Hello Carvers

While it feels like summer already it can’t be because we haven’t had our SHOWCASE yet. Just one month and two weeks to go. The teams are working harder than ever, and amazing things are happening.
Keith Jones and Steve Stillitano have been making an unbelievable effort to reach out to companies far and wide to stock the raffle table and silent auction with some donations that will stun you and make you wish you spent more money on raffle tickets while they are at a discount which ends March 15th. Hint: (even NASCAR has contributed).
Steve and Bob Warner are selling raffle tickets like crazy and you have two weeks to get in at the discounted price.
Everyone should remember our Showcase is the largest in the southeast and it takes a huge effort from every member who can volunteer to make it a SUCCESS. We all must work first and spectate second. So come on out, we need everybody. If you can’t contribute with the labor then carve like never before and enter the competition. Also, help Steve build the best raffle with donations of your work for the raffle. There are many ways to help.

Finally, at the Showcase we will be able to advertise next year’s Show Theme thanks to Rod Gatlin, Rocky Paiano, and Jim Horn, who worked together over a month, to plan a theme that will test your imagination and carving skill. “Birds of a feather, flock together” is the 2024 Theme.

March is Election month for the club and the Vote to elect new officers for the next year and one new Board member will take place on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, at 1 p.m. I have spoken to all the current officials including Lee Servatius who filled as the 3rd board member to end this year and they will all have agreed to run again along with any new nominations that come in during March. So please nominate any others who would like to serve the club for next year at the regular Tuesday meeting prior to March 28, 2023.
The purchase and distribution of long sleeve T-shirts and patches have been completed, and Rocky is in the middle of distributing the short sleeve T-shirts. If you have placed an order and you come on Tuesdays you can pay for your shirts while at the Club. If you live out of town, you can get your shirts while at the Showcase. For Showcase pick-up, look for Rocky who will be helping in the Seminar presentations. Please get your shirts as early in the show as possible. Friday afternoon would be really helpful.

Rod’s 2-day carving class and Wild Acres are sold out. There is a waiting list for both events. See Bob Gerbe for Rod’s class. There is a possible 2nd class with Rod after the Showcase, but no details yet. See Rod for Wild Acres.

Club dues will be due for next year by the end of May and can be paid with your Show registration.

Finally, for this newsletter, I would like to start something new and bring value to everyone. I think the following two tips are especially timely as we move into our Showcase and recruit new carvers to our club and the art of carving. These two tips come From Steve Prescott in Woodcarving Illustrated, Holiday 2008.
Tip #1: Sharp Tools
Nothing is more important to a carver than the ability to sharpen tools effectively. It does not matter how much knowledge, skill, or inspiration you have if you are trying to carve with dull tools. Sharpening is difficult and boring work. Practice until you perfect the necessary skills. Don’t switch with every new system that comes along. Find a system that suits you and stick with it.
Tip #2: Buy individual tools
Don’t buy tools in sets because some tools will not be used. Buy tools individually as you discover a specific need. Most of us have way too many tools. I have been buying carving tools for 25 years and still buy more tools at every show. I find the longer I carve, the fewer tools I use. New tools come factory sharp but are rarely carving sharp. Be prepared to work on the new tools yourself or insist that the retailer sharpen the tools before you purchase them.
The knife in our club's beginner kit is “carving sharp’. Sharpened by our retailer, Bob Stadtlander.
I have asked Bob Warner to teach a sharpening class after the Showcase.

Bob Gerbe, President
Charlotte Woodcarvers Club