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Club Business News

Spring 2021

CCW News for May 25th

May has brought some positive changes, carvers!

Last Thursday eight CCW carvers met via Google MEET, per Scot Lang.  Gary Hensley showed the carving of his name with an arrow through it and a pair of pliers carved from one piece of wood.  Tom Bundy shared photos of his bear carving. Scot Lang has made progress on his carved box (photo) Marsha Goss continues to sew quilts for charity.  It was agreed that continuing to meet every other Thursday evening on-line was valuable.  The next session will be held on June 3rd at 5 p.m.  Scot will be giving a lesson on how to carve a ball from a piece of wood.  He recommends that participants have a 2x2” or 3x3” piece of wood at the ready, as well as a carving knife.

Dick Marshall was pictured in the Cambrian and Tribune last week (attached), in a promotion for Cambria’s Heritage Day, being held Saturday, May 29, from noon to 4 p.m. in Cambria.  Dick, Scot Lang, Ed Zirbel and Bob Schnieders will be manning a table there.

Dick Marshall is “99.5% certain” that we will be holding our Woodcarver’s Show in Cambria on September 18 and 19.  You are encouraged to ready your pieces for show, for judging, to be raffled and/or as raffle ticket buyer freebies.  Less than 4 months to go….. We’ll need all available hands and carved pieces when the time comes.


You can find a selection of basswood at the following resources: on Etsy: WilsonsEvergreens, and from Walnut Hollow, on-line.  Breck Smith used floor planking bought through the local Lumber Liquidators for his train whistle (photo)


Eighteen of us met today at the Cayucos Vet’s Hall, dividing ourselves between indoor and outdoor carving and socializing. We relished seeing long-missed faces.   The weather was perfect and the scenery from the patio was lovely. A variety of projects were under knife and sandpaper at our session.  


More of Bob Otto’s treasures were shared, with “thank you”s  penned to his daughter, Susan, for her generosity.


A potential new member named Seth joined us, having found us via our website.   See attached photos of a sampling of participants and pieces from today’s gathering, as well as Walt Ross’s earlier submitted photo of “kissing bunnies.”


Breck Smith has agreed to teach a quick class on making wooden train whistles at a future session.  Thanks in advance, Breck.


You are encouraged to periodically look at our CCW website  for photos, our calendar and member roster, (available only to approved members).  Thank you, Charlie Roberts, CCW webmaster.


The website lists their upcoming classes (many at no cost, but you must register for each) as well as other interesting and pertinent information for carving.  Thank you, Larry Wade, for sharing your guild’s activities with us!

We expect to enjoy more CCW opportunities as the COVID restrictions ease.  Stay tuned and keep carving! 


Laurie Wright, 2021 Secretary

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

CCW News for May 18th


Hello happy carvers!


Although I wasn't able to attend our first in-person session, it was reported that 15 carvers met at the Cayucos Vet's Hall yesterday and a good time was had by all.  No doubt there was great relief to be socializing with fellow carvers after such a long hiatus, and some much appreciated sharing and re-homing of some of Bob Otto's carving items generously donated by his daughter Susan Tittle.  (additional Bob Otto treasures will be brought to future sessions)


To get into the Tuesday carving room at the Vet's Hall you should park in the big lot, walk through the BBQ gate past the picnic tables and in through the back door, as all other entrances are closed.  Masks are currently required to be worn while indoors.


The first  every-other-Thursday evening virtual  CCW's session will take place this coming Thursday, May 20 at 5 p.m.  These meetings will be a good way to catch up on the previous in person sessions and to include those members who couldn't attend for various reasons.

Scot Lang and I met with Susan Tittle last week and spent a nice few hours reminiscing about Bob Otto as we were graciously given countless carving items, tools and books for the CCW.  Susan was very grateful that her dad's pieces were going to those who would appreciate them and remember her dad as they are using them.  Dot and Pat Rygh, Scot and I then further sorted the items for distribution to our members.  100+ books from Bob's collection, and from our Cuyama donor, Lisa Haslett, will soon be added to our library's collection, thanks to Melody Mullis.  Bob Schneiders collected additional tools of Bob's for Dave Dignam to put together into lending kits for interested carvers.


Dot Rygh's carved gourd, including a dream catcher and kachina figure is complete (photo).  Such a beautiful, multicrafted piece!


Tom Bundy has been working on stump carving in Arroyo Grande. (photo)  The person who commissioned the piece first contacted Gary Hensley in Ventura, who forwarded the information  to be  included in our newsletter, and our CCW member Tom took on the challenge.  The property owner is very pleased with the piece.  Nice work, Tom! 


We look forward to seeing more of you both in person and on-line as we move into this next phase of emergence,


Laurie Wright, 2021 Secretary

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

May 11th

Welcome to your last regularly scheduled CCW COVID newsletter, Carvers!


Next Tuesday, May 18, we will resume in-person carving sessions at the Cayucos Vet’s Hall, 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.  Currently, there is indoor seating for potentially 30 carvers.  Tables may also be placed outdoors for carver’s use.  Come and go as you like.  Currently, masks MUST be worn when indoors. We will continue to follow the guidelines of the County Health Department as well as the building’s rules regarding masking, meeting, and sharing of foods and drink.  Bring your own food and beverages until further advised. 


We will continue with Google MEET virtual sessions every other Thursday, beginning May 20th, at 5 p.m.  There you can get a recap of the previous Tuesday’s in-person session and share news from near and far.   

*Please note that the CCW has a calendar on the website which includes the log-in for online sessions. 


The next Saturday session scheduled at the Paso Robles Pioneer History Museum will take place on June 12 at 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (note the time change)  Last Saturday, Jerry Graybill, Scot Lang, Dick Marshall and Dave Dignam met there, with Jerry and Scot carving spoons.  Spoon blanks will be available again at the June session.


 The Oregon Carver’s Guild will host a 2 part presentation by Jeff Harness, on painting with acrylics, tonight, May 11,  and next week, May 18.  Register for the sessions via the website.  Larry Wade reports that the Oregon Carvers will begin meeting in-person, outdoors, in August.


The Channel Island Carvers will meet periodically at Woodcraft, in Ventura, as well as meet on-line on a weekly basis.  Gary Hensley and Al Plasch, dual members of CCW and CIC, hope to make it to our CCW sessions as time allows.


