News Fall 2020

October 20th


Hello Carvers,

Fourteen of us met on Google MEET today, a few having trouble logging on.  Each computer system has its own idiosyncrasies: Charlie Roberts can help with some, but not all.  We discussed challenges with meeting formats, bandwidth and more.   Keep trying…  


Charlie will be looking into a Live Utube training format, where instructors will be seen and heard, but viewers will only be able to  message chat/ask questions.  Scot Lang reinforced that our virtual classes could be broad reaching and not have to depend on pricey venues. Virtual format is going to outlive the virus as far as classes and presentations, he says.    Our mission is to teach and promote the art of carving and utilize a variety of available methods.   


Larry Wade noted that a tool manufacturer informed him that the art of woodcarving peaked in 1985 but has since been declining , as evidenced by the reduced demand for carving tools.


In honor of the recently and much admired Fallen Heroes in our chapter, suggestions were made by Tom Nickelson and Scot Lang to rename the carving contests at our annual Woodcarving Shows for Bob Goss and Matt Pomerico.  All in attendance gave their support. 


The Central Coast Woodcavers continue to pay our fees to St Timothy’s Church as a donation during these restricted days.  We hope to be able to return to their annex for our regularly scheduled meetings before long.


Our dear friend and carver, Shelley Elisarraras, unfortunately shares that her husband Rick’s conditioned has worsened  and he is undergoing the last chemo available for his type of cancer.  He will soon find out if the treatment has been effective or, if not, Rick will be admitted to Hospice care.   Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to both Shelley and Rick. 


Scot Lang has gotten back to carving otters. (photo) He states that it takes him  1 ½-2 hours to carve each one, with the woodburning of the details taking  quite a bit longer.  He met up with Gary Hensley at the Morro Bay campground last week  and received a large piece of wood donated to Gary from a Santa Maria carver’s collection. Scot mentioned that the dripping wet fog being experienced in Los Osos these days will surely affect pieces of wood, causing them to swell.


Tom Nickelson completed his OSU “Angery Beaver”, mounted on a piece of walnut.  (photo) He recently carved a pumpkin out of an oily hardwood. (photo)  He may next carve a tortoise out of the remnants from the beaver.  He’s been hearing firebombers fly over his house about once an hour, likely heading to the newly ignited Canyon Fire at Fort Hunter-Liggett.  Tom and Tricia had planned to be in Nova Scotia at this time, but, in lieu, have been watching the Live-streaming “Celtic Colours”  festival on Utube, available through the end of the month.  We were told about today’s  (Tuesday October 20)  upcoming Live-stream from NASA: the Osirus Rex landing on or near the asteroid Bennu.


Charlie Roberts showed us a few of his relief carved boxes (photos) and shared Jeanie Roberts’ woodburned boxes. (photos) We were all impressed that Jeanie woodburns her pieces freehand, without applied patterns.


Al Plasch has been working on a gate post.  He shared that he appreciates the book, “Realistic Pumpkin Carving” by Lundy Cupp, available for $15 at WOODCRAFT stores. (ph0to)  Al uses  both clay and carving tools to carve real pumpkins.  When selecting pumpkins, Al recommends choosing a pumpkin with thick skin and a very green stem for the best results.  Wash the pumpkin in bleach and spray the pumpkin several times a day with a bleach solution to prevent mold growth.


Carol Dwyer showed us her carved cottonwood bark  house.  To finish it, she applied 3 coats of Biwax, used a hairdryer to melt the wax into nooks and crannies, brushed the piece with a toothbrush and then polished it with a rag.


Dot Rygh, star pupil, already finished her yoyo project.  She woodburned a mandala pattern on the top and sides of each piece (photos)


Gary Eaves reports that he has been working on setting up Google MEET sessions with his chapter:  CCG Chapter 1, in Santa Clara, has been holding 2 zoom meetings per week, one during the day and the other in the evening, with 5-10 people attending per meeting.  As the editor of the CCG LOG, Gary has approached CHIP CHAT several times about including their articles in an edition and they have been very gracious in granting permission.  Gary has ½ finished his “comfort birds”, made from a variety of woods.  He commented that he’s been working on a fast growth piece that has rings of hardwood interspersed with soft wood, which leave ridges when sanded.  “Douglas Fir” was recognized as the wood by several carvers.  It was suggested that Gary use a set of diamond files or  sandpaper around a file so the file won’t dig into the piece when sanding.  Use 600 grit sandpaper.  Impregnate the piece with glue or, better yet, dip the whole piece in glue to harden before sanding.  (Try it with a scrap piece first)


Larry Wade has been busy building outdoor workbenches for  the Portland chapter’s club.  He reports that 85 people participated in the latest FREE virtual presentation (see previous newsletter for course schedule).  Next, Gil Drake will be presenting on Drake Tools.  Larry has included information from Mack Sutter, a prolific Oregon carver. attached  Larry is planning on putting together a tutorial and will document the series and make it available for free when completed. 


Scot Lang discussed the anticipated CCW annual (virtual, this year) holiday ornament exchange and business meeting.  Perhaps we will include a tool raffle somehow.  How and when  to  hold this event, deliver and disperse both ornaments and tools will be determined.  Stay tuned.


