Viking Wood Carvers Newsletter
August 2006

Russell Scott
Newsletter Editor
1238 Edmund Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55104

VIKING Woodcarvers
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Vol. 32 No. 6

* Dennis Schuster

* Jim Ayers
* Myron Asper

* Lynne Medgaarden

* Leo Mielke

* Jim Ayers
* Myron Asper

* Leonard Kampa

* Russell Scott

Viking Web Site -
* Meeting Location – Knights of Columbus, 1114 W 79th St., Bloomington
* 4th Monday – August 28 – Meeting Time – 7:00 PM

August Presentation: Several club members have volunteered to perform demonstrations at the August meeting. These ‘one hour’ demos are intended to be informative and interesting for those who may be interested to sharpen their skills in their current area of interest or expand in their current carving horizons. The demos will include: painting, figures, chip carving, intarsia, and wood burning. However, if anyone is interested in performing a ‘one hour’ demo of fowl carving and/or relief carving, please contact Denny Schuster.

President's Notes

    Welcome to all members and guests after a long, hot summer. We can look forward to a lot of changes in the coming months which, I hope, will instill new enthusiasm and eager participation in club activities. We have two positions that need filling quickly. The new Vice-President, with the aid of a committee, can coordinate programs for the coming year from a list of fresh candidates who have already expressed interest in participating. Also, we need a new newsletter editor to help us streamline the format and enhance the value of the newsletter, while reducing its overall size.
    With the new officer changes, and the fresh ideas that they'll bring into the position, we're also adding some additional services that you'll begin seeing at the August meeting. For those who are current in their dues, thank you for supporting the club. For those who aren't current in dues, please reconsider and begin taking advantage of the special priced services, including both tool-sharpening and carving related classes that will be offered later this year.
    I look forward to introducing some of the new services and discussing ongoing plans. As always, the purpose of the club is to be both informative and enjoyable. So, we need your ideas and suggestions, as well as your active participation. See you in August.

Good Carving
Dennis "Denny" Schuster


Minutes of Viking Woodcarvers for May 22, 2006
By Lynne Medgaarden, Secretary

    The meeting was called to order by new president, Dennis Schuster. Dennis has been a member for four years and considers himself to be a novice woodcarver.
    The next meeting of the club will be August 28, 2006.
    The secretary’s report for April was approved as printed in the newsletter.
    The treasurer’s report by Leo Mielke: 108 paid members, 50 unpaid members. That concludes the dues drive since February. The balance in the bank was $3,712.   We are spending more than we are taking in for due each year. The cost for printing and mailing the monthly newsletter is the major expenditure.
    Jim Ayers finished his long service as vice president. He served for 10 years. Thank you Jim, for a wonderful job you’ve done for us. The club will need someone new to take over as vice president starting in August. The vice president arranges the monthly speakers for the meetings. Contact Dennis Schuster if you are interested in the position of vice president.

    There was discussion about the vice president position. A suggestion was made that a committee might be better than one individual to arrange for speakers to share the workload. However, someone still needs to be the lead for the committee.
    Russell Scott, newsletter editor, asked club members to check their address to make sure it is correct. People who haven’t paid dues will be removed from the mailing list. He would prefer sending the newsletter by email to save postage and printing costs.
    Russ will discuss the fall woodcarving show at the August meeting. He will include a registration form with the next newsletter. He has moved the spring show to March 10-11, 2007, to bring it back into winter. Last year’s spring show was held on such a nice weekend, weather-wise, that we had poor turnout.

    New business: Russ discussed the possibility of scheduling classes for the Viking Club. Swede Bengtson has a finished garage which he is turning into a woodcarving shop. We may be able to use this space for classes. Russ discussed the possibility of inviting a big name carver for the weekend and then asking them to stay over and give a presentation at the club meeting on a Monday night. It will take time to build interest in carving classes.
    Dennis asked if members would like to have more carving related activities at meetings and not only speakers. Jim Abicht volunteered to make cut outs if he has the wood. John Krantz may donate some wood. Club members were very interested in doing small carving projects during meetings.
    Would people be interested in a sharpening fair at one of the meetings? The response was positive.
    The club needs to generate more members. We need to encourage people to attend a meeting and join the club. Maybe we could do some intro to carving sessions at a meeting.
    Russell Scott discussed the possibility of giving carving demonstrations at the Minnesota State Fair at the Creative Activities Building in August to generate interest in the club (see article elsewhere in this newsletter). This would be one day and the club would provide carvers to participate throughout the day. Tickets would be provided.
    Someone mentioned that the club did a group project back in the 1980s for the Phillips Wangensteen Eye Institute at the University of Minnesota. Maybe the club could do a group project to generate interest in carving and the club. We never finished the Viking Ship project started by Iver Johnson. The totem pole in front of the Thunderbird Motel along Hwy 494 was the first Viking Club group project.
    A suggestion was made to distribute club information at the local wood carving stores such as Rockler’s and Woodcraft and ask store personnel to send people to the club. The club could design a brochure with photos of different carving styles. We could also leave information at hardware and home stores.
    Dennis stated that it is his objective to make the meetings more interesting so people will be encouraged to attend and to participate in the wonderful world of carving.