Laurie Wright and Scot Lang will meet with Bob Otto’s daughter, Susan Tittle, this afternoon, to collect Bob’s carving supplies which are graciously being donated to the CCW.    The pieces will be shared at upcoming Tuesday sessions, along with those recently donated by Lisa Haslett of Cuyama.


Our CCW Librarian, Melody Mullis, has received multiple carving books from the Neal Jensen estate, collected by Dave Dignam.  It was decided that only one copy of any book will be kept as part of our library: duplicates will be offered to our members for their personal libraries.

Scot Lang showed us the progress made on his relief carved walnut and poplar box .


Tom Bundy is close to finishing the 6’ bear carved into an 8’ stump located in Arroyo Grande.  After the piece dries in a couple of weeks Tom will be oiling it with linseed oil and thinner.  Scot Lang mentioned that even dead trees, if rooted in the ground, will continue to wick moisture from the ground.


Dot Rygh has completed her beautiful big gourd!


Pat Rygh obtained a piece of red-hued soapstone from Dave Johnson and has carved it, with a stylized bear on top.  The stem still needs to be placed. 


Melody Mullis has resumed work on her life-sized wolf after a long hiatus.


Kristen Bachman continues to work on her carved rooster, using a mallet and chisel to carve out the feet.  The deeper the carving, the more “motion” the piece has, she says.  Frequent surfing gives her hands a much needed break.


Breck Smith is currently spinning dog hair, which will soon be dyed and then knitted. 


Jim Cady is working on a new bird in a cage piece.


We are relieved and excited to be moving forward to in-person sessions!  It has been a long year and then some.  Having our Google MEET sessions throughout these past months has been a great boost to us emotionally and socially as well as sparking our motivation to keep carving. Thank you, Charlie Roberts, for your technical expertise and regular invitations to join our weekly sessions. 


Thank you for opening your in-boxes to frequent newsletters during the past 14 months. Future newsletters will be scaled down to include photos of projects shared at our weekly/monthly sessions, photos submitted to me, and news items/classes pertinent to the CCW and our extended carving communities.  Please email me with any photos and/or topics of interest you’d like shared with fellow members.



Laurie Wright, 2021 Secretary

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

May 4th

Read on for good news received for the Central Coast Woodcarvers today…

A carving session will be held at the Paso Robles Pioneer History Museum this coming Saturday, May 8, from 1 p.m. until the last chip is cleaned up by 4 p.m.  Bring your own piece(s) to work on, or participate in a carving project planned by Jerry Graybill and Dave Dignam.   Temperatures are predicted to be as high as 90 degrees, which may move the meeting to a breezy outdoor setting at the museum.  Masks are to be worn indoors.   Please note that the June 12 session at the museum may shift to 10 a.m.-1 p.m. to avoid the highest heat of the day.


We received news from Breck Smith, CCW carver, president of the Cayucos Lion’s Club and facilities manager, that the Cayucos Veteran’s Hall has a room immediately available for CCW members' use on Tuesday mornings, until further construction on the building begins in approximately a year!  (As word from the diocese about St Timothy’s is still pending, this may be a great option for our chapter)


Once we receive a liability certificate we will be able to meet, perhaps as soon as next Tuesday, May 11, at the Veteran’s Hall, from 9a.m.-2 p.m.!  The fee for the room would be $20 per week.

  • The Cayucos Veteran’s Hall is located at 10 Cayucos Drive, at the base of the pier and adjacent to the beach.

  • It is hoped that our members have been fully vaccinated for COVID but because we won’t ask, we won’t know.  Thus, all carvers, when indoors, must be masked until otherwise directed by county COVID officers .   Please practice safe distancing both indoors and out.  Please do not attend if you feel unwell or are exhibiting any COVID-like symptoms.

  • The available room can accommodate up to 60 people, so, complying with the current county COVID directives, our indoor limit will be 15 persons.  There is ample seating outdoors, with limited shade. 

  • The building’s kitchen is not available for our use, as it has already been reserved.  Please bring your own drink, food and utensils.  The CDC recommends that any food offerings should be individually packaged in bags or boxes.  Direct sharing of food, pot-luck style, is discouraged. 

  • Parking is available adjacent to the Hall.  Note: the lot does tend to become more crowded as the day progresses, but there should be adequate parking mid-morning.

  • Restrooms are available outside of the building, at the base of the pier.

  • Several restaurants, including Duckie’s and Ruddell’s, coffee shops, and cookie shops are located within walking distance of the hall.


You will be notified before next Tuesday if we will begin meeting in person on Tuesdays.  If so, our regular Tuesday Google MEET sessions will be suspended.  Newsletters will be issued on a more limited basis.


Pat Rygh announced the feather count on his gyrfalcon, and named a winner!  Almost 20 wide ranging guesses were submitted, from a low of 75 to a high guess of 6500 feathers.  The actual feather count is 644, says Pat.  The correct guess was only off by 2 feathers (646) and was made by Bob SCHNIEDERS!  Tom Wright was a close second with a guess of 673.  Pat will be awarding Bob a suitable prize for his most accurate estimate. Congratulations,  Bob! And kudos, Pat, on a magnificent piece!


Carol Dwyer has a collection of small burls available, suitable for mounting pieces.  Scot Lang has a piece of pear available to an interested carver.  I will be bringing an assortment of carved figures and carving books to our first in-person session. 


Gary Hensley mentioned that the Woodcraft store in Ventura has offered a room for the Channel Island Carvers to meet in on an irregular basis.


Jim Cady is continuing to apply paint to his carved sheriff. “A lot of work,” he says.


Kristen Bachman’s carved rooster is coming along. 


Bob Schnieders submitted the photo of his cowboy carving, in progress.


Ed Zirbel sent in photos of the chalices he’s turned on his lathe. He’s been experimenting with various finishes.  The insides of all three are painted with metallic paint.  The outside of the large piece is natural manzanita with turquoise inlay and then coated with epoxy.  The two smaller goblets are made from maple, dyed with various colors, metallic copper applied to the inside and epoxy used for the final finish, notes Ed.


Ed Zirbel mentioned that “Darlene Kaberline has thread spools for sale.  She is a friend of CCC members Marsha Goss and Debi Dismer and they used to paint and/or carve these spools. She has about 30  1 ¼” pieces  and  4 2” pieces.  She is asking $1 per spool, OBO.”  Darlene may be contacted at 805-995-2265


Stay tuned for more news from the CCW, with potential schedule and site changes possible.