For those of us signed into the yoyo class, please refer to the email sent by Charlie Roberts about the class date and time and log in. All available kits have been mailed or delivered, except one (spoken for).   Some of the class attendees have already jumped ahead and completed their project!  (see photos).    Scot advises class members to sand/round the circumference of each yoyo side exactly so all sides  and both pieces are even and perfectly weighted.  Symmetry is very important with this project.  The yoyo pieces in the kits are pinewood: basswood is too light.  The heavier the wood for the yoyo, the better. 


Thank you for keeping in touch, carvers. 

Laurie Wright, 2020 Secretary

Central Coast Woodcarvers, Chapter 7 of the California Carvers Guild

October 13th

14 of us met today on Google MEET.

Scot Lang showed us his completed yoyos (photos), and suggested that those who will be participating in the October 29 class at 3 p.m., have their wooden yoyo pieces already sanded before the class begins.  Scot has reversed his recommendation of using e6000 glue, as it does not harden satisfactorily for this project.  Instead, he suggests using Elmers Glue-all or Elmer’s (or other brand) Wood Glue .  The wooden pieces should be finished (sealed, varnished, woodburned, decorated) prior to final assembly.  Charlie Roberts has posted Scot’s PowerPoint presentation for this class on our website. Scot's Online YoYo Instructions 


Dot Rygh showed us her completed AVOCET, with its feet firmly planted in epoxy. (photo) She is considering offering the lovely piece as a raffle item at our next Woodcarver’s Show. 


Scot Lang has put away his sewing machine, for now, and is working on scraping clean his many gourds. 


Breck Smith has been working on Christmas ornaments and gives his carved scarecrows and pumpkins away to neighborhood children (photos)  We were discussing making percussion instruments out of hard wood: Breck showed us the ridged drumsticks he’d made out of cocobolo wood.


Kristen Bachman showed us the mahogany elves and cottonwood bark Santas she’s carved. (photos) She noted that carving the elves’ ears has been especially challenging.  She was able to carve 15 ornaments from the 3 pieces of cottonwood bark she found at Atascadero Lake.  She’s been carving every day.  She displays many of her pieces on her Facebook page.  Kristen also remarked on the pieces of wood that had been donated to the club by the Ernie Ball (guitar) Company.  She noted that the wood was very resonant, which led to the discussion about making rhythm instruments (above).


Yvonne Bailey showed us a few of her character pieces (photos)and a crow and is eagerly awaiting delivery of her new Pegasus Scroll Bandsaw.  Suggestions given for making sure her bandsaw/scrollsaw blades were straight were to align her blade up with a square, checking the level of the saw table and sawing a square 2x2 and making sure the cuts were aligned. 


Larry Wade reports that 40 people have signed up for the upcoming virtual ZOOM class (see previous newsletter for details).  Larry gave us a brief history of the Oregon Carving Club, and showed us the 9”x9” butternut tray he’s carving, originally designed by a Japanese carver.  With only a photograph to model his piece after, Larry first made a clay piece of one quadrant and made a full pattern from that.  He’s been working on the piece for 2 months so far.  His target piece will be out of Oregon back walnut 8”x8” or 10”x10”.


Marsha Goss is relieved that the weather has cooled and skies have cleared a bit.  She has been woodburning outdoors, and is looking forward to the smoked salmon dinner tonight,  the fish freshly caught by her grandson on the American River.


Jim Cady is working on spoon carving and has already made progress on his yoyo!


Gary Hensley, camping in Morro Bay this week, will be working on 3 pieces of cottonwood bark.  His eagle-headed cane received much positive attention when recently displayed by its recipient.


Al Plasch says he’s “on the 5 year carving plan”: currently working on a detailed relief carving.  (photo)


Although trick-or-treating is strongly discouraged this year, we did discuss alternative methods of treat delivery: dispensing via a PVC tube, slingshot delivery , or hanging treat bags from a clothesline.  This year’s Halloween is especially unique: COVID restrictions, a Blue Moon (the 2nd full moon in a month), the 31 is on a Saturday, and the day after is the end of Daylight Savings Time (boo)

Scot Lang suggested and received positive feedback about having a virtual ornament exchange between our chapter members  in December.  Pat Rygh has volunteered to again be Head Elf and will lead us, virtually, in our traditional song. Time to work on your ornaments! 


We will be having our annual election of Chapter 7 officers soon.  Details to come.


Ed Zirbel, sent this for those interested in an inlay demo: look up Inlay with INLACE.  Ed noted that the previous u-tube video he referred us to was not of inlay but of one of his and Caroline’s favorite line dance songs          (River of Babylon)    Thanks for sending both links, ED! 

Please VOTE!

Laurie Wright, 2020 Secretary

Central Coast Woodcarvers, Chapter 7 of the California Carver’s Guild

October 6th

Happy October, carvers!

In addition to 8 of our CCW members, we were pleased to have 3 new faces join our MEET session today: William (Al) Plasch from the Channel Islands Carvers,  Gary Eaves  from Chapter 5 in Pleasanton & editor of the CCG LOG, and Larry Wade from Portland Oregon.


Al Plasch has been carving for 18 years, recently retired( and  is saving a good deal of $ now that he no longer works at Ventura’s Woodcraft store).  Al has previously attended and participated in our CCW Woodcarver’s shows.

Gary Eaves is relatively new to woodcarving: 4 ½ years, and has a strong interest in promoting carving.  Being the CCG LOG editor is his way of contributing to the CCG and its chapters and encouraging growth in the art of carving.


