We are a club dedicated to furthering the art of wood carving. To this end we meet monthly to enjoy the fellowship of like minded artists and craftsmen and to learn from each other how to improve our woodcarving skills. We welcome wood carvers of all skill levels. Even if you have never put a knife to wood, just bring the desire to learn.
THE LI WOOD CARVERS SHOW
Saturday, December 5, 2015
Wood carving clubs on Long Island teach the craft to
December 4, 2015 4:09 PM
By Stacey Altherr Special to Newsday
variety of Viking figures, including two that are still being worked on, carved
in the flat plane technique by Tony Quattrone, 63, of the Suffolk County Wood
Carvers Guild.Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan
smell of freshly carved wood is in the air at the New Village Recreation Center
in Centereach. At a long table, men and women are working with short, sharp
knives. Their art varies from a decoy duck to an intricate cross. There are
gnomes and old-fashioned Santas. Some pieces are as small as a clothing pin.
Others stand 3 feet tall.
designs are intricate, and the work, done by hand, is as precise as a machine.
Faces of Santas twinkle, and the growl of the gnomes can be read on the faces
of the carved gems. Marty Mizel, 70, shows his 2-foot totem pole carved in
cottonwood bark, the hair of one caricature melding into the beard of another
“You oil it, and the faces really come out,”
the Miller Place resident says. Now retired, Mizel was a podiatrist before
leaving the profession to teach anatomy at Suffolk County Community College.
He’s been carving for 18 years and explains how hard it can be. “Faces are my
nemesis,” he says.
say the skill is one they didn’t know they had until they began their first
piece. The finished projects appear extraordinarily professional, even those
from folks who’ve only been doing this a few years.
objective is to offer a hobby for seniors,” says Al Trepiccione, president of
the Suffolk County Wood Carvers Guild, which has about 120 members and caters
to the 55-and-older crowd. “It’s a social club as well.”
Long Island Wood Carvers Association meets twice a month at the North
Massapequa Community Center, where there is some show-and-tell and questions
from other members on techniques, from how to achieve a particular look to
staining and painting the pieces.
many pieces are made by hand carving, but some groups use lathes and bandsaws
to make different types of wood art, including turning, which makes symmetrical
poles and legs.
Umreiko, 65, of Garden City, now the head of the association, says he was introduced
to the hobby four years ago, when his brother-in-law handed him a knife and a
block of wood and told him he was going to carve a hummingbird.
can’t do that,” Umreiko recalls telling his relative. “But in two days, I had
the scoop on events, nightlife, day trips, family fun and things to do on Long
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clubs say they welcome new members — either those who have carved before or
anyone willing to learn. Attend a meeting for free, they say, and small
membership fees cover the yearly cost, mostly for refreshments.
have so many experienced carvers,” Umreiko says. “They will help anyone who is
HELPING THOSE IN NEED
of the carvers love to give back to the community, making the days of others a
little brighter with their treasures.
of the carvers, Michael Wolyniec, 45, of Massapequa, a retired Fire Department
of New York firefighter, makes small, delicate “comfort birds” for cancer
patients at local nursing homes. He has made about 40 so far, he guesses.
The Nassau-centric LI Wood Carvers
Association often donates Christmas ornaments as well, says Edward Sesack, 73,
a Syosset resident and an experienced carver.
The Suffolk County Wood Carvers
Guild has made and donated about 700 small crosses over the past 18 months for
Woodworking clubs abound on Long Island, but these two are specifically
devoted to hand-carving:
Long Island Wood Carvers Association
longislandwoodcarversassociation.blogspot.com MEETS 7:30 p.m. the second Tuesday, general meeting, and 6:30 p.m.
the third Wednesday, open carving night; 214 N. Albany Ave, Massapequa. Seniors
meet 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays, Merrick Senior Center, 2550
Clubhouse Rd., Merrick.
$20 annual fee.
Suffolk County Wood Carvers Guild
www.suffolkcountywoodcarvers.com MEETS 9 a.m.-noon Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Thursdays at the
New Village Senior Center, 20 Wireless Rd. Centereach; 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesdays
and Wednesdays at the Henrietta Acampora Recreation Center, 39 Montauk Hwy.,
Blue Point; 9 a.m.-noon Fridays, Rose Caracappa Recreation Center, 739 Route
25A, Mt. Sinai.
$20 annual fee, but attend the first two sessions for free. Ages 55 or