    Vendors: Dick Allen filled in for John Krantz; Tom Isaacson had some cottonwood bark and spray bottles; Russell Scott had some cottonwood bark; Gen Jansen announced Snow Daze for Jan 5, 6, and 7 at Green Lake Bible Camp; Alice Spadgenske discussed the Metro Club carving weekend scheduled for the weekend before Thanksgiving. The classes filled fast last year; Jim Abicht had many different kinds of wood for sale; Leo Bock had some 6-7 foot long logs of basswood and butternut – no charge and also a Craftsman angle grinder and carving power head to sell.

    Dennis mentioned that the Minnesota Wood Workers Guild had some incredible pieces on display at Southdale. He would like to get the Viking Club and the MWWG club together for a show or meeting. The MWWG includes turnings and marquetry.

May Speaker

    The speakers for the May meeting were Tom and May Severson from the Rochester Wood Carvers club. They discussed their trip to Norway and the work of some Norwegian carvers. Tom has been carving for ten years and learned initially from Walt Grittner.
    The Severson’s planned their trip to Norway through the Vesterheim Museum in Decorah, Iowa. It was a folk art study tour. These events are scheduled every other year through the Vesterheim. The tour was 16 days long and included two classes, four days each. They went to the Folk School in Leira, Norway. Students of the folk schools went to learn life skills. Some of these skills included woodcarving, rose mauling, knife making, and felting classes.
    The international flight made it difficult to travel with knives. Tools were provided by the instructors. The tools were well worn and carefully marked by the owners. The wood used was Linden – similar to American Northern Basswood.
    There are fabulous carvings everywhere in Norway; churches, signs, furniture, woodwork, etc. In their class they made spoons. The teachers were Jorgen and Christian Sundheim. They were given a blank in which the spoon bowls were precut in a perfect egg shape. They never did learn how this was done. They carved the remainder of the blank. They used V tools and gouges to make Acanthus style spoons.
    The trip included sightseeing and was a wonderful experience.

Viking Wood Carving Association at the 2006 Minnesota State Fair!!

    I have secured a spot at the demonstration booth in the Creative Activities building during the State Fair. The time schedule is from 2:00 PM to 9:00 PM on Wednesday August 30th. Some one canceled their spot and the Creative Activities Superintendent remembered my request. It would have been great to have the entire time slot, but a porcelain club will have the morning shift in the booth.
    The demonstration section is located in the north-west end of the building. The spot is cut in fourths. We have the South-East section of that spot which I believe is the best spot.
    I have contacted VWCA members to come out and demonstrate. Though I have a list of people who were interested to help, I was given only ten gate-pass tickets and had to skim the list. However, I have also volunteered us to be ‘Johnny On The Spot’ for any other last minute cancellations the CA Superintendent may have and would like to have volunteers to write their names down at the August meeting so I can have them on hand.
    This would be a great opportunity to show fair-goers the finer points of wood carving so that they may be interested in starting wood carving and becoming a member at the Viking Wood Carving Club.
Oops, I did it again and I am not able to present the list for ‘Show and Tell’ from May. This time, I typed up the list on another computer, threw away the slips, and then mistakenly deleted the file. Sorry!

Upcoming Wood Carving Classes

    Dwayne Heng has a very nice woodcarving shop at his home in Woodbury (I’ve been there for a class and it is really, really nice). He is open to present upcoming woodcarving classes in 2007.
    Pat Moore from Fargo, North Dakota will come out in May, 2007 to teach the ‘Miniature Mallard Duck’. This will be a three day, Friday – Sunday class. Pat is asking for $165.00 per student for the class, the cut-out will be provided. Water colors are taught to paint the carving. A minimum of 10 students are require to hold this class.
    John Engler form Oklahoma will teach a relief wood carving class in the end of July, 2007. This will also be a three day class, Friday – Sunday. The cost is $130.00 and 10 student minimum is required.
    Dwayne is requiring an early commitment by February, 2007 and $50.00 down.
    Dwayne will bring in finished samples of these classes at the August meeting.
    VWCA Fall Show – October 28, 29, 2006. I will have applications at the August meeting.
    Russell Scott has created wood carving videos for sale. They are demonstrations of carving different projects with the camera over his shoulder as if you’re sitting next to him.

The videos are:
Absolute Beginning Wood Carving, Next Step Wood Carving (Corn Cob on a Base), Intermediate Wood Carving (Old World Santa)
Bark Carving Basics (Wood Spirit and Nome Home).

For information, go to