Larry Wade, carving for 4 years, is working on starting a new carving club in Portland, Oregon.  The Oregon Carvers Guild has gone from 0 members  to 500 and back to 0 members throughout the years.  Larry has been arranging nationally known carvers to give a 2-hour monthly presentation via ZOOM.  He will soon provide us with links to those presentations.  Larry is in process of creating a website, which perhaps our guru, Charlie Roberts can assist with.


As our CCW President, Scot Lang, stated: we are looking forward to collaborating with other groups for the benefit of us all and it is exciting to hear what’s going on outside of our own chapter.   We have so many motivated and knowledgeable carvers within the CCW group, and the energy that our carvers bring to the table is inspirational.

We discussed belonging to the CCG (California Carver’s Guild) and receiving the bi-monthly LOG which Gary Eaves fills with news from Guild chapters, submitted photos, applications for new membership/renewal/insurance, and instructions for various projects, often from Carving Magazine.  


You may find information about the CCG/the LOG at   All carvers are encouraged to become a member (Individual: $25/year, Family: $40/year)  If you are a CCG member and have not been receiving a copy of the LOG either via USPS or email,  notify Kathie Peery @    Gary recommends perusing the LOG in your email as that version includes color photos of pictures submitted: the  bulk mail version via USPS is only in black and white.  Gary’s suggestions:  All photos  sent to Gary  (  should be submitted with the artist’s first and last name, and will be included in the LOG  as space allows.  Gary welcomes feedback on the issues, and is disappointed that he rarely hears back from recipients.    


Currently, the LOG continues to be sent to a carver’s surviving spouse unless the Guild is notified to stop.  We discussed  sending issues via email vs bulk mail.  Gary Hensley mentioned that by requesting the LOG by email you can then save a tree that you may one day be able to carve.   Scot Lang noted that the carving pattern for our Relief Carving Class was a pattern by Ivan Bullock, made available in the LOG.  Vickie  Hopson noted that extra issues of the LOG were made available at Woodcarver’s Shows at the membership tables.  Thank you, Gary Eaves, for your attention in putting together the LOG!


Gary Helsey, CCG President, announced that Charlie Roberts, in addition to managing the CCW website, will be taking over as the CCG webmaster.  We look forward to seeing your efforts there, Charlie!


Charlie Roberts walked us through some exciting new pages on our own CCW website (  under the MEMBER section, those approved for access by Charlie can find a new LIBRARY section.  Melody Mullis has put together a phenomenal resource library for our carvers.  Books for CCW carver’s use may be reserved through Melody.  If looking for a specific item within the library, Charlie instructed us to hit Control F which will pop us a search window.  You may then input what you are searching for, and will hopefully find it.  Melody graciously volunteered to scan a pattern or photo of a particular piece and send to a requesting carver.   An additional new link is our own U-tube section!  Charlie has just added two videos of Dave Osman’s automatas which can be viewed there.  More to come to the CCW utube channel!!!  Thanks, Charlie!!


The question was raised as how to preserve a bottle of CA glue once it’s been opened.    Scot Lang follows this practice as described by Charlee Smith of Bob Smith Industries ( Buy a piece of ¼ inch Teflon tubing from the hardware store.  Heat it over a flame until warm and pliable. Stretch it into a long, fine tube and cut the length you desire, or longer.  Place this tube over the tip of your CA glue.  This will keep the glue from drying out for many months and also allows for a small drop of glue to be applied to a project.  The Teflon tube may be repeatedly trimmed from the tip.  (photo) Al Plasch recommends keeping glue in the refrigerator,  after’ flicking’ the glue down from the tip to remove residual glue in the applicator.  This can keep an opened bottle patent for up to a year.


What have the carvers been putting their knives to? 


Scot Lang has been making yoyo go-bys and has 12 kits made.  He is working on a power point presentation to go along with the kits.    Stay tuned for delivery…


Jim Cady is carving a spoon. 


Vickie Hopson is working on her doll pieces.


Al Plasch  is carving a “COVID-19 spoon” (photo) and has turned a bottle opener which was finished with CA glue.


Gary Hensley carved an eagle headed cane and made a measuring tool after he misplaced (then found) his original piece.


Gary Eaves has carved a couple of donuts from a cedar fenceboard.


Tom Nickelson showed us the progress made on his  OSU “Angry Beaver” piece, made from Western Juniper. (photo) He will be donating the commissioned  piece to OSUs President.  He is soaking the piece in Watco natural oil to prevent checking. He will affix glass eyes to the head  and will mount the piece on a brass rod posted in a 2” walnut stand.  He has kept the piece in a baggie with some water and a towel in it.  Others mentioned storing their wood in a cooler with water in the bottom and a towel enclosed, as well, if needed to moisturize the piece.


Scot Lang announced that he is “the Abe Lincoln of wood.  I’ve never met a piece of wood that I didn’t like.”

A number of you were interested in my previous years’ calendars which include photographs I’ve taken, mostly locally.     The 2021 calendar is now available, with  great hopes that we will be able to add activities to it in the new year: 2020 has been a bit of a disappointment.   The  8  1/2” x 11”   calendars are $5 ($6.50, if mailed). (photo) I will donate 20% of the proceeds to the CCW .   I’d like to put together a calendar of CCW carvings for future Woodcarving Shows/carvers, if there is any interest in that idea. 


Happy Birthday wishes to Jerry Graybill and to Chuck Doolan from all of us!


