Viking Wood Carvers Association
Newsletter January 2003

VIKING Chapter
Minneapolis,  Minnesota
Vol. 28  No. 11

· Bob Pitts
 (612) 722-0449

· Jim Ayers
 (612) 721-6074
· Myron Asper
 (952) 445-7274

· Jeff Lippka
· (952) 835-5127

· Myrtle Brandvold
    (952) 512-0073

· Jim Ayers
· Myron Asper

· Keith Fredrickson
· Leonard Kampa

· Carol “Swede” Bengtson
 Merle Erickson

January 13 Presentation– Wood Carvers Buffet
The new and used tool sale starts at 6:30 PM, followed by the regular business meeting at 7 PM.
The presentation will feature a Wood Butcher's Buffet with a sampling of woodcarving delights by six - yes, - six Viking carvers. They are:

    Darwin Krueger: Chip carving in the style of Wayne Barton
    Walt Grittner: Chip carving according to Walt's style
    Duane Heng: Hand sharpening tools (bring a knife / chisel / gouge to be sharpened)
    Stan Weros: Carving the human face
    Bob Erickson: Carving the human figure
    Merle Erickson: How to rough out carvings safely and fast, using a bench top clamp and #9 tools.

This should be a lively buffet with a range of delicacies for everyone's taste and a good way to launch into the New Year.

Note: This is an audience participation program!

2003 Annual Dues
They are due by January 31.  Send your check to Myrtle Brandvold 9607 Palmer RD,
Bloomington, MN. 55437 or bring to the January meeting. Early payment of your dues greatly reduces the time needed to publish a roster. Last year it took 5 months  to finalize a roster and arrange mailing to the membership. Let’s do better this year.

Minutes of December Meeting by Jeff Lipka

        The meeting of December 9 was called to order by President Bob Pitts. There were 75 members  and 3 guests (Carole Bengtson, Paul and Shiela Kyburz) present.  It was announced that Lyman Francis, a former member, was seriously ill at Ridges Hospital. (He died on December 20.) The Treasurer’s Report was submitted by Myrt Brandvold. The current balance is $3328.03. (Full report is found in this newsletter.)
Ken Peterson made available Rockler Wood Working contest. Deadline is Jan 5,2003.
Pitts reiterated that the following candidates have been nominated and that additional names could be presented before the election which will take place at the beginning of the February meeting.The Nominating Committee has met and presented the following list of candidates.
President – Jim Forrey, Vice President – Jim Ayers(also arranges programs), Secretary – Nancy Dardis and Treasurer – Lew Forsmark
        Jim Ayers announced that the speaker for the meeting was ill and that he would be the replacement. Dennis Mathiason announced that he would need a replacement for the editor position as he would be relocating to the lake country. His house will be placed on the market in March and plans to leave soon after that date. He offered to assist a member in learning how to prepare the newsletter. He also talked about the editorial he wrote in the November newsletter. There has been considerable response to the suggestion that we need to address member needs better than currently done. But members need to express what they want of the organization.
        The Digital Camera Use Committee is exchanging ideas for the purchase and use of the digital camera. Ideas will be presented at the January meeting. Committee members are Russ Scott, Ken Peterson, Todd Moucha, and Mike Morson.
        Vendors  then  identified new items for sale. George Effrem has new books, John Krantz thanked the group for their support this past year and indicated that his barn was full of basswood; Gregg McCabe indicated that he had a Stubai tool special at the meeting; Gen Jansen had some autographed copies of her new book for sale; and Earl Suhrbier announced that he had a number of books and carving supplies at the meeting. Finally, Merle Erickson indicated that the used tool sale was off and running with GREAT BARGAINS. Four members were selling at this meeting.
The Business meeting was adjourned and Show and Tell  commenced. See listing later in this issue. Coffee Break followed.

Talk by Jim Ayers (It should be noted that Jim makes a great “pinch hitter” (speaker)). He talked about his “Fan Birds” and presented an overview of the X-10 projection system.  The X-10 allows one to project images to a TV or a computer system. In this case he used a TV so that members (even those in the Peanut Gallery!) could watch him cut and fold the bird wings. It was a fascinating demonstration to watch. (Jim will be teaching at the January Snow Daze workshop.) After the meeting I ordered the X-10 system for $79.95 (shipping included.) You can see the system at

        BALANCE – November 1   4356.49
        INCOME 280.45
        EXPENSE         1308.91
        BALANCE – NOVEMBER 30  3328.03

        BALANCE FROM SHOW 196.57
        TABLE INCOME  901.00
        NEWSPAPER REFUND  311.40
        TOTAL     1408.97

        ENVELOPES     35.78
        POSTAGE     74.00
        SUPPLIES     12.78

        CARVING FOR CHARITY 103.89
        ADVERTISING     54.27
        COPIES        8.40
        REFUND-OVER PYMT   38.00
        SUPPLIES    54.60
        TABLES AND CHAIRS  636.00
        ADVERTISING    93.00
        ADVERTISING   385.00
        TOTAL     1495.72
        OVERALL BALANCE       -$ 86.75

The solution to last issues Cryptoquip was “ THERE OUGHT TO BE A WOODCARVERS SEWING KIT CALLED “SUTURE SELF”

I saw an article recently concerning artists and craftsmen. “Art or Craft?” If you’re a craftsman, be the best that you can be, but don’t pretend to be an artist. If you’re an artist, you’re both an artist and a craftsman, celebrate it, and promote the art! “ At first glance this appears to be a breast beating statement. But there is something to address here. For some time I have observed the carving endeavor as both a hobby for some and a business opportunity for others. In particular I would like to address the education that is received. Let me use the following example for discussion purposes. Assume there is a weekend workshop to carve a caricature and there is a time allocation of 10 hours. Also assume that a carver with experience could perform the task in 7-8 hours. I think it is reasonable to assume that unskilled carvers probably will not carve it in the 10 hours. So will the instructor produce a craftsman or an artist? A frustrated student? Given the skills needed and the time available, I think it is unlikely that there will be much artistry. Consider the dilemma of the instructor. The instructor is probably facing 8-10 individuals with varying aptitudes and experience. (Also realize that most instructors do it to make money.) Let me briefly relate this discussion to my previous professorial career. Teaching chemistry to students that lack necessary skills in reading, mathematics, communication, etc. seriously limits progress if there isn’t much motivation to learn and to “be the best you can
be”. But good results can be achieved
if you have sufficient time and interest.

