Viking Wood Carvers Association
Newsletter October 2002

Newsletter Editor
Dennis Mathiason
12400 Hilloway Road W.
Minnetonka, MN 55305


7:00 pm Oct 14, 2002

Everett Ellenwood, "Casting Your Carvings"
(More information in Newsletter)


Woodcarvers Store and School, 3056 Excelsior Blvd., Minneapolis, MN 55416-0127 (612) 927-7491
New books and wood filler
JOHN KRANTZ Many sizes and lots of quality basswood and butternut
JIM ABICHT wood bases

Viking Wood Carver Fall Show
When: October 26-27, 2002
Where: Har Mar Mall
Register Now!
Contact Swede Bengtson

VIKING Chapter
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Vol. 28 No. 8

* Bob Pitts
(612) 722-0449

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

* Jeff Lippka
(952) 835-5127

* Myrtle Brandvold
(952) 831-4361

* Dennis Mathiason
(952) 512-0073

* Jim Ayers
* Myron Asper

* Keith Fredrickson
* Leonard Kampa

October Meeting Speaker - Everett Ellenwood

Editors note:
Our speaker for Monday, October 14, will be Everett Ellenwood from the Rochester Woodcarvers, who will present "Casting your Carvings." An error in scheduling occured last month with the result that Ev showed up the night after the September 9 meeting only to discover he came the wrong night. The next day he spoke with Jim Ayers who just arrived back home from vacation. Then Jim realized he gave Ev the wrong date. Being a woodcarver, Ev is a patient yet persistent man, and he agreed to reschedule. Being a psychologist, Jim was indeed puzzled about how he made the mistake. Jim thinks he might have gotten confused on the scheduling because it was the anniversary of 9-11. Jim will provide more information at the October 14th meeting, and Everett will be even more primed to give a fascinating presentation and demonstration on casting woodcarvings.


Everett Ellenwood of the Rochester Woodcarvers will give a presentation on "Casting Your Carvings".The most effective way to replicate your woodcarvings is to make castings of them. Ev, drawing on his 30 years of experience as a woodcarver, will describe different kinds of molds, resins, and procedures. He will make several castings as part of his presentation. More recently, Ev has been carving realistic faces and teaching woodcarving where students use reference models casted from his own originals. He will bring lots of materials to illustrate mistakes, successes, and exactly how the casting process unfolds. As a bonus, he will also bring a videotape he recently made on knife sharpening which can be shown during the coffee break. If you have a carving you are thinking of for casting, bring it to the meeting, and Ev may be able to give some pointers on how to do it right the first time. He brings a lot of enthusiasm and skill so the evening will be enriching.

Minutes of The September Meeting by Jeff Lipka

The meeting of September 9 was called to order by President Bob Pitts. There were 72 members present. The following guests were introduced.

Kermit Mundahl, Harold Kallio, Stan Wiker, and new member Bob Hotvet

The Treasurer's Report was submitted by Myrt Brandvold. As of September 1,there is $ 4602.56 in the treasury. The Spring Show resulted in a balance of approximately $150 (editor's number). The purchase of 6 tickets for the VFW Banquet in lieu of rent for our meeting facility and coffee was discussed. This annual purchase will cost $360.00 this year. A motion to purchase was made and passed. The 6 tickets will be made available to Viking members at the next meeting. (Ed Note: Not clear if this will be by drawing or raffling of the tickets.)

No action was taken on Minutes for the June meeting since they were not recorded.

Show Chair Swede Bengtson presented information from the Executive Meeting which was held at 6:00 PM prior to this meeting. Seven show volunteers were in attendance. General discussion included a planned Charity Carving, number of registrants, a demonstration area, volunteers needed, publicity, mailings for the event, a Viking logo patch, and a web site for Viking activities. During the regular meeting Swede indicated that 45 registrants had signed as of this meeting. He would like to see 80 registrants. There was also discussion about making available some item (cap, t-shirt, etc) with the Viking logo on it for the show. In large amounts these patches could be purchased for $2-3.There will be a dedicated floor space for on-going wood carving and painting demonstrations. (Please volunteer for a 20-30 min slot.) Consensus view was that it should be in the main hallway. Twenty minute talks (or demos) offered on Saturday would fulfill a lot of need and promote interest on the part of the viewing public. The Carving for Charity idea was also discussed. The club will display submitted items at the show and assist in the assigning of a value for each item. At the conclusion of the show the item would be returned to the member who would then take their contribution to a charity of their choice or the club would present them to one or more identified charities. In addition to providing an area to display work for the public to view, the other role of the club is to assign a fair value for each donation. Dennis Schuster will look into the charitable donation value issue and set up a program for providing a value. A number of members are interested in participating in the event. Volunteers are still needed for the show. Contact Swede at 952-884-4136. (As of 9/26 we have 75 registered.)