Because there were no photo submissions this week, I’ve included a few photos from the past  in today's newsletter.

Our Central Coast Woodcarvers were complemented on how active, INTER-active, PRO-active and vibrant our group is.  Kudos to all!  Keep carving!  Keep connected!


Laurie Wright, 2020 secretary

Central Coast Woodcarvers, Chapter 7 of the California Carver’s Guild

September 29th

Hello, Carvers!


14 of us chimed in on our MEET session today.  Topics ranged from yoyos, inlays, cloth masks, resources and members’ general activity.

Scot Lang has, so far, put together a dozen yoyo kits for those of us wanting to take the yoyo class, scheduled October 29 at 3 p.m. via Google MEET.  Charlie Roberts has sent out an invitation to the class to CCW members and interested parties.  The kits include the string, dowel and turned scales (the half round wooden sides) and will also include spacers and instructions.  (photo) The project will require the use of a drill press and a small amount of E6000 glue (available at Michaels’, on ebay, and on Amazon, among others). .  *** Please RSVP to me to receive the yoyo kit: there will be pickup and delivery options for local CCW carvers, and a postal option for those at a distance (postage paid by CCW).  The date, time and place for kit pick-up will be announced in an upcoming newsletter.  Scot remarked that most yoyos are made of hardwoods, such as cherry.  Poplar was deemed to be too light for this project. Carol Dwyer has a local friend, John Rollins, who is a professional yoyo maker and contestant: he has over 300 yoyos on display, made out of a variety of materials and decorations.  Perhaps we can have him give a presentation or show us his collection, for options and inspiration for our own yoyos. See the site: K C Jewell yoyo for photos.   

Vickie Hopson showed us the detailed roughout (photo) sent to her by Janet Denton-Cordell for the upcoming figure carving class, which begins October 19, as mentioned in a previous newsletter,  with details also available on Janet’s Facebook page.  The figure carving kit included the roughout, diagrams & instructions and a tool list including large gouges.  Vickie also showed us the progress she is making on her carved doll head and its appendages.

Tom Nickelson challenged himself to paint the practice carvings (photo) of the OSU beaver and soon will get back to working on the final piece.  He’s carved one side, now to tackle side 2.  21 hours invested so far in this project.

Scot Lang showed us his latest collection of cloth COVID masks including the following patterns: $ bills (photo), horses, butterflies, dia de los muertos skulls, and peace & love.  Suggestions of where to find material for his projects were made. (Does anyone have spare yardage to share?) Scot reported that Beverly’s in San Luis Obispo, in closing mode, had little cloth available but did have a good supply of basswood and pieces for woodburning still in stock.


Dot Rygh’s power- tool carved avocet is coming along (photo). She will woodburn feathers and paint the piece, taking a few days yet to complete.  She will mount the avocet in colored epoxy, to mimic the bird wading in water.  The feet will not be seen.  Dot also showed us the inlaid bottom of one of her baskets.


Charlie Roberts showed us two of the boxes he’s carved/woodburned/inlaid.  (photo)

Dot and Charlie’s pieces led us to talk about stone inlays vs marquetry, using epoxy and where to purchase the materials needed for ground stone inlays.  Dot recommends carving down 1/8”, laying in the crushed or powdered stone/material and covering/filling with epoxy, which can then be carved/turned smooth once dried.  She says that the inlay material is easy to work with, it just takes time.  It was suggested to wear a mask, in a well ventilated area, when applying the toxic epoxy, and, per Charlie, to ensure that the air temperature is greater than 70 degrees.  See the photo from Treeline for one supplier reference. ( Ed Zirbel reports that he has been ordering Inlace from Penn Industries.  If he’s laying real turquoise he “buys necklaces of Eastern Indian turquoise from Taos Rockers in New Mexico and crushes them for inlaying with Bob Smith Industries super-thin CA glue.”  More details about inlays to follow from Ed…)  Local wood resources suggested are: Aura Hardwoods at 2216 Beebee St, San Luis Obispo and Mayan Hardwood at 2501 Oakwood, St, Paso Robles.  At Aura you must buy a whole plank of wood, at Mayan you may have a piece cut but the remaining piece must be at least 6’ long.  The lumber is mostly 2” thick.


Pat Rygh did not make an appearance today, as he was out for his almost daily bike ride.  He often rides the bluff-trail in Montana de Oro and has been reassured to see compliant mask wearers maintaining social distancing along the route.


Jeanie Roberts. Jeanie has six boxes for her children and is woodburning each box.   The first one (pictured) is complete, “5 more to go.   The box pictures will be the same type of motifs as each of the six coaster sets: cats, dogs, flowers, western cowboy, birds and animals, matching the kids’ interests.”  She will oil the boxes as Charlie does with his flutes.  She will add a little color to the cat’s eyes.  (photo)

Additional photos submitted for today’s newsletter are from Bill Bishop. 

We did not chat long today, but covered many interesting topics.

More to come next week,

Laurie Wright, 2020 Secretary

September 22nd

Happy Fall, Carvers!

The 14 of us on Google MEET today agreed that we wished we were suffering from “Show fatigue” this week. Sadly, our 43rd annual Woodcarver’s Show was cancelled.  It is hoped that next year’s show participation will be doubled!  Start carving those pieces in preparation.  Sadly, it’s been 6 months since we were all able to gather at St. Timothy’s.

