31st Annual Woodcarving Show and Sale
May 1 & 2, 2010

The North Arkansas Woodcarvers' 31st Annual Show and Sale was held May 1 and 2, 2010 at the Baxter County Fairgrounds in Mountain Home, Arkansas hosting 53 carvers and vendors that came to the Ozarks to exhibit, compete, demonstrate and sell their carvings/wood turnings/carving supplies. More than 133 ribbons, plaques and awards were presented including 50 cash prizes throughout the weekend. The competition's judge, Bruce Futterer, carefully scrutinized the 176 carvings entered for judging from the 46 categories. Bruce was assisted by NAWC club members Roberta Dulaney, recorder; Debra Bergum, photographer; Jay Nottingham, announcer; Dick Dulaney, carving entry table; Paul Baumann, carving entry handler; Bonnie Davis and Kathi Clark, show coordinators.

Barb Edelbrock arranged for coffee and club members baked breads for Saturday morning. Ray and Jean Kropke worked the entrance table making sure that everyone visiting the show was warmly greeted and received a door prize ticket as well as a People's Choice Ballot. Admission for both days was free, but donations are always greatly appreciated and "encouraged" by Ray. Jody Nottingham, assisted by Paul and Mary Baumann, did a wonderful job selling tickets at the raffle table. Deen Shirkey, Terry and Judy Balcom, Betty and John Gregory, and Marge Clements handled the club and door prize tables selling T-shirts, mugs, hats, NAWC patches, memberships, etc., and coordinating the drawings for the hourly door prizes.

This year the NAWC club membership created two beautiful "Quilts" to use as their 2010 raffle projects. The drawing for each of these works of art will be in November. The "Quilts" consist of thirty-six 4" square relief carvings of anything "nature" and "Christmas" squares. Sid Edelbrock did a beautiful job engineering, assembling and finishing the frames of both carvings. Carvers for the "nature quilt" squares were: Tommy Johnson, Betty Gregory, Arlene Lesiak, Sid Edelbrock, Dick Dulaney, Steve Wagner, Sandy Smith, Norm Rutledge, Kathi Clark, Jackie Miller, Ed McBride, Cheryl Hafer, John Gregory, Skip Janecek, Paul Baumann, Amy Wainscott, and Jo Anne Moore. Carvers for the "Christmas quilt" squares were: Linda Heydt, Sid Edelbrock Cheryl Hafer, Jo Anne Moore, Sandy Smith, Tommy Johnson, Arlene Lesiak, Norm Rutledge, Skip Janecek, Curt Shirkey, Amy Wainscott, Kathi Clark, Naomi Inglett, and Dick Dulaney.

Additional raffle items included a Blue Heron carved and donated by Dick Dulaney and a chain sawed Bear carved and donated by Troy Sutton. A very happy (and extremely lucky) Jean Kropke won both the Heron and Bear. Much interest was generated for all of our raffle items, shown by the number of tickets sold for each carving. Many thanks to the kind and talented carvers that donated their time and carvings skills to create these raffle prizes.

Four carvers/wood turners volunteered their time, shared their knowledge and demonstrated their skills in showing all that were interested how to change a piece of wood into an artful masterpiece. Demonstrators were: Randy Landen, Carol Wherry, Mary Waldeck, and Frank Nixon.

Saturday evening's banquet dinner/auction was held at the Elks Club with approximately 78 people in attendance. A Chinese auction offering gift certificates for tools and restaurants, carvings, books, and many "interesting" items was set up and the participation was wonderful. Plaques were presented to competition winners in attendance. Dick Todd cut and finished the wonderful walnut bases for the plaques. The engraving on the plaques was provided by The Locker Room, a Mountain Home sporting goods shop. An auction, led by Ray Kropke and assisted by Bonnie Davis, Dick Dulaney, Cindy Stephens and Debra Bergum, was conducted to generate funds for next year's show. Sincere gratitude goes to all club members and non-members that collected/carved auction items and door prizes; to John Uelmen for donating a box full of his carvings to help our cause; and to Dalene Berke for the stack of local area gift certificates for the banquet's door prizes.

First place Best Of Show honors went to Tom Mayfield of St. Joe, MO; second place Best Of Show, Timothy Higginson, Provo, UT; third place Best Of Show, Neil Nulton of Wichita, KS. Best Table Display went to Neil Nulton and People's Choice honors went to Tom Mayfield of St. Joe, MO.