Editor Dennis Mathiason reported there were some problems with bulk emails to AOL users. He is looking into the problem and will report his findings. He also requested feedback on the nature of the Newsletter and input. Members were asked to indicate what they expect of the Newsletter. (Ed Note: A number of people sent emails indicating they were quite satisfied. Some suggested format changes.)

President Pitts asked for volunteers for a Nominating Committee. This needs to be established by November. He indicated that he has served long enough as President. All of the current officers have served 3 years.

Bill Smith talked about a book Celtic Carved Lovespoons that he had reviewed. His positive review is found in this Newsletter.

Vendors present: Woodcarvers Store and School, Jim Abicht, and Krantz Wood Sales

Show and Tell commenced. See listing in this issue for details.

Since the scheduled speaker had not arrived, a coffee break was taken. Later, with no speaker present, the meeting was adjourned.

by Myrt Brandvold, Treasurer
On May 1, 2002 - Balance $4994.34
On June 1, 2002- Balance $4611.62
On July 1, 2002- Balance $4711.06
On August 1, 2002- Balance $4645.56
On September 1, 2002- Balance $4602.56


WALTER G. CANTLY, club member, died August 28, after battling lymphoma cancer for some time. He is survived by his wife, Corrine. If you knew Walt, I am certain a call (651 489-3237) or a brief message would be appreciated. (903 Nevada Av, St Paul, MN 55117).

NORM BUSTA and JIM WARD have been looking for new sites for members to carve for a few hours a week. It would be ideal to have more events for members. Not only would it provide a space for carving but, more importantly, it would be an opportunity for club members to socialize. (In my opinion that is needed.)

RUSS SCOTT has set up a draft web site for the Viking club. This is a "work in progress" that will be discussed at the next meeting. I think it is an idea that needs to be pursued especially if we want to display our activities to other carvers. The site is presently located at This site is our first attempt to link Viking activities via the internet to world-wide carving activities. It will be a big leap forward for those who have internet capability. Check out the site before the next meeting. Russ is willing to serve as the web master. (NOTE: Email members can click on the above http address and your computer software will access it if you are set up to browse the internet.)

We now have 40 members receiving the email edition of the newsletter.

AOL Mailing Problem: I think the great email problem has been solved. It looks like it was the editor's fault. Probably should fire that guy and get someone with better vision!

Editor's Comments

Just read the latest issue of "Carving Illustrated, vol 20". There is an article by Jeff Phares on making an eye study stick. Article is fine except it should be noted that one eye type is only one example of the various eye expressions one needs to consider when carving a face. A sleepy eye on a smiling face may not be acceptable.

Another article deals with various glues. A better review can be found in Fine Woodworking which is available in local public libraries.


1.Cheap hair spray (the cheapest you can find) can be used in place of spray fixatives or a matte finish spray when overcoating a painted surface. It dries fast and is stable.

2.There are a number of different rouges available for polishing tools.

COLOR                             TYPE     ACTION

Black (Grey)                     A             Fastest abrasive cutter (removal of scrathches)
Green (Dark)                    A             Best all purpose, fast
White                                 B             Good all purpose, medium
Brown Rouge (Tropili)      B             Slower cut
Blue rouge                         C             Polisher, very slow cut
Green (Light)                    C             Polish only
Yellow                                C             Polish only, leaves little residue

There are three basic types of honing compound action:
A. ABRASIVE CUT Fast cut, removes course scratches
B. MEDIUM CUT Good all purpose polish. Slw to remove scratches.
C. FINE POLISH For buffing and polishing

After trying white, green, and black rouge, I have switched to the black rouge for most of my sharpening. Final edge work is done with 3M wet/dry fine paper. While I am not certain, I think fine emory particles may be found in the black rouge. This would explain the fast action. Do not use different color rouges on the same wheel. The blend gives varied results depending on the composition. I am using yellow for buffing work.


In any organization there are individuals that carry more than their share of the load. That is normal. Unfortunately this effort often goes unnoticed in large, loosely knit groups. With this edition I am starting a column to identify some of these individuals. Of course being a member for only 2 years hardly qualifies me as an historical observer. But I think others could write similar stories that shed some light on individuals in this organization. So I welcome guest articles. And I think others would appreciate this as well.

While there are many individuals that have made significant contributions to the Vikings club, there is one individual that provides a service recognized throughout this region. This soft spoken person is a throw-back to an older era...when your word or a handshake was the contract. I am always amazed when a discussion occurs about carving, that his name pops up first as the man to go to for good, quality wood. I regularly attend a carving campout near Omaha, NE where the agreed upon source for quality wood (bought often unseen) is this person. Of course, I am writing about John Krantz, former MN DNR forester, who has made wood his passion and a business. For years he has also managed to get an education grant from the DNR for our Viking club for educational purposes (approximately $1000/year).