Laurie Wright, 2021 Secretary

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

April 27th

Welcome to this week’s CCW carving news!


Fourteen of us joined in for our 47 minute session today.


Happy Birthday greetings going out to Ed Zirbel and to Brandy McKay!

Pat Rygh’s Gyrfalcon (photo) feather-counting contest ends in just a few days, on May 1st, so send in your guesses to     13 carvers have submitted their estimates so far.


Melody Mullis reported that Saturday morning time slots will be available for our summertime carving sessions at the Paso Robles Pioneer History Museum.  Times and dates to be announced.  Until then, an in-person carving session will held be the second Saturday of each month, with the exception of October, from 1-4 p.m., at the museum.


Melody will soon be emailing information about the  CCW’s Woodcarver’s Show, anticipated to be scheduled for September 18 and 19, 2021, in Cambria.  The Carver’s Rendezvous will be held the day before, also in Cambria.  Joe Peery reports that several of the RV Carvers are making plans to attend.


Tonight’s 7 p.m. presentation via the Oregon Carver’s Guild will be by Mary May, a noted carver, talking about European Classical Carving.  Log on to      to register for and attend this free presentation.  You will find additional free and subscription classes by Mary May  at


Dot Rygh showed us the progress made on her gourd and dreamcatcher pieces. (photos) The dreamcatcher is complete, as is one side of the gourd.  Kokopellis encircle the gourd. The dreamcatcher will be positioned within the side hole. Dot has woodburned, painted with acrylic (oils and dyes can be used as well, she says), and has carved through the skin of the gourd.  The stain and finish will be applied once all of the details are complete.


Breck Smith is back to carving after months of quilting.  Today he was working away on a large log of olive wood, cut down at a neighbors’ 6 years ago and left drying on Breck’s driveway ever since. 


Kristen Bachman has continued to work on her ash wood rooster and chick.  She started the piece using a mallet and chisel and has progressed to hand carving with a chisel and gouges.  Spraying the wood with 50/50 rubbing alcohol and water allows for easier carving, especially helpful when carving the endgrain. The process has been a slow one, hard on her hands (left one gloved).  Kristen has been surfing almost daily.


Jim Cady has painted his carved sheriff.  He didn’t seal the piece before painting it and has seen the paint fade too much for his liking.  He will sand it, paint again with 2-3 coats of acrylic and seal it with varnish.  Jim recommends sealing before painting.  Jim did leave the hat of his sheriff unsanded, which gives a felt-like effect to the hat.  Jim reports that this project took a lot of work, but was fun.


Al Plasch has been too busy with remodeling projects and travel plans to carve.  He will take a small bag of carving tools and wood to work on during his upcoming trip.


Tom Wright continues his father-in-law’s craft of making railroad lanterns, with a few adjustments made to the original design (photo)


Carol Dwyer has been working on Christmas ornaments, some from Gail Ruda’s  collection.  She also has continued to work on the hair stick for her daughter-in-law.


Jeanie Roberts noted that her oil paintings on 8x10 canvases will soon be fitting into Charlie Roberts’ handmade and newly designed floater frames, which will eventually be given as family gifts. 


Joe Peery and Al Plasch may have left some items at Woodcraft in Ventura recently but they nearly cleared the store, they say.  Joe has been turning pens which he will be selling at craft fairs.  He showed us the burl (possibly oak), that he’s been working on.  The outside of the burl has been left in its natural state, the bottom was flattened with a sander, the center cored out first using a Makita followed by using a round Cutsall 1 ½” ball on a ¼” shank on a drill press.  Trying to carve with a mallet and chisel was too difficult.    He filled the vacant spaces in the wood, as well as the inner bowl, with resin.  He applied a satin finish to the outside, but wasn’t happy with the result so will reapply a gloss finish.    Joe reports that the RV Carvers resumed meeting 3 weeks ago in a Copperopolis park, as the indoor setting where they previously met is not yet available due to COVID restrictions.


Larry Wade talked about the career and craft of Kelley Stadelman, a former gallery/studio owner in West Portland.  He showed us a short video of her class/studio space, filled with multitudes of go-byes (which her students select to carve) as well as clay head forms and more.  Kelley has written several articles on woodfinishing for Woodcraft, had 5 books about carved Santas and Elves published, works on commissioned pieces, and teaches in-person classes as well as on-line classes.  Larry is hoping that she will be willing to “teach the teachers”, as mentioned in last weeks’ newsletter.


Charlie Roberts was contacted by a woman from Cuyama who found CCW on-line and was interested in donating some pieces to the club.  She and I corresponded and today she delivered several boxes of carved characters (some complete, some unfinished), blanks, a few pieces of wood, a multitude of small carved heads as well as an assortment of carving books. (photos)  I will bring this collection to our first session at St Timothy’s for perusal and selection by our carvers.  The carving manuals will be given to Melody Mullis to add to our CCW library, to be checked out by any interested carver.  Many thanks to Lisa Haslett.


Also today I was contacted by Susan Tittle, Bob Otto’s daughter.  She will soon be clearing out Bob’s woodcarving collection and has offered his remaining books, tools and other carving items to the CCW.  I will be collecting them from her as soon as they are available, and will also bring these items to our first session at St Timothy’s.


Reminder: the Wrights have the CCW tool sharpener.  You are welcome to bring your tools over to sharpen.

Suggestion: if needing a tool/tools for only a one time or occasional use, consider asking fellow carvers to borrow theirs in lieu of buying.  More than likely someone will be able and willing to lend you an item.


It was a short but productive and informational session today.  Thanks to all who attended.  To those who weren’t and/or aren’t able to attend: you were/are missed.  We look forward to getting together again soon.


Until next week,

Laurie Wright, 2021 Secretary

Central Coast Woodcarvers, Chapter 7 of the California Carvers Guild

April 20th

Hello, Carvers!

Eleven carvers joined in on April 20th’s MEET session. 


Happy birthday this week to Tom Wright, Joyce Ross and Frances Abenido!


Caring thoughts are being sent to Marsha, Susie and Walt as they focus on some health matters.

It was reported that Betty Kruger, a Southern California carver and 30+ year participant in our annual CCW Woodcarver’s Show, died on April 14, 2021.  Our sympathies go out to her family.


