Capital City Carvers

September 2021

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COVID has put a wrench in many activities we had scheduled. Dues for 2021-2022 are on hold until we resume meetings at the Senior Center. We will decide our course of action then. In the meantime, the Officers elected for the 2020-2021 term have agreed to continue their service for the 2021-2022 term. They are:

Pres - Mike Crowley
Vice Pres - Mark Dominy
Sec/Treasurer - Adelle Grosskopf


October 18-22, 2021 Lebanon, TN. Renegade Woodcarvers Round-up, Steve Brown at

October 19-31, 2021 Pensacola Fair. We have been invited to participate again this year. Mike has received Fair information and has copies of the entry form available to anyone wishing to enter their carved work. Several of our members have won ribbons so think about entering one or more of your masterpieces. Carvings are due at the October 18 meeting. The entries will be delivered in Pensacola October 19. The carvings will be picked up October 31. The categories include human realistic, human caricature, animal realistic, animal caricature, mythical and fantasy, birds of prey, song birds, aquatic, Santa Claus and Christmas objects, religious, chip carving relief carving, long walking stick, short walking stick, miniature, wood burning, bark carving and a few others.

As with everything nowadays, it is suggested that you check to see if the programs are still on the calendar. Those of you receiving Chip Chats or Woodcarving Illustrated will have access to other shows and carving opportunities. The latest issues have some workshops listed that are already cancelled, some are not. Please check before making plans.

If you do not receive Chip Chats, you may want to consider becoming a member of the National Wood Carvers Association. Dues are $20/year. The magazine comes bi-monthly (although in the time of COVID, it is quarterly). Send your name, address, and dues to:

National Wood Carvers Association
P.O. Box 43218
Cincinnati, Ohio 45243

Carving Strength and Ergonomics

During the Ward's World Championship virtual presentations this year was a Zoom talk about ergonomics. I was interested in finding out how I might place myself in a body structure that was not so harmful to me. Sitting is the main form our body is in when we carve. Many European-trained carvers stand, using both hands and the body to direct the carving gouges, sometimes using a mallet in one hand to move the gouge through the wood. In the U.S., we are using knives and palm gouges to remove the wood. In each case the arms and hands are the primary drivers of the tool direction. Strength in the arms and hands can be developed by using exercises designed specifically for that.

Something we might consider is warming up and down when we are going to get involved in a carving session of any length. Warming up and down does not have to last long and the importance of these before and after exercises cannot be over-emphasized. These will not only prevent strain and damage to joints and tendons but will also improve flexibility. Here are two exercises to use for warm-up/down.

  1. Clasp hands in front of the chest, interlocking the fingers. Now, keeping the elbows as still as possible, rotate the uppermost knuckles of your hands so as to describe horizontal circles in the air, increasing from small to large. Stop, and do the same number of rotations in the opposite direction, again starting small and getting larger.

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