Have you ever considered how much wood John brings to each meeting? (Help carry it in and you will know.) He brings enough so that one can pick and choose. Then he packs the surplus up again for delivery to the next meeting or show. At meetings and shows, I have observed him giving away so called 'blemished' wood (sometimes a slight coloration), and he also provides wood to children just beginning to learn to carve. One carver I know comes to the Har Mar Show mainly to buy wood from John. On several occasions I have emailed a description of a carving I would like to make, and John has found AND delivered a quality choice. Last year I needed a white cedar log. He found one in Northern MN and brought it down for me. Sometimes we forget to thank individuals such as John for their quality effort. But consider what your carving life will be like when he no longer provides this service. Thus for these reasons I write this salute for a recognition that is well-deserved. THANKS JOHN!

Book Review by Bill Smith

Celtic Carved Lovespoons, 30 patterns, by Sharon Littley and Clive Griffin. Published by the Guild of Master Craftsman Publications Ltd, Castle Place, 166 High Street, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 1XU, United Kingdom. 152 pp. Approximately 80 colored photos. Many patterns.

The book begins with Clive's poem of the Lovespoon. This is followed by a brief history of the Lovespoon. We are then given a symbolic dictionary or encyclopedia of the meaning of symbols. All this should aid you in understanding what each spoon is trying to tell you as you look at it. It will also aid you in designing your own spoon.

We are then treated to information on tools - power, hand, etc.- which the authors have found most useful. This is followed by wood information, carving techniques (some may seem redundant but the authors are not leaving to someone else to provide the help).

The 30 patterns are next. Each pattern has a photo of the spoon on one page with note-blocks explaining parts of the pattern. On the next page is the pattern with pencil sketch where needed. The book has covered a section on templates for those of us who can't draw.

I'm sure you will find it fun to learn to carve these shapes. Ask your dealer to get you a copy of this book.


Red Wing Woodcarvers Annual Show and Sale will be held Oct 5,6 at St James Hotel in Red Wing, MN. Cost $35.00 / table. Sat eve dinner is $15.00. Contact Dennis Koenig, 1617 Cobblestone CT, Red Wing, MN 55066; ph- 651-388-0978; email: Contact soon if interested as space is limited.

Ed NOTE: Visited this show last year and saw a well-run show. A good opportunity to meet other area carvers and see what is being done. Also a good time to enjoy the Fall scenery.

Oct. 31. Lakes Area Woodcarvers Meeting. Forest Lake, Mn They will have their annual auction of donated tools and materials. Great fund raiser. Guests welcome. Contact Dick Allen (Viking member) for details.

SNOW DAZE CARVE IN Jan 3-5,2003 at the Green Lake Bible Camp on Green Lake, Spicer, MN. Cost is $124 plus materials. Contact Gen Jansen for more information, ph 320-252-3966, email Note: 4 Vikings (Ayers, Grittner, Jansen and Moe) will be instructors. Krantz will have wood at the show on Saturday. Previous participants have indicated this event which is presented by the Central Minnesota Wood Carvers is a well run, fun weekend.

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.

NAME                         CARVING                               WOOD FINISH                   COMMENTS

JOHN ANDERSON             MODELING CLAY                                 NOT FINISHED
JIM FORREY                         "HAGGAR" RED ALDER                    STAIN
WALT GRITTNER              CHIP CARVED BOX BASSWD          POLYURETHANE                             FIRST PRIZE EVENT?
DUANE HENG                       NATIVITY WREATH RIVER               POLYURETHANE                             DEB EDWARDS ROUGHOUT
                                                 OTTER BUTTERNUT                            ACRYLIC/WAX
GEN JANSEN                        WALKING STICK SUMAC                 ACRYLICS                                          FIRST  PLACE -BRONSON
LEN KAMPA                         GRANDDAUGHTERS IN EASTER     ACRYLICS                                          FIRST PRIZE MN STATE FAIR
                                                  BONNETS BASSWOOD
ALICE LARSON                   DOLL BASSWOOD                             ACRYLICS
CLARENCE MOE                CLOWN MUSICIAN BASSWOOD     ACRYLICS                                           PROJ FOR SNOW DAZE
JOHN SAILOR                     ST IGNATIUS BASSWOOD                OTHER                                                  TO BE CAST FOR
                                                                                                                                                                                       RECOGNITION AWARDS
RUSSELL SCOTT               3 FEMALE SWIMMERS                         WAX                                                      SECOND PRIZE
                                                 BASSWOOD                                                                                                            MN STATE FAIR
JIM WARD                           WOLF BASSWOOD                               POLYURETHANE                               BURNED
Jim Forrey (952-831-2758) needs a source or plans for carving a chess set. Please contact him if you can help.

On the next page is a Cane Carving Cradle plan submitted by Gen Jansen.