Scot Lang reported that 9 carvers attended last Saturday’s carving session at the Paso Robles Pioneer History Museum, all appropriately masked and socially distanced.  Each carver brought their own project to work on, though Scot did distribute 2 x 2 x 9” blanks of basswood (additional blanks are available from Scot).  In discussion with Scot, Dave Dignam and Jerry Graybill suggested a spoon class as one of the next museum session projects, as it was high on the CCW survey interest list. Dave recommended a change in meeting times at the museum in the summer, to avoid the heat of the day.  Melody Mullis will check into the feasibility of this, as others also meet at the museum, and will let us know.  A new liability certificate will need to be issued if the session times change.


Scot Lang has volunteered to coordinate this year’s Carver’s Rendezvous in Cambria, hopefully again at Shamel Park, on September 17.  Darrel Easter had planned to be the instructor for that day, and has a project in mind, with blanks cut, reports Gary Hensley. Scot will contact Darrel.


Dick Marshall sent in the photo of the Steller’s Jay he recently carved, inspired by the ones visiting the Marshall’s feeders lately.


Tom Nickelson has finished his trout (photos), mounted on a piece of walnut purchased from Mayan Hardwood (2501 Oakwood St. Paso Robles).  You can view a dozen of Tom’s pieces at the Park Street Gallery (1320 Park Street, Paso Robles).


Scot Lang continues to work on his Yosemite themed box.  He will mount oval pieces of basswood on either end, one woodburned with El Capitan and the other with Half Dome. Using a scraper, rather than sandpaper, has yielded satisfactory results.  Tom Nickelson has utilized scrapers that work well for smoothing, especially on hardwoods.  Al Plasch asked how to best sharpen curved scrapers: “buy new ones” was suggested, or “make one of your own out of steel.”  Scot notes that a 2” wide wheel works better than a flat stone to sharpen a curved surface.  Al noted that even broken glass can be used for sharpening.


Charlie Roberts is working on carving sunflowers into his aromatic cedar picture frame.  He reports that this wood, though beautiful,   tends to crack and split .  He is designing a frame to better fit Jeanie Roberts’ painted pictures.

Though experienced with bark-carving castles and houses–in-the-round, Gary Hensley is making his first attempt at carving a lighthouse.


Jim Cady is carving another cowboy.  He showed us a neck-slide he made years ago, designed with a hatchet stuck in a stump of wood. Scot Lang relayed that Jim was his Scoutmaster decades ago, and that he was the inspiration for Scot learning to carve: Jim’s tie tack with 3-4 links carved out of one piece of wood and a ball in a cage on a chain were what led Scot into chain-carving.


Larry Wade was pleased to have Al Plasch and Tom Nickelson as panelists in last week’s power carving presentation.  Videos of the program are available for viewing at     The 4th series on relief carving began last week.  27 total individuals have attended these sessions, 5 from California, including some CCW members.    Although Larry will be sidelined a bit with an upcoming knee surgery, he expects to host a summer program through the Oregon Carver’s Guild.


Larry Wade was fortunate enough to meet up with an individual who had a carved hobby horse as described in last week’s newsletter and wanted a second one, so Larry happily passed him the one he had on hand.  Melody Mullis pointed Larry to a UK author who had written about the hobby horse model.


Larry asked the question: How to attract new/beginning/young carvers to the craft for survival of carving clubs?

Scot Lang noted that a number of people have become interested in the CCW/carving after attending the annual (2020 excepted) Woodcarver’s Show and from our demonstration booths at the Mid-State Fair.  Matt Pomerico’s automatas were always a big draw, especially to children.


Gary Hensley and Al Plash mentioned that the Channel Islands Carvers (CIC) hold their sessions from 6-8 p.m., to accommodate those who work during the day.  The CIC have a booth at the Ventura County fair, staffed with carvers in 4 hour shifts.  They hand out hundreds of fliers for beginner’s classes which are held in the fall.  (one year 27 people signed up!)   The Woodcraft store in Ventura was once the location of the CCI Woodcarver’s Show.  (Larry noted that the Woodcraft store in Portland is eager to work with carvers, encouraging demonstrations and classes there)

Additional suggestions included: having a carving demonstration booth at local farmer’s markets, contacting Homeschool organizations and kid’s camps, partnering with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and like organizations for instruction (Al Plasch has an article from the UK about carving with Scouts).  Larry would like to “teach the teachers”( in Montessori or Waldorf schools, for example),  so that they could, in turn, instruct their students and inspire interest in the craft.


Good suggestions, all.


I hope that you are finding the recap of our MEET sessions interesting and informational.  Once we return to regularly

scheduled in-person sessions, the format of the newsletters will revert to back to primarily photos of pieces by our carvers and business and class information.  If you no longer wish to receive the newletters please email me at this email or at   to unsubscribe.

May you all enjoy a creative, peaceful and safe week,

Laurie Wright, 2021 Secretary,

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

April 13th

Greetings, Carvers!

The 50-minute Meet session included 13 CCW members today.

Scot Lang reports  that the insurance certificates have been issued for the Paso Robles Pioneer History Museum and for St Timothy’s Catholic Church in Morro Bay.  


The first official CCW in-person carving session in over a year will be held this coming Saturday, April 17, at the museum from 1-4 p.m., with clean-up of the carving area to begin at 3:30.  No specific carving project is planned, so carvers will bring their own to work on.  The house rules of wearing masks and practicing appropriate distancing will be followed. 

We are still awaiting approval from the diocese that governs St. Timothy’s before initiating any sessions there, either indoors or out.


The Channel Islands Carvers have invited us to join in on their Google MEET session tonight at 6 p.m.  “Please join us Tuesday April 13 @ 6PM. You can join with a computer, laptop, tablet, ipad or a smart phone as long as you have a camera, microphone and internet and access to email to click the link below!”  Gary Hensley


Also tonight  (April 13),  at 7 p.m, the Oregon Carver’s Guild is hosting an on-line Power Carving Tools 101 presentation given by Roger Crooks, and includes our own experienced CCW members Tom Nickelson and Al Plasch on the panel.    The presentation will include review of power tools and equipment, safety practices   and the opportunity for questions and answers.  In order to participate in the presentation interested persons MUST register for the session up to minutes before the start in order to receive the access link.   The presentation will be recorded and posted on the website for later review.  Larry includes this note: “the pre-recorded video being used in our monthly program in case anyone wants to watch it on YouTube, click here.

