From wood spirits to spoons to life-like statues, the Charlotte Woodcarvers Club can create it all. And for the 30th year they soon will come together with carvers from all over the country to show off their talents.
The Charlotte Woodcarvers Club 2013 Showcase of Woodcarvings, with the theme of “The Wild, Wild West” will take place on Feb. 16 and 17, a Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days at the Marion Diehl Recreation Center, 2219 Tyvola Road, in Charlotte. The event is free and open to the public.
The club, which meets at Woodcraft in Matthews every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., expects about 100 carvers from 10 different states to participate in the show. The event has become one of the largest woodcarving showcases in the Southeast, Ray Branch, club president, said.
“We will have a number of professional carvers who will have carvings for sale, a raffle and, of course, the competition,” he said. The competition includes three divisions with about 30 categories
covering all levels from novice to professional carvers. Carvers also will bring pieces and carving supplies to sell.
The cost to enter pieces in the showcase is $15 per carver, regardless of how many carvings they want to bring. Participants don’t need to be a member of the Charlotte Woodcarvers or any other woodworking club to enter, Branch said.
Registration is due by 9:15 a.m. Feb. 16.
During this year’s showcase, Tom Wolfe – a nationally known carver who has written more than 50 books on woodcarving – will host a separate competition where carvers will receive a block of wood and 90 minutes to carve it into a
masterpiece. Wolfe will provide the wood and prizes for this portion of the showcase.
Branch says events like the showcase are the club’s way of promoting their craft and recruiting new members. The club currently has about 125 members – men and women.
And the recruitment tactic works, Mint Hill resident Bill McCaughey said. He joined the club after a visit to last year’s showcase.
“I’ve always been interested in woodcarving, but I never tried it. My wife wanted to get me out of the house so she told me to join,” he said.
McCaughey will be entering a few of the 40 objects he has carved throughout the year into the showcase. He doesn’t know how many he’ll enter, but carvings of a turtle, Jiminy Cricket from “Pinocchio” and a dolphin will make an appearance at the showcase.
When he joined the club, McCaughey didn’t have any experience in carving. But members of the club worked with him and taught him all sorts of techniques.
“The members are extremely knowledgeable. We work together. We teach each other,” Joe Davis, who has been a member for two years, said.
Want to know more?
The Charlotte Woodcarvers Club meets every Tuesday at the Cathcart Hall at Carmel Presbyterian Church, 2048 Carmel Road, from 3 to 7:30 p.m. The club also carves every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Woodcraft store, 1725 Windsor Square Drive, in Matthews. Guests are welcome.
Membership fees are $15 per year.
The club is open to men, women and children 12 and older, with a parent’s supervision. New members are given eight weeks of basic carving instruction.
For more information visit www.charlottewoodcarvers.com.