Elections)      
December 13th                                                                 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Join The Club ...

Do more than belong: participate.
Do more than care: help.
Do more than believe: practice.
Do more than be fair: be kind.
Do more than forgive: forget.
Do more than dream: work.
-William Arthur Ward

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Top Ten Underrated Uses for Carving Tools

Tongue-in-cheek take on common carving tools and materials.  by Bob Duncan
#1  CA glue: To glue your thumb to the piece of wood you are trying to replace back to the carving. Also serves to glue cut skin back together and glue your thumb to the cut.
#2  Bandaids: To cover the CA glue you use to glue together a cut and keep your thumb out of the glue. Also works to hold gauze against the glue long enough to adhere it to the cut.
Read the rest of the story, CLICK HERE

Carvin The Tiny Tiny Santa!

Carvin The Tiny Santa!

by Anon.
I have decided that I had better put something up on the blog. Anything! So I decided to carve a tiny Santa head. A real quick and "dirty" one. The carving part of this tiny one took about 4 minutes. Hey I said quick and dirty! Really if I took a few more minutes it'd be a lot cleaner. But when viewed in ones hand this little fella looks clean.
The various techniques used to carve reasonably small items is no secret to a lot of carvers. But if you're rather new to carving small, they may be a secret to you. I know that I did not have any idea how one could carve small stuff. Take the small Santa head for instance! Most new carvers say they have a hard time carving the eyes and nose of the face. The first "secret" to carving small Santa heads is that the eyes don't matter so much. Here's a few things to consider when carving a small Santa head:
a. Carve the Santa on the end of a piece of wood you can hold, then cut the carved head off when completed. In this example I use a 1/4" x 1/4" x 6" piece.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Open carving date's:
April 20th     May 18th

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Wood Blocks Carved Into Art

Wood Blocks Carved Into Art

Author: Pat Rogers | Published: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 
Long Island Pulse April 2011
Wood Blocks Carved Into ArtRandall Rosenthal’s artwork can fool you. From a distance, his carved wooden sculpture looks like a stack of newspapers, the notebook you’ve been looking for, a treasure trove of baseball cards bundled with rubber bands or a box of money. A closer examination may still leave viewers pondering: Is it real or is it art?
The question may persist even if Rosenthal’s work is installed at a museum, an art gallery or at a SOFA show (The International Expositions of Sculpture Objects & Functional Art). That’s okay—the East Hampton artist is used to quizzical first reactions to his wooden works and welcomes them.
“I’m making an intense visual object,” he said. “The goal is that you can’t not look at it.”
imageRosenthal is also used to some people “not getting” his work. The wooden sculptures appear as if they are the actual objects they depict. The resistance to believe the artwork is the object it depicts is so persistent for some that Rosenthal posted process pictures on his website to dissuade doubting Thomases.
Rosenthal’s sculptures are hand carved from a single piece of wood and painted with both acrylic and ink. The works approach realism but remain expressionist because they don’t render accurate true-to-life dimensions, he said. That’s not the point of his art. His objects are an invitation for viewers to examine the pieces and become engaged with them.
image“They look real from a distance but they’re not supposed to be realism,” Rosenthal said. “When you get close, you can see the corners may be cheated—meaning they’re not perfectly square…I always leave the wood grain visible so people can see it’s wood. I’m not trying to hide it—the fact that it’s made from wood is an important part of the piece.”
Sculptures depict objects made from paper since paper comes from wood, he said. His sculpture depicts stacks of newspapers, magazines, legal pads, address books and money piled in boxes or spilling from an envelope. Baseball cards, comic books, carving boards and map pages are also subjects.
imageSome of his sculptures have made their way to high places. A sculpture of New York Times newspapers announcing President Barack Obama’s win to the presidency is now owned by Obama. The piece was gifted by artist Eric Fischl, who previously owned the work.
“I’ve never met Obama,” Rosenthal said. “It’s pretty cool knowing my work is in the White House as part of his collection.”
Sculptures of books may depict an open book with pages or a closed one with the cover alone. Closed books may have recipe card, post-it notes or papers protruding from the book’s side as they mark pages inside the book. A flower, leaves or a fishing lure on a line may curl upon open pages. Photo albums may reveal taped “photographs” framed with white edges as if printed in earlier eras.
imageRosenthal works can sometimes stretch a decade long, he said. Unlike commercial woodworkers, Rosenthal doesn’t use shop drawings or pre-calculated plans when carving his sculptures. His process is reductionary. The block of wood guides the process and serves as muse as Rosenthal carves wood to create the figure inside.
Right now, Rosenthal’s sculpture, Sweet Memories, is on view at the National Art Museum of Sport at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. The artwork depicting sports memorabilia received an Honorable Mention in the global competition.
Rosenthal is exhibiting several pieces at SOFA New York April 14-17. His work is being shown by Jane Sauer Gallery of Santa Fe, New Mexico, who represents his art. His art is also represented by Pamela Williams Gallery in Amagansett.
imageRosenthal’s work has been drawing attention and fans at online sites like, he said. His art has been shown at the Parrish Art Museum, Guild Hall, galleries in Germany and other places. Rosenthal’s art and process can be viewed online at

Pat Rogers
Author: Pat Rogers
Pat Rogers is a freelance writer specializing in arts and culture on Long Island. When not going to art openings or interviewing actors or musicians, she’s looking for the next interesting story.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sad Passing...

Joel Hull's wife passed away today (FRI.  JAN 28, 2011). More information to come....

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011