We talked quite a bit about the many fires plaguing our western states, including our own, sadly ablaze.  Tom Nickelson lamented that his favorite fishing spot, on a tributary of the Kern River in the southern Sierras, has been torched.  We learned about the hottest edges of the fires, sap heating up inside of trees and causing the trees to explode, and of interconnecting root systems of trees which burn from one tree to another underground. Our daughter, assigned as fire air-resource dispatcher last week, found it most difficult to arrange water and retardant drops due to the thick smoke and almost nil visibility covering some fire areas.  Marsha Goss reported that the temps were to be going back up to 104 in Clarksburg, with  smoky visibility variable day to day.


We talked of wasps and how to eradicate their underground nests in dangerous areas. ( Note: wasps ARE  beneficial in  that they help control unwanted crop pests and pollinate flowers, but their stings can be, at worst, deadly)  Ranger Scot mentioned that a non-pesticide method used by the forest service in removing ground wasp nests in potentially dangerous sites is to make a mixture of oatmeal and maple syrup and place a bit near the wasp nest entrance.  Raccoons and skunks are sure to arrive for dinner, digging up the nest for additional treats.  Scot also mentioned a recipe to clear unwanted campers from any areas: an application of skunk essence and fish emulsion is sure to clear the area for at least 6 months’ time!  On yet another note: I am currently reading The Honey Bus, by Meredith May, a recounting of her life in the Carmel Valley and her education on the life of bees; I’m learning much, enjoying the story  and recognizing some familiar locales.

Tom Nickelson has been trimming trees and cleaning up his property.  He was fascinated by a male Anna’s hummingbird which flitted and hummed mere inches from him for a long while today, waiting for the just cleaned fountain to be filled and bubbling in order to quench its thirst.  The large sunflowers grown by Tricia Nickelson are feeding the lesser goldfinches in her pollinator and bee garden. While few butterflies are seen at the Nicholsen’s in Paso Robles due to the heat Tom says, and lack of humidity per Scot, Carol Dwyer commented on the great numbers of both hummingbirds and butterflies she’s seen lately in Los Osos.  Tom and I recently planted 21 additional lavender plants and are looking forward to the incoming bees and butterflies.


Carol Dwyer showed us her current bark carving project, with a delightful porch affixed to the carved house. (photo)


Brecky Smith is in the process of carving ornaments: chickens, Santas and Olafs.


Yvonne Bailey showed us some of her carved cowboy figures.  She wondered if we could change the time of our MEET sessions to 9 a.m. but several other members have other obligations at that time, so our 10:00 weekly sessions will continue as scheduled.  Yvonne was gifted some wood pieces which included carved feathers used as business cards, carved by (now 93 or 94 year old) Rick Edie, from Santa Maria.  His name and information was woodburned into the back of the carved feathers.  We reminisced about Dick Marshall’s feather carving class 2 years ago.


Gary Hensley talked about the process of heat transferring an image to a piece.  Using heat transfer ink with a laser jet printer, a pattern is copied on the reverse (the photo will print backwards), and is then applied to the piece to be carved using an iron.  He used this process with a photo of his grandparents.  It was suggested to sand your piece very smoothly, with 600 grit sandpaper, for a better transfer.  Or, if a rustic look is preferred a rough finish may be maintained, knowing that the pattern will not be as finely transferred.  Tom Nickelson mentioned that Dot Rygh often uses this process for her woodburned pieces.


Scot Lang and Marsha Goss enjoyed a visit last week.  Scot has been commissioned by a labradoodle breeder to carve a model of her own pet.  Scot may carve it as a whole piece or woodburn the image onto a gourd.    Scot’s gourds are drying and falling off of their vines.  One gourd is 22” long and 6” in diameter (a potentially carved submarine?)  and another is 20” tall and 12” in diameter!  Scot has a photo he’d like to reproduce on a gourd: a trio of raccoons peeking out of a hole in a tree.


I picked up my knives for the first time since March last week and have carved several stars and 3 spoons, one of which was, I believe, originally a blank from the Bob Otto collection.


Tom Wright has been critter proofing the Wright’s vegetable beds by making and installing chicken-wire covered PVC frames, and working on his autumn "Kilcher list"  (so named from the show"Alaska: The Last Frontier.", in hopes that fall and winter rains WILL come!


Charlie Roberts showed us his carved pine boxes, which he’s also woodburned and colored with pencil and/or acrylic paints. (photos)


Bob Schnieders is in the process of carving a prospector from one of Irene Marqhart’s roughouts (photo) and has carved the busts from a Harold Enlow book shared with him by Walt Ross.(photo)


Kristen Bachman submitted the photo of her 8 bark carved Santas.


Vickie Hopson and Marsha Goss have switched from taking on-line clogging classes to “flat footed’ classes, which, they say, is more fun and easier on the joints.  We asked for a demonstration but neither was willing to demonstrate.  Scot Lang claims to dance like a chicken with its head cut off, while Brecky Smith says his style is more of a chicken with its legs cut off! I see a potential talent (or comedy) show in the CCW’s future!


Gary Hensley reported that he has been offered a free collection of wood, from the family of a former carver, Richard “Dick” Jackson, possibly from the Santa Maria chapter.  Upon asking if the CCW would like it, I shared my dad’s philosophy of “wood is like money in the bank: you can never have too much of either!”  Gary will bring the wood to Morro Bay next month to be handed off to Scot for our club’s use.