Terry Burnside will continue to (virtually) instruct on Woodspirit Carving this coming Thursday, April 15, from 10 am-Noon, as well as the following Thursday (April 22).  You may attend the session by registering at  


The 4th Max Sutter course begins next week, running each Monday at 1 p.m. through Labor Day.  Register at


The program to be presented in May by the Oregon Carver’s Guild will be hosted by Jeff Arness, now in Phoenix, formerly from the Portland area.  The topic will be “Finishing Projects.”    Register at

Thank you, Larry Wade, for keeping us included in the many programs being offered through the Oregon Carver’s Guild!

Gary Hensley, CCG President, reports that an increased number of CCG chapters have been meeting, most virtually, but others also meeting outdoors and wearing their masks.


Pat Rygh reminds us to participate in his contest to guess the number of feathers carved into his gyrfalcon (photo repeated from last weeks’ post).  One guess allowed per carver.  The contest ends May 1.  Send your guess to:


Scot Lang expanded our cooking knowledge today, explaining the process of making vegetarian PUPESAS.  Scot has been cooking, not carving, lately.  He is disappointed that only 2 out of 20 planted gourd seeds have survived the wrath of earwigs and pillbugs.  Repeated dusting of diatomaceous earth is required.


Larry Wade happily reported that 8 of HIS 10 planted gourd seeds have sprouted. Larry has been testing types of finishes with milk paint, oils and acrylic.   Larry is also on a quest for some answers and sent this to share (photo of the carved hobby horse attached):” I'm interested to know if anyone knows the carver who did it in 2008.  His name was Gene Bower of Alpine, CA.  I would like to know if there was a local club with others who might have done toy horses like this one who could advise me on whether it is worth restoring and whether it is safe for children to actually use.  It mounts on two glide rails, overall is about 5' long and 4' off the ground.  Is it a work of art of a piece of firewood?” Please reply to Larry with your comments.


Larry Wade and Al Plasch continue to work on Max Sutter exercises, including the carving of donut/bagel shapes and rippled concave rings.  Both report that the transition areas of the grain are especially challenging.  Al finds that using the largest tool for the project helps and values the task as a good exercise in understanding grain.   His current project includes carving basswood and yellow cedar.


Jim Cady is close to finishing his carved cowboy.  Paint is next to be applied.


Breck Smith reached his goal of sewing 50 small quilts, using 5,000 yards of thread.  Now back to working with wood…


Tom Nickelson was not happy with the Minwax polyurethane finish applied to his carved trout, so sanded it down and applied Deft, followed by wax for a satisfying result.  Watco natural oil was applied to the burlwood mounting piece.  He is working on setting the pieces of brass for mounting the piece, filling the brass rod with quickwood and waiting patiently for it to dry.  He is looking forward to being on tonight’s Power-Carving presentation panel.


Surely those of you attending the virtual sessions will learn a great deal, those who attend the in-person setting at the museum will relish meeting again, and all of us are looking forward to hopefully resuming many of our pre-March 2020 activities before too long.


The light is at the end of this long COVID tunnel is beginning to shimmer a bit,


Laurie Wright, 2021 Secretary
Central Coast Woodcarvers, Chapter 7 of the California Carver’s Guild. 

April 6th


Happy April, carvers!

It is exciting to announce that monthly carving sessions are resuming at the Paso Robles Pioneer History Museum, 2010 Riverside Avenue!  While sessions will routinely be scheduled on the second Saturday of each month, this first session in over a year will be held on Saturday, April 17.  Sessions begin at 1 p.m. and close at 4 p.m.   Participants are required to wear their masks while in the building, maintain appropriate social distancing, and clean up the workspace by the end of the session. 


We continue to await direction from the Catholic diocese before scheduling carving sessions at St Timothy’s Church in Morro Bay on Tuesdays.  We may eventually be allowed to meet indoors, or may have to set up outdoors, and will follow the church’s guidelines for gathering.  We will act as if none of us have had our vaccines and observe the necessary COVID precautions of wearing masks and keeping appropriately distant until otherwise directed by the state and county health department requirements.  Safety for all is imperative!


Pat Rygh has completed his gyrfalcon (photo)!  He invites all to participate in the gyrfalcon feather-counting contest, with the rules being to estimate the number of feathers Pat carved, submit your guess (one entry per carver) to before May 1, and await the results.  A most suitable prize will be awarded to the carver whose guess is closest to the actual number of feathers. 


Happy Birthday wishes this week to Diane Maiorano and Kate Osman!


Marsha Goss is happy that her butterfly/hummingbird garden is thriving despite the Central Valley winds. The Allen’s hummingbird drew a crowd of 175 (appointment made) people  to the house/property and all were able to see the bird.  Marsha continues to quilt, building up stock after donating to Hospice and to the police department for distribution to those needing comfort.


Dot Rygh is planting milkweed for her butterfly nursery.  Last year approximately 100 butterflies took wing from the Ryghs’ garden.  Dot recommends buying milkweed seedlings from a local nursery. is looking for photos and reports of milkweed and monarch sightings.


Scot Lang has made progress on his box.  It has a poplar base, walnut sides and a walnut and poplar top.  The bottom is tongue and groove fitted.  Scot made a square jig to hold the top while working on the bottom and sides.  He will install magnetic closures and hinges before beginning his carving and woodburning a Yosemite scene and quote.


Dave Johnson is starting to carve again after a long hiatus.  He is focusing his efforts on bird carving, following the Danish practice of whittling birds: “Snitte”.  Dave has carved an oriole and is implementing teachings from Pat Rygh as he adds to his carved bird collection.  Dave has a supply of green ashwood, blond with wide grain,  available if anyone would like blocks of it.  


Jim Cady continues to carve a cowboy, creating few chips, working on the finer details of the piece.


Carol Dwyer is happy to be  comfortably carving again, working on a cottonwood bark cabin, with doors and windows ajar.


Charlie Roberts is relief carving picture frames, incorporating some woodburning to the frames here and there.  He’s used a variety of woods, with the cedar wood darkening significantly when oil was applied.  Jeanie Roberts is painting pictures to fit the frames which will be given as much enjoyed and admired gifts. 


Kristen Bachman is carving a rooster from either ash or elm (she can’t remember) which came from pruned wood in her yard. She’s using a mallet and gouge for most of the project, with some knife work for the feathers (applying 50/50 water and alcohol for easier carving).  Not concerned about injuring herself when using the gouge and mallet, Kristen does use a lapboard when carving with a knife.


Melody Mullis wowed us with her completed woodburned view of the Tower Bridge in London and surrounding cityscape.  “It was a lot of work,” she said.


