Every now and then here at The ToolPost, we cast our eyes to events that may be extremely far-flung from our
showroom in Didcot, Oxfordshire. On this occasion, we're crossing the Atlantic, to the 26th annual Eastern Woodland Carving Show in the American state of Indiana. More specifically, the event took place in Converse, a
town with a population of just 1,148 as of the 2010 census.
It's unlikely to be a place that woodcarving
enthusiasts here in the United Kingdom have heard of, but there was certainly plenty to intrigue practitioners in the art Stateside, woodcarvers from seven different states being represented among the 120 entries shown off in Converse Gym over the weekend of Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th July.
That actually marks a slight decrease on the number of entries in previous runnings of the event, but there was no doubt of the exceptional quality of the woodcarved creations on display. Eastern
Woodland Carving Club Board of Directors Chairman Gary Freeman told the Kokomo Tribune: "The quality of the pieces this year has been amazing. I like to see what everyone brings every year, because you expect the
work to get better, and it always does."
Members of the woodcarving club meet every Tuesday for open carves, the current membership count of almost 250 being a far cry from the 13 present at its
establishment in 1988. The club holds seminars and workshops throughout the year, in addition to maintaining a carving library from its location on South Jefferson Street.
Last weekend saw not only the
display of some great woodcarving work, but also carving demonstrations, basket weaving and door prizes, Freeman observing that the show gave people from across the American Midwest the opportunity to enjoy the
tranquillity associated with the practice of woodcarving. "It's one of those hobbies that if you have a lot of stress, it just goes away when you're carving. You just forget about all of the clutter in the
Participants at this year's show included Greentown resident Jim Hartley, a woodcarver since 2000, whose signature bowl design took third place for Best in Show, while the outright winner
was Roger Strautman of Woodburn, with his chip carved replica of the Ten Commandments.
Strautman said that his victorious creation required between 75 and 100 hours of work, but that his
perfectionist nature lend itself well to the attention to detail required for chip carving: "In chip carving, the cuts have to be just so. I have a lot of patience, and that's the type of carving that requires a
lot of patience."
Those are certainly sentiments likely to be shared by many of our loyal customers here at The ToolPost!