Tom Nickelson reported that the CCW bank account received a nice boost from Irene Marqhart's knives, tools and wood and from additional donations. 


Scot Lang will be making up yo-yo kits for CCW members who would like to carve along as Scot virtually demonstrates the process, date(s) to be determined.  He will cut out the necessary round blanks.  For those who are local, the kits could be picked up at St. Timothy’s, other wise hand delivered, or mailed.  (The CCW will cover the postage).  Scot will need a count of how many rounds to cut/kits to make: please let me know, via email or text, if you would like a kit and if you would be able to pick up the kit, prefer it locally delivered, or need it mailed.


We had a brief chat about hometowns as our discussion winded down today: Van Nuys, Fullerton and Saudi Arabia were mentioned. 


Our now free Google service may be changing next month to a pay for service.  Charlie Roberts will evaluate continuing with pay for use Google MEET vs ZOOM vs WebX (his preference).  Google does have no-fee programs for non-profits, which Charlie has applied for on behalf of the CCW, but has not heard back.  WebX would issue a license and attach it to the domain and not to a specific administrator.  Both offer auto-record of sessions, which could be uploaded to our own utube address. 



Please let me know your preference for yo-yo kits. 


Fingers are crossed that we will be able to gather again before too long,


Laurie Wright, 2020 Secretary

September 15th

Next week is Fall, Carvers!


Today (September 15) 12 of us chatted on our weekly Google MEET session.  Our lively conversation lasted an hour.

Tom Nickelson is back to working on carving his western juniper OSU beaver, after a month’s hiatus due to shingles.  So far he has spent 14.5 hours on this piece, not counting the time spent on the mock-up model. It’s been a slow process of carving, using an 8 grit sanding drum, and re-patterning.


Jim Cady will be giving an outdoor spoon carving class to a small group of family and long-time friends, some of whom might be future CCW members.  He’ll start with a piece of sycamore collected from the Cady cabin property.


Kristen Bachman shared her 8 carved Santas.  (photo) The cottonwood Santas only take her a few hours to carve as she’s done so many: she credits muscle memory for her being able to carve so many faces in such a short amount of time, plus the cottonwood is so soft to work with.  She gave tips on how she carves the lips of each piece: at the corners of the mouths, “clip in” and it gives each face a nice smile.  She also recommends giving each piece a coat of satin Deft lacquer prior to painting, as that will enhance the antique look vs making the piece look dirty.  She has plans to carve some Mrs. Clauses, realizing that women’s features tend to be a bit more challenging to carve with their softer and more delicate features.


Dot Rygh explained how she is creating the legs for her wading avocet: she’s used a few pieces of wire, glued them together and is building up the legs by coating them with BSI thick adhesive.  (epoxy just wouldn’t work)  She hardens the glue with accelerator or just air dries it.  The avocet’s knees are made from putty which are adhered to the form and covered with the adhesive.  It was agreed that carving the legs would be quite a challenge due to their fragility and shape.


Pat Rygh popped in after his morning hike.  He is continuing to work on his gyrfalcon, carving the beak and putting in the eyes.


Laurie Wright has gotten back into carving, currently working on a butternut spoon.


Charlie Roberts described his process for finishing up his carved picture frames: he woodburned to give the frames dimension and contrast (photo), used a pecan stain and applied color with wet colored pencils.   His next project is carving the tops and sides of wooden boxes. (Dot Rygh remembers buying wooden boxes for $1 at Michael’s for the 25th CCW Woodcarver’s show.  Participants of the show were each given a box with a silver plaque inside, in honor of the 25th show.  Many of those carvers went on to carve their boxes) Chip carving the boxes was suggested as a technique to use.  Chip or gouge carving was described to be good for those with carpal tunnel or a neuromuscular disease as it is not strenuous.  This led to a lively discussion about chip carving and the proprietary claim of a particular carver who states that no one can teach the process unless certified by him.


Gary Hensley has a connection to Kristen Bachman: his wife purchased one of Kristen’s carvings at a CCW show and it sits by him in his studio.  He currently is redoing his carving shelves so has his collection of pieces on most available surfaces.  He showed us a pen he’s made out of olive wood and the olivewood box that the piece rests in.  (photo)  Gary is planning a camping trip to Morro Bay State Park in October for his wife’s birthday, and hopes this trip is less medically exciting than the one in 1992 where he ended up in the hospital with a heart attack!

Gary Hensley talked us through the home-made air purifiers he’s made: good for both carving and for the current poor air quality (see photos) He attaches a 20 x 20 fan with the same sized air filters (available at your local home do-it store), presses the filters into place and ensure that they have spacers in between so that the filters don’t touch each other. He writes that sore-bought versions can cost $125 and up (440 cubic ft/min), while his homemade versions cost $40, with approximately twice the filter area and 520 cubic ft/min, made with scraps and time.  Dot reported that Pat made a similar desktop system for their carving stations when they first started carving. 


We chatted about wasp nests.  Definitely don’t use a combination of gasoline and a lit match, says Tom Nickelson!  Applying dishwashing soap and water, or just gasoline into the hole to the nest and covering with a 1/8”screen mesh seemed to be a popular remedy.  Calling an exterminator was also recommended.  Benadryl has proven to be very effective for recent stings as well as “blasting very hot water” on the area.  This reportedly also works for poison oak rashes for up to 8 hours. (sidenote: Please be very careful of scalding one’s skin and doing damage!)