Tom and Laurie Wright have been woodworking in another form lately:  An inherited 30-ton ram logsplitter turns big logs into smaller pieces much more quickly and easily than using an axe, hammer and wedge. 


For those who have yet to send in your 2021 CCW member dues, you may do so by mailing $10 to Central Coast Woodcarvers P.O. Box 743 Morro Bay, CA 93442.


There is some light shining down this long COVID tunnel!  We hope to resume all of our regularly scheduled pre-March 2020 carving activities before too long.  We just must be patient a little bit longer……


Laurie Wright, 2021 Secretary

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

March 31st

Hello Carvers!

Today is Cesar Chavez Day.  A big “thank you” to farmers and farm workers who feed us each and every day!

Twelve of us joined in on Google MEET yesterday for our weekly session. 


In hopeful anticipation of future events, Scot Lang is sending in our Liability Insurance forms to cover Central Coast Woodcarvers at St Timothy’s Catholic Church, Paso Robles Pioneer History Museum and the Cambria Veteran’s Hall for our Woodcarver’s Show.


It is still too early to determine if our Woodcarver’s Show, planned for September 18 and 19, 2021, will occur but it’s not too soon to get your pieces ready to show, sell, share, raffle or for judging.


St Timothy’s Catholic Church is awaiting direction from the Catholic diocese before permitting us to return to their annex for our weekly sessions.  County COVID regulations also apply.


Happy birthday greetings were extended to Larry Wade and Dave Osman.


Quotes of the Day from our carvers:

“Accidents happen in a split second.” Scot Lang

“Don’t wear loose clothing when working with power tools.” Larry Wade

“The right tool will get the job done right.” Gary Hensley

“Perfect Practice makes perfect.” Larry Wade

“Good enough is good enough.”  Larry Wade

“If you’re left handed you have to have the right tool.” Dave Patterson

“When you buy something from an artist, you have to pay the price.” Dave Patterson

“Think ‘finish’ before you start.” (ie how will you ship this piece once it’s finished) Larry Wade

“I exist, therefore I’m wrong.” Al Plasch


Scot Lang has made a wooden box, using walnut for the bottom, sides and frame of the top.  Poplar is set within the top frame.  With a Yosemite theme in mind, Scot will carve oak leaves and acorns on the sides, woodburn an Ansel Adams scene on the top and woodburn a notable quote on the inside of the top. Scot ordered nickel-plated hinges from Woodcraft for the top, which will open up 110 degrees.  Scot is quite happy with the tongue and groove work he did on the box. The piece has been commissioned by the wife of a friend, for the friend to store, among other things, the Scot Lang carved pistol grips (once attached to the friend’s pistols)


Jim Cady has been working on carving whale’s tails and has been hosting a weekly carving session (COVID precautions in place) for three female friends and family.    Jim is also working on carving a cowboy roughout he obtained from a batch of unfinished roughouts brought to a CCW session by Scot Lang, bought at an estate sale.  Jim picked up 5 or 6 roughouts from that collection and has completed carving most of them.  Scot reports that he has a few roughouts still available.


Tom Nickelson found a small oak burl on which to mount his completed trout.  He is keeping busy tying flies for the much anticipated upcoming flyfishing trip with his grandson.  Tom is the owner of 6 fly rods and 3 additional glass rods.


Gary Hensley finished and delivered the gun cabinet he’d been working on.  In its new space, it cleared the ceiling by I”! The recipient was thrilled to have it.  Gary will next be working on a Singer sewing machine project.


Larry Wade was especially glad to share word with our power carvers about the upcoming Roger Cook’s presentation on April 13 on power tools.  The videos for the presentation have been recorded, and Roger will narrate during the presentation.  Input from experienced power carvers is welcomed during the presentation.  Larry recently purchased a Master Carver power tool, which was highly recommended by several of our session’s attendees.  Larry is looking for suggestions of where, perhaps locally rather than through Fordham, to buy fuses for his Fordham tools.


Dave Patterson mentioned that one of Oakhurst Rendezvous’ master powercarvers, Jeff______, gave a class in Alaska on carving a moose head with antler, using Fordham and dremel tools.  From Jeff, Dave learned that using the reverse function of a Fordham greatly enables a left-handed person to carve.  Dave recommends purchasing a leather welder’s apron from Home Depot or similar store, to prevent injury and provide protection, especially when using power tools.  Tom Nickelson wears a leather glove on his non-carving hand to prevent injuries. 


Dot Rygh carved and painted both sides of a kachina figure.  She is weaving a dream catcher inside a ring cut from a gourd and will hang the kachina figure in the center of that piece.  Weaving the dream catcher is a fun project, she says.  Dot reports that the Rygh’s son, Mark, has made beautiful pieces of furniture from imported exotic wood.


Pat Rygh is working on the toes at the tip of his carved gyrfalcon’s talons.  He soaked the talons in crazy glue to harden them.  He might be completed with the project by the end of April, he says.    Al Plasch asked how Pat safely packages and transports/ships his carvings:  Pat separates the legs from the body.  Scot Lang noted that he has built custom boxes and bolted pieces within a box to ship. 

Other notable noise:

Upon mention of reversing a tool’s direction, many commented that this would also reduce the likelihood of getting face-pelted by flying wood chips and sawdust.  Scot Lang noted that he uses a pedal system for an ‘on-off’ switch for his router and other power tools, which eliminates the need to remove one hand from the tool to start and stop while using.


A warning was given not to use microfiber cloths (made from plastic) or steel wool when burnishing a piece on a lathe: these products can get very hot and can melt or burn!  Using old socks and/or paper bags to burnish were alternate suggestions made.


Carol Dwyer is wearing gardening gloves with latex palms and fingers to better grip her pieces.


Scot Lang mentioned that April is a good time to plant gourd seeds.  Sprinkle diatomaceous earth (DE) around the plants to deter slugs, snails and earwigs.  Food quality DE should be available at your local hardware store.  Carol Dwyer suggested sprinkling DE also under planting pots, a likely place for voracious insects and snails to gather.  Warning: do not dispense DE on a windy day, avoid inhaling it; lungs and silica are not a compatible pairing.  Another suggestion for slugs and snails:  wet a newspaper, roll it into a tube and leave outdoors: it will attract snails and slugs.


April arrives tomorrow, friends!  May the month bring much to look forward to!

Laurie Wright, 2021 Secretary

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

March 23

Happy Spring, Carvers! 