Winners of the Open Division competition, listed as category then place won - first, second, third and honorable mention were:
Novice - Instructor Assisted: Curt Shirkey, Larry Rustan, Janet Sutton
Novice - "In the Round": Bob Ryder, Jackie Miller
Novice - Relief: Larry Rustan, Janet Sutton, Bob Ryder
Novice - Pyrography: Jackie Miller, Barb Edelbrock, Janet Sutton
Novice - Caricature: Curt Shirkey, Bob Ryder, Jo Anne Moore
Novice - Miscellaneous: Jo Anne Moore, Jackie Miller
Realistic Human Figure: Bruce Blihovde, Dick Dulaney
Realistic Animal (single): Denny Villwok, Mel Donaho, Roland Ellis
Realistic Animal Bust: Mel Donaho, Roland Ellis
Realistic Group: Dick Dulaney, Bruce Blihovde, Danny Villwok
Realistic Fish / Marine / Aquatic Life (single or group): Russ Biros, Bob Hays, Roland Ellis
Song Bird (single or group): Neil Nulton, Ron Schessl, Mel Donaho
Bird of Prey: Neil Nulton, Bob Hays, Ron Schessl, Roland Ellis
Shorebird: Neil Nulton, Ron Schessl
Game Bird: Neil Nulton, Ron Schessl, Mel Donaho
Ducks / Waterfowl (single or group): Neil Nulton, Bob Hays, Ron Schessl
Caricature Human (single): Deb Bergum, Stan McKenzie, Bruce Blihovde, Danny Villwok, Chuck Bailey
Caricature Human or Animal in a Scene: Denny Villwok, Jo McKenzie
Caricature Animal, Bird or Fish (single): Wm. Earl Gray, Danny Villwok, Jo McKenzie, Chuck Bailey
Caricature Bust: Stan McKenzie, Bruce Blihovde
Caricature Group: Denny Villwok, Stan McKenzie
Pyrography: Jo McKenzie, Carol Wherry, Deen Shirkey
Driftwood: Bob Hays
Bark Carving: Jerry Anglen, Gerald Findley, Stan McKenzie, Monty Anglen
Relief - Buildings / Structures: Sid Edelbrock, Denny Villwok
Relief - Humans: Deb Bergum, Bruce Blihovde, Sid Edelbrock
Relief - Animal(s), Bird(s), Insect(s), Fish, etc: Bruce Blihovde, Roland Ellis, Denny Villwok
Relief - Miscellaneous: Jo McKenzie, Bruce Blihovde, Mary Waldeck
Chip Carving / Positive Image/Gouge: Warren Rauscher, Carol Wherry, Jeffery Higginson, Fred Albert
Chip Carving / Negative Image: Timothy Higginson, Warren Rauscher, Carol Wherry, Jeffery Higginson
Jewelry: Timothy Higginson, Jo McKenzie, Ron Schessl
Novelties / Bottle Stoppers: Carol Wherry, Bruce Blihovde, Chuck Bailey
Spoons: Tim Higginson, Bruce Blihovde, Fred Albert
Canes / Staffs: Carol Wherry, Tommy Johnson, Stan McKenzie, Jo McKenzie
Santa Claus: Chuck Bailey, Stan McKenzie, Sid Edelbrock
Holiday Items: Carol Wherry, George Marcek, Sid Edelbrock, Stan McKenzie
Mythical & Carousel Figures: Stan McKenzie, Chuck Bailey
Wood Turning - Bowls / Goblets / Vases: Phil Wiles, George Marcek, Timothy Higginson
Wood Turning - Pens: Phil Wiles, Frank Nixon, George Marcek
All Other Turnings: Phil Wiles, Frank Nixon, Mel Donaho
Stylized: Tom Mayfield, Neil Nulton, Debra Bergum
Miniature: Bruce Blihovde, Jeffery Higginson, Wm. Earl Gray
Rough-outs: Chuck Bailey, Roland Ellis, Stan McKenzie, Denny Villwok
Instructor Assisted: Randy Landen, Sid Edelbrock, Cindy Stephens, Denny Villwok
Miscellaneous: Neil Nulton, Russ Biros, Mel Donaho, Debra Bergum

On Sunday, carvers got a chance to mingle and catch up with acquaintances until the afternoon. The "Unlimited Hand Tools" Whittling Contest was again a popular event. There were 5 carvers entered in the afternoon's "Whittling Contest". Carvers were given a time limit of 1 hour plus a 10-minute break after the first 30 minutes. Jay Nottingham graciously agreed to be the contest's announcer and did a spectacular job. The carvers were allowed unlimited hand tools and were given a 2"x2"x6" chunk of basswood (donated by Dale/Marge Heinecke) to carve a "masterpiece". Larry Yudis, Phil Bishop and Dale Heinecke judged the results. First, second and third place winners received a plaque from NAWC, plus a Woodcraft Shop gift certificate. Timothy Higginson placed first; Chuck Bailey - second and Stan McKenzie - third. Special thanks go to Larry and Carol Yudis for their generous gift certificate donation and to Dale Heinecke for the "whittling" wood.

There were a number of Purchase Award participants. Serenity Inc., a volunteer organization, made three $150 purchase awards and chose carvings from Neil Nulton, Timothy Higginson, and Warren Rauscher. Gerald Caster made a $200 purchase award choosing a chip carved clock by Jeffery Higginson.

Sincere thanks go to all participants and to the club members and their spouses who graciously volunteered their time to make it all happen. Heartfelt appreciation go to the vendors, businesses, club members, visiting carvers and friends who donated money, merchandise and their time to help make the show a success. Special thanks go to the "sign committee" who trekked through high grasses to set up and break down the club's wooden signs making sure that the public knew when and where the show was to be held. The "sign committee" members were Norm Rutledge, Curt Shirkey, Dick Dulaney, Bonnie Davis, Paul Baumann, Gary and Sandy Smith. Our appreciation also goes to the members and their spouses who worked behind the scenes on the Friday before the show and then on Sunday after closing to assist vendors and carvers in the unloading and reloading of their products and carvings. And a deep debt of gratitude for those members who took time out to help set up tables and chairs and generally assist us in getting everything aligned just right. Without everyone's generous help and support the show could not have been possible. The Show Committee is already discussing plans for our 32nd Annual Show to be held May 7 & 8, 2011. See you there!


Photos by Deb Bergum