Laurie Wright mentioned seeing in the CCG LOG that “Woodcarving Illustrated is offering free carve-along videos on Wednesdays (Woodcarving Wednesdays).” and more on that site.


Vickie Hopson told us about an upcoming class being given by Janet Denton-Cordell.  Janet frequently came out to Cambria, from Fayetteville, Arkansas, to teach classes before and after our CCW Woodcarver’s Shows.   She has been a carver since the age of 6 and is very talented and well known.  Vickie and Dot recalled that Janet once competed in a local Chulula carving contest and won the $500 prize by carving a  small foal only using a #30 gouge with an 11 sweep.   Vickie showed us the foal and a doll’s head carved by Janet. Vickie and her husband Jim once drove to take a $65 class from Janet in Arkansas. Vickie assures us that the $150 fee for the upcoming course will be well worth it.

This from Janet’s Facebook page:

"Online Woman’s Face Class: How It’s Going To Work

The class will be run on the Zoom App. You can download and run this app on your own device, and a link to the class will be sent to you. Clicking the link will connect you to the meeting/class. Zoom is a user friendly meeting app.

SCHEDULE: Class Dates and Times:

Monday_October 19, 2020

Friday___October 23, 2020

Monday_October 26, 2020

Friday___October 30,2020

Monday_November 2, 2020

Friday___November 6, 2020

Class times are:

2-4 p.m. Pacific Time

3-5 p.m. Mountain Time

4-6 p.m. Central Time

5-7 p.m. Eastern Time

COST: $150. You’ll mail me a check or money order for $150, at which time you’ll be registered and I’ll mail you your project roughout, handouts, and a paper copy of the schedule of times. Email me for my address. My email:

REGISTRATION : See above. You aren’t registered until you send money, and I’ll send your class materials by mail.

VIDEOS: Videos from the class will be available online for a limited time after class. You’ll get a password.

CRITIQUES: Students can send pictures for me to critique by email each week, or after doing the work for each class segment. I’ll mark them up and add little notes if needed and send them back.

TOOLS: The most important requirement for tools is that they be sharp. I can’t possibly overemphasize that. I will be using a knife, and the following gouges: #11/30mm, #11/15mm, #11/10mm, #11/5mm, #11/3, and a #11/1mm. Maybe one or two with a flatter curve. If you don’t have the deep sweep number eleven gouges, try to use the deepest ones you have in the matching or close to matching widths. The size refers only to the cutting edge, not the length. Remember sharp.

And ask questions. There’s no telling what I’ve forgotten."

Today’s attendees learned a bit about many topics.  What an informed group we are!  Keep learning and sharing!

This next weekend would have been the Central Coast Woodcarver’s 43rd Woodcarver’s Show.  How disappointed we are that it has been cancelled this year.  Many thanks to Dick Marshall, Bob Schnieders and others for their work to put the show together.  May your efforts be realized for the 2021 show! 

I will write to you next in Autumn!

Laurie Wright, 2020 Secretary

September 8th

Hello Carvers!

Twelve of us met during our weekly MEET session on Tuesday.  We chatted for almost an hour. We, of course, talked about the devastating fires, the resulting ash, smoky skies and our concern for all affected and involved in fighting the fires.  A favored town of carvers, Oakhurst , has been evacuated.  The Meissner’s store is safe at present, per Scot.

Our county’s COVID status remains in Phase 2, thus no CCW in-person meetings permitted at this time.


The planting of the Chinese Elm tree in Barney Schwartz Park in Paso Robles in honor and in memory of Matt Pomerico was attended by a number of carvers from the CCW and the CCG as well as by many of Matt’s co-workers and his family. All were invited to participate in sprinkling dirt around the tree.   A selection of Matt’s automatas were on display with attendees encouraged to give a turn or two (hand sanitizer used before and after).  There is a plaque in the downtown Paso Robles park, on Spring Street, which includes Matt’s name.  At a future time, a plaque will be placed at Matt’s tree, and perhaps a few of Matt’s birdhouses will be seen among the branches  (photos from Scot Lang)


There was discussion about how to treat wasp stings as one of our members had been stung three times on their hand and it was continuing to swell.  Advice included removing the ring on the affected hand ASAP, making a poultice of baking soda, taking benadryl (an antihistamine) ASAP after being stung,  following up with medical care which might include a round of antibiotics as wasps stings are likened to being injected by a dirty hypodermic needle.  This carver did follow up with medical personnel where an additional stinger was removed and a course of Benadryl for 5 days was advised. 


Marsha Goss reported a wasp swarm around her home due to the heat and smoke and an unprecedented number of flies, presumably from the same conditions.


Dot Rygh finished her gourd & pine-needle basket, except for the final spray.  (photo ).  Dot used separate gourds for the top and bottom.  Brandy McKay is using the bottom and top from Dot’s gourds for her next piece.  (See photo of Brandy’s completed bowl, including the grommets she placed for weaving.)

Pat Rygh’s gyrfalcon is coming along (photo from our session today)


Charlie Roberts showed us his collection of carved picture frames (see photo).  He took Dot’s suggestion and woodburned the darker areas for effect prior to colorizing.


Jim Cady completed his pair of boots, with paint applied and sprayed with a satin finish.  He’ll be adding shoelaces.  Donna Cady showed us her own bronzed baby shoes as well as her older brothers’.