Happy birthday this week to Kristen, Dave J & Carol!


While San Luis Obispo Country remains in the red tier for COVID, residents now <50 years of age can receive their vaccines.  We are moving towards gathering once again…

Scot Lang has a new 2HP router: “not the most expensive but hopefully will last long enough to complete my box project.”


Gary Hensley will soon finish up the shelves on the gun cabinet, to then be sent off to its new owner.


Jim Cady is starting to paint his carved mountain lion.  Yvonne Bailey showed us her critter cam videos of at least one mountain lion prowling her property.  Scot Lang mentioned that mountain lions are the USA’s largest feline predators, with a male’s territory averaging approximately 10 square miles, the female territory is approximately 6 square miles.


Carol Dwyer continues to work on her hair pin/hair stick, soon to begin woodburning it.


Marsha Goss reports that it is extremely windy in the delta at the moment.  Marsha has planted a butterfly garden and has been sewing quilts (photos) to donate to Hospice and to the police department.  Her quilting group has donated over 60 quilts to these organizations.  (As an aside, I am a former forensic nurse, having worked for the Suspected Abuse Response Team here in SLO County, and can’t say enough how grateful the victims were to receive handmade quilts from local quilters) Marsha has also been carving and painting wooden spools (photo)  Her son-in-law, an avid birdwatcher, caught sight of an Allen’s Hummingbird, a never before seen sight in Yolo County (though common here on the coast).  The news of this “Big Deal” sighting drew over 50 people to their property, cameras in hand, including professors from UC Davis. (photo)


Kristen Bachman showed us her carvings of a character in the round with dog, and the beginnings of a carved buddha, one or both out of freshly cut sycamore from a 90’ tree.  Kristen notes that the sycamore “carves like butter.” Kristen has also made jewelry out of sycamore.  Kristen has become an avid surfer, having surfed 65 times this winter: “a lot of fun!” Surfing is now tied with woodcarving as Kristen’s top two hobbies.


Notes on drying wood:  Kristen Bachman puts wood chips in a plastic grocery bag and stores her carved/in process carvings in that bag to retain moisture while the pieces slowly dries to keep from cracking.  It was suggested by Scot Lang that exterior latex paint, or wax, be applied to wood ends, or applying polyethylene glycol as well as keeping the wood off of the ground, to help keep the wood from splitting while drying.  Dot Rygh recently read about the product “Pentacryl”as a preservative and will give it a try.  Scot Lang also added these suggestions for greenwood: drill out center core to prevent tension buildup within the wood, or  chainsaw carvers might cut a flat side off of one side of a piece and cut through to the pith, to gently dry out a piece of wood.  He recommends, after carving,  to cut varnish with mineral spirits (10:1) to penetrate more readily into the wood.  Or seal all but one portion of the piece to allow for moisture release until the piece is completely dried.  Larry Wade mentioned, but cannot recommend due to risk of fire, drying pieces in a microwave. 


Cracked wood: Larry Wade mentioned a well-known Japanese carver’s practice of filling cracked wood with shims and splints of wood remnants, matching the grain with left-overs.  The carver drives wedges of wood into the piece then carves back to the surface.  Kristen Bachman mentioned that mixing sawdust with wood glue makes a good putty for filling cracks. 


Notes on sycamore trees/wood: Kristen Bachman mentioned that cities often plant sycamores as they are excellent air filters and the roots are not invasive.  The wood is very toxic, so precautions must be taken while sanding!  The spalting found in wood is a result of an infection within the tree, which triggers a chemical response by the tree to seal off the infection (usually fungal), says Scot Lang.


Dave Patterson informed us of The Alaska Woodturner’s Symposium, to be held virtually, on Zoom, on April 10 & 11, 8:30-5 p.m.  Three world-class woodturners will be presenting in 8 segments.  The recorded sessions will be available for 2-3 months on -line post presentation.  Cost is $40 for Alaska Woodcarvers members, $50 for non-members.  Visit for more information and to register.


Larry Wade spoke of Gig Lewis, a well-known Oregon carver who created a wooden toy program which has led to 10,000 wooden toys being made and given out.  Gig is not expected to live much longer: in his honor, a memorial plaque is being designed.  This led to a discussion about “Living Memorial Boxes” being made in honor of a particular carver.  The box could include the carver’s name and hold some of his/her favorite tools which could be loaned out to aspiring carvers.   Scot Lang mentioned that The CCW and CCG have loaner kits available for new carvers to borrow when first starting out. He wondered if perhaps he and Breck Smith could sew some “tool rolls”, as on the Woodisgood site, for loaner kits, which might include tools of past members.


California Carver’s Guild President, Gary Hensley, explained why members were still receiving hard copies of the log when email copies had been requested in lieu.  It is less expensive to mail a larger volume (200 + copies) of mail than a smaller volume, so in order to keep costs down hard copies are also being mailed.  CCG membership is significantly down this year.  All CCW members are encouraged to also join the CCG.


Our hour and a quarter MEET session ended with all encouraged about getting together again before too long!

Stay safe, keep hopeful, and log in next week if you’re able. 


Laurie Wright, 2021 Secretary

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

Melody Mullis reports that the Paso Robles Pioneer History Museum will be opening on March 25 for regularly scheduled hours: Thursdays through Sundays 1-4 p.m.   Melody and the  museum docents have been working hard on putting together new displays in addition to the many  interesting displays already in place. 


Jim Cady continues to work on his mountain lion.  Large, live,  wildlife members have been seen around Los Osos lately: a coyote recently walked by the Rygh’s window .


Breck Smith was spinning wool while we talked.  In addition to his many other artistic talents, Breck also knits and crochets!


 Photos of the Dale Green “Boomer” project that Yvonne Bailey is working on are attached.

Larry Wade was able to complete his carving of the hedgehog “comfort critter” in time for his daughter’s birthday.  He had success with soaking the hard wooden egg in a water and rubbing alcohol bath overnight, softening the wood enough to carve.  To dry the hard maple piece, Larry put it in the microwave, on the lowest setting, for 10 seconds at a time, repeatedly, until drying was complete.  He stood the piece on a metal rod and sanded it with increasingly finer grit using wet-dry sandpaper( 100 – 400 grit)  He finished it with poly, but would use shellac next time.  Larry learned that when using Fordham power tools, a leather glove would have offered much better protection than a cloth glove!

