Saturday, May 3, 2014

A sense of community in Western NY...

John Petkovsky doing it right.
ROADTRIP!!  Me and my cohorts decided to take a quick trip to the Buffalo area and visit our neighboring clubs carving show.  The yearly spring show held by the Southtowns Woodcarvers at the Elma Senior Center and is just one of the ways this club contributes to the carving hobby.  The members set up tables to display their carving prowess and just enjoy the sense of community carving shows provide. 

As I like to stress to folks in the hobby (and especially here on the blog) you need to nourish your talent through carving, study, and interaction with fellow artists (not necessarily carvers).  You can see some of the joy of the hobby in the photo for this article where a member not only displays but also carves...this incites interaction and for the carver it is a comfortable environment to carve in as many members were doing at this show.  With these demonstrations visitors get to see carving in action, gain an understanding of what is needed to enter into this form of artwork, and also find out how one would begin carving. 

You probably noticed I used the word "community" multiple times in this post.  This is for a good reason...carvers are some of the friendliest hobbyists out there.  In the Caricature Carving world this is especially true and is evident where this style of carving has a major presence (Charlotte NC show,  Renegade Woodcarvers Roundup) as the socialization usually keeps going well into the night.  As most of us in the hobby know our memberships are aging and we need to do our best to encourage others entering this hobby.  The local shows are one way to do it and Southtowns did a great job of it.  Heck I even won a carving in the raffle drawing for my collection!

So what can you do?  Its as as simple as picking up a book, practice your drawing skills,  examine and sharpen your tools, watch an instructional video,  work on that carving,  visit a show, go to an Art museum or gallery, examine the statues in your local city or town, or just talk about carving with your friends.  These type of things can only improve your abilities and increase your enjoyment. 

In today's modern world of new technology your ability to have a conversation with a fellow carver has become much simpler with "free long distance" and texting.  An example of this, was that my friend Mark Akers gave me an update on Helvie Knives' Rich Smithson's fund raiser.  Thanks to Mark I (and now you) now know that Rich is raffling off a set of his signature knives with each of the Signature artists carving a blade cover for their particular knife all placed in a handsome case.  The benefits of the raffle will be going to a charity for battered women (I believe the drawing for this raffle will be mid-summer) however for those interested I would contact Rich directly (via his website).  An example of the artists included in this series are Mark Akers, Chris Hammack, Tom Brown, Don Mertz, Gerald Sears and many more.

Let me say I appreciate all who read this blog because it is one way for me to give back to the community but also because if you are reading this I get the satisfaction of knowing someone is taking the time to enjoy this art form.

Enjoy (and of course...Carve Something!!!)