Jim mentioned that he had cut down a peach tree and wondered about carving as well as preserving the wood.  Scot stated that peach wood is a hard wood, like cherry or pear, and can be troublesome to dry.  He recommended applying paraffin to both ends of the cut wood and storing in a cool/dry place. In fact, expect most types of wood to take about one year per inch of thickness to dry out.  Paint could also be applied to the ends but wax will flex with the wood.  Scot also mentioned that the long canes from peach trees are often dried and used for walking sticks.

There was much input regarding video classes:

  • Marsha Goss and Vickie Hopson reported that they are Facetiming each other while both practice playing their dulcimers followed by their on-line clogging lessons.  Vickie stated that these sessions are “ getting us through this shelter in place” phase.

  • Dot mentioned that Brandy had shared a video on how to use a gourd for basket tops, which she found very helpful.  She reported that there are many videos available for carving instruction, some free, and some for a small price.  She wondered if some of  these could be used by our chapter as group classes.

  • If CCW held a video class, it might be necessary to provide the blanks or pieces of wood for carving for those that need them.  Brandy volunteered to deliver as needed, and others suggested using St Timothy’s as a distribution site.

  • It was discussed that on-line CCW classes could be held separately from our weekly MEET sessions at a designated time.

  • Perhaps the video could be posted on our CCW website for future or repeated review by carvers.

  • Charlie Roberts will research how to present a GoPro &/ or phone video on a Google MEET session, if we opt for that route.

Classes suggested: spoons, spatulas, yo-yos, decorating (burning, painting, carving), a  Dave Dignam presentation on how to work in clay to create a face and then to transfer that model to wood.  Classes which have been cancelled for CCW in 2020 include: spoon carving (Jerry Graybill) and chain carving (Scot Lang), and  pipestone carving (Dave Johnson).

Thanks to those who joined in!  We hope to see even more of our carvers joining in in the future.

Until next week...

Laurie Wright, 2020 Secretary


September 1st

Happy September, Carvers!


Happy birthday to Walt Ross!   Happy anniversary wishes to Tom & Tricia Nickelson (photo from 1973) and to Dave and Doreen Dignam!


Eleven of us joined the MEET session today.  Our topics for discussion were varied and interesting.  Friendly faces are always refreshing to see! Several of our attendees today were using their earbuds or headphones, which they say really helps during our video chats.  If any of our carvers are reluctant to join in due to hearing issues, you might consider using either of these aids, or just join in so we can see your much missed face(s).  We could see that some members logged on to our chat today, but couldn’t be seen or heard.  Keep trying, and if still unsuccessful, ask our tech guru Charlie Roberts for help, keep in touch via email or text with updates and/or send in photos of your projects.


Scot Lang reiterated the COVID State Office of Public Health Phase 2 rules with regards to our club/chapter and officially sponsored gatherings.   The Central Coast Woodcarvers chapter will refrain from club sponsored get-togethers until permitted by state officials.  We do understand that club members may independently choose to meet: all are encouraged to practice the best safety measures to protect self and others.

Along those lines, Dot Rygh encouraged all to get their flu shots ASAP.  She was told that “the stronger dose” for 65-plus individuals is in short supply.


Also health related: Tom Nickelson is recovering from his second bout of shingles within the past year, which has curtailed both sleep and carving recently.  Recover quickly, Tom, and (all) be sure to get your shingles vaccine!

The Los Osos Library display of our CCW member’s pieces and Chapter 7 and CCG information will most likely be in place through the next several weeks.


Our much missed and inspirational friend Matt Pomerico will be honored by the City of Paso Robles at a memorial tree planting ceremony at Barney Schwartz Park.


Scot Lang modeled his newly crafted Jumping Jalapeno mask and cap.  His next sewing project will be Fall inspired, using an orange and yellow Hawaiian pattern.  Scot finds old ball caps at thrift stores and refurbishes the bills and Velcro backing for his new creations.


Jeanie Roberts showed us her beautifully woodburned coasters. (see photos)

Vickie Hopson continues to carve her doll.  When completed, she’ll also make the clothing for it.


Charlie Roberts asked how to best stipple and darken the background for his carved pieces. (see photo.  His current project is in the foreground) Scot suggested either using a stippling punch,  hone a 16 penny pyramidal nail to a sharp point, or use a small rounded burr tip.  He recommended applying a darker stain on the area to bring out the pattern.  Dot suggested woodburning to bring out the pattern.  Vickie has successfully used a leather working tool on soft wood to stipple texture onto her pieces.


The only things that Scot and Tom N have carved lately are their own digits.  Ouch!


Dot Rygh is almost finished with her gourd project.  She still has 2 boxes of smaller pieces (knives, tools and cut outs) available from Irene Marquart’s collection.


Gary Hensley has been turning pens.  He is wondering if anyone has a router lift available: his recently wore out after many years of frequent use with his 3 ½ horse hand-held router.


Melody Mullis’s deck remodel is complete (just in time for those 107 degree temps!).  Her life-sized carved wolf has its forelegs attached.


Tom Wright continues to work on his blanket ladders.


Laurie Wright plans on carving some spoons.


Please continue to submit your news items and photographs to me.  Depending on the timing your pieces may not make it into that week’s newsletter but into the next. Newsletters are sent on a (mostly) weekly basis.

Do keep safe and healthy, keep cool in the warm/hot days, and check in with your fellow carvers when you can. 



Laurie Wright, 2020 Secretary

Chapter 7 of the California Carver's Guild