As a carving student I have been fortunate to have instructors who were not concerned with my having a “finished project” but were more interested in creating interest and in providing me with skills and an exposure to ideas that I needed to pursue if I wanted to be an artist. I am very grateful to Ivan Whillock, Harley Schmitgen, Gary Larson, Dale Martin, and Pascal Wurth to name a few. All of these taught me techniques, but more importantly, they told me what other activities to pursue if I wanted to succeed. Only time will evidence if I really make it. BUT I AM HAVING FUN AND I HAVE MET A LOT OF INTERESTNG PEOPLE


Lyman Francis, former Viking member, passed away December 20
New Members:
 Georgiann Jensen, 805 -11th Ave S, Hopkins, MN, 55343. (952-939-8033)
 Kermit Mundahl, 456 Overlook Pass, Hudson, WI, 54016. (715-381-2731)

Other News

The Viking club will need a new editor as it now appears that the February issue will be my last one. So a volunteer is needed. The editor is paid $25.00 per issue. It is essential that you have a computer, printer, and internet hook up.

We now have the necessary artwork for producing the Viking logo patch. Two versions will be presented at the January meeting.


Feb 18-23. Gretna (near Omaha, NE) Resident carver will be Marty Dolphens. Cost is $170 (includes lodging, meals, carving and entertainment). A great place to see noted carvers in action, for relaxation and for sharing ideas. The Gretna Experience is sponsored by John and Nancy Burke. Area carvers that regularly attend: Jim Burk, Dale Martin, Dennis Mathiason, Midge Johnson, and Harley Schmitgen. (Contact Dennis for more information if you are interested.)
Mar 15, 16 Central Minnesota Woodcarvers Show, St Cloud, MN. Contact Gen Jansen for more information.
March 22-23, MWCA 37th annual show at Brookdale Mall in Brooklyn Center, MN
March 22-23,  27th Annual Carving Show, Rochester Woodcarvers Club. At Fairgrounds.
Apr 5, 6, Viking Spring Show, Har Mar Mall (CONTACT the Swedes (co-chairs) early so that you can be a volunteer. Positions limited!)


NAME                CARVING             WOOD             FINISH             COMMENTS

JIM AYERS                     CANADA GOOSE                  PONDEROSA, PINE    ACRYLICS                     FAN CARVING
                                                                                                                                                                                    BOOK: ART AND FEAR
                                                                                                                                                                                    AUTHORS:  DAVID BAYLES
                                                                                                                                                                                    TED ORLAND
MERLE ERICKSON      EGG HEADS                             BASSWOOD                 ACRYLICS                     UFF DA- A CHALLENGE!
GARY FLEMING            SANTA ON FISH,                   BASSWOOD,                ACRYLICS                     DEFT
                                           RAM, ESKIMO                        BUTTERNUT,                 ACRYLICS                     DEFT
                                           FISHERMAN                            BASSWOOD
JIM FORREY                  CHRISTMAS LIST                 BASSWOOD                  ACRYLICS
DUANE HENG                 BIGHORN SHEEP                  BASSWOOD                  ACRYLICS, TU. OIL   BURNED, WAX ON ROCKS
AARON IONTA              NAUGHTY SANTA                BASSWOOD                  ACRYLICS                    FIRST CARVING
GEN JANSEN                  CHILDREN                              BASSWOOD                  ACRYLICS,WAX         FOR A CASTING
LEONARD KAMPA       WOODSTOCK                       BASSWOOD                  ACRYLICS                    D. BERNSIDE CUT OUT
                                             IN SNOWSHOES
                                             FUTURE:  38DD BRA                                                                                                VICTORIAS WEB SITE
LEO MIELKE                   WALKING MAN &                 BASSWOOD                  ACRYLICS, WAX
                                            TURTLE ON LOG
JOHN SAILOR               ST. FERRER                             BASSWOOD                  WATER BASED          BASED ON 2” MODEL
                                            SANTA w/ LIST,                     BASSWOOD                   ACRYLICS                   BOOK FROM
                                            SNOWMAN                                                                                                                SHAWN CIPA

Ed Note: Member display forms need to be completely and clearly filled out for proper inclusion in the newsletter. Oral comments do not get referenced. As Samuel Butler advised, “The advantage of doing one’s praising is that one can lay it on so thick, and exactly in the right places.”

On the next page [Hard Copy Only] is an old Calvin and Hobbes cartoon. It probably applies to me. But every now and then we probably all do our Don Quixote act, that is, engaging windmills.

At this point they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that are on that plain. "Fortune," said Don Quixote to his squire, as soon as he had seen them, "is arranging matters for us better than we could have hoped. Look there, friend Sancho Panza, where thirty or more monstrous giants rise up, all of whom I mean to engage in battle and slay, and with whose spoils we shall begin to make our fortunes. For this is righteous warfare, and it is God's good service to sweep so evil a breed from off the face of the earth." "What giants?" said Sancho Panza.