Larry has also been making router-based bowls out of African mahogany/Kaya, figured maple, and Oregon black walnut, in circular as well as yin-yang forms.  He reports this as a relatively simple project.  He applies 5 coats of finish to the pieces and buffs with Scotchbright finishing pads (1000 grit) between coats.

Larry recommends the book “Understanding Woodfinishing” by Bob Flexner.


Al Plasch noted that it is always a good idea to “finish before you start,” meaning plan your project out from beginning to end before ever starting: tools, shapes, techniques, supplies, finishes should be thought out.  Al talked about his technique of burnishing wood which closes up the wood fibers and solidifies a piece of wood  enabling a piece to be sanded extremely smooth.


Dot Rygh mentioned that many of our CCW carvers sand their pieces with 600 grit sandpaper before woodburning or carving, followed by using the paper from a brown paper bag to burnish the pieces when completed.  Carol Dwyer verified that she uses the brown paper bag technique on all of her barkcarvings.


We talked about the CCW’s club knifesharpener (currently stored and available for use in Tom Wright’s shop).  Jerry Graybill noted that the 3 wheel sharpener, made by Dave Dignam,  includes 2 different grits of sandpaper and a leather strop each on a  wheel.  The safety shield also serves as a knifehandle rest during sharpening.  The technique of marking the blade edge with a black marker to see where the blade has been polished/sharpened is recommended.  Jerry noted that most knives shouldn’t need actual sharpening with sandpaper very often, it is regular stropping that will keep the blades sharp. Keep the blade as flat as possible against the sandpaper or strop, and all the way to the edge, in order to sharpen rather than round the tip of the blade.  Having a cup of water at hand to cool the heated tip is recommended.


Laurie Wright collected some (sterilized) discarded dental tools at her latest dental appointment to use on future wood projects. 


Many of our carvers have reported receiving their COVID vaccines.  We are getting closer to being able to gather in person once again……


Enjoy these later daylight hours, Carvers!  We hope to be seeing each other soon,

Laurie Wright, 2021 Secretary

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

Greetings, Carvers,

Eighteen CCW members attended our hour-long March 9 MEET session.


Though we are still waiting for official word from San Luis Obispo County’s Health Department, recent news from the CDC was that groups of <50 persons, all who have completed their COVID vaccination regimen more than 2 weeks previously, may meet.  We will await word from the local Health Department, verify with St Timothy’s that we may meet in their annex, or plan to meet outdoors.  CCW protocols are being established and we are hoping that many of us may again meet before too long.


Belated birthday wishes were extended to Marsha Goss and Dave Patterson.


Scot Lang, AKA “The Tailor”, has been sewing up a storm in lieu of carving.  He continues to sew masks and is also sewing “coffee catchers”.


We welcomed back Ray Johnson who joined in after a long hiatus.  He has been turning pens lately.


Tom Nickelson placed eyes in his trout and has sprayed it with a clear finish.  Aside from his carving project he has been busy fly-tying soft tackle , size 10-19, from an old English pattern, for the much anticipated fishing trip with his grandson this coming summer. 


Jim Cady is making progress on his carved mountain lion.


Dot Rygh is finding that carving decoy birds is not her forte, as the bufflehead duck has been quite a challenge. We all do know, however,  that Dot CAN carve other forms of birds exceptionally well!


Pat Rygh has sprayed the carved granite rock for his gyrfalcon with stone paint found at the hardware store.  He’s used epoxy type dough for the bird’s legs.  His gyrfalcon is an impressive piece, sure to be a strong contender for the People’s Choice award at our next carving show.


Dick Marshall posted photos of his “contemporary antique” ducks on Facebook this past week, and allowed me to share here (photos).  “The bufflehead went to Texas.”


Charlie Roberts is working on carving and woodburning 8x10” and 24x16” picture frames.  Jeanie Roberts will paint a picture to fit in the frame(s).  Jeanie woodburns almost every day, working on pieces for the raffle give-aways for our next show.


Larry Wade has been soaking a hardwood egg overnight in a rubbing alcohol and water solution in hopes that it will be easier to carve than when just spraying it with the mixture.  He has 10 days to complete his “comfort care” piece.  He’s looking forward to carving some pear wood after having the fallen branches milled.


Yvonne Bailey became a member of the Woodcarving Academy, which offers free, monthly or annual memberships.  She has signed up for upcoming classes including carving a horse head as well as  carving a  smoking figure sitting on a gas can.  Her new border collie, along with her St Bernard, are active members of the family.

Carol Dwyer is carving a hairpin/hair stick out of manzanita.  She reports that it’s easy to sand, “nice and quick.”  Scot Lang shared that the yellow wood of the manzanita, beneath the bark, is the sapwood, and the dark purple center of the manzanita is the hardest.


We were reminded how important it is to check in with our friends who are sick, who have lost loved ones, who are lonely, who we miss.  Though it has been challenging to meet face-to-face this past year we are, thankfully,  able to keep in touch via phone, text, email, handwritten letters and cards, and virtually via ZOOM or MEET(among other virtual methods).


Please keep in touch.

We hope to see you next Tuesday at 10, if not before.

Laurie Wright, 2021 Secretary

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

The year is March-ing on, Carvers….

Nineteen of us joined in on today’s CCW MEET session.

Scot Lang mentioned  hearing that there is “talk” of possibly soon allowing those who have been vaccinated to gather together in non-household groups of less than 50.  When gatherings are again permitted under those guidelines, the CCW hopes to be able to schedule regular in-person carving sessions for those that can show proof that they have been vaccinated.  San Luis Obispo County has just moved into the Red COVID Tier (  We continue to urge our carvers to stay safe, wear masks, wash hands, keep as socially distant as possible.  As Al Plasch reminded us today: Each of us is precious.”

Jim Cady is in process of carving a lion, a piece started years ago by Gail Ruda.


Scot Lang is hoping to construct, then carve, a jewelry box.  His current router and router table are insufficient for the miter locking bits that he has for the project.  Gary Hensley is pointing him in the right direction.

Scot informed us that his task of photographing gourd carving progression was thwarted by the microcard adapter being snatched up and rendered useless by little Springer.  New adapters are on order.


Gary Hensley showed us his Woodspirit carving.  He praised the Oregon Carver’s Guild (OCG) presentation by Terry Burnside for this project, noting that Terry’s  videos available on the OCG site were valuable in the process, and that the project has been a good learning experience.


Yvonne Bailey has been participating in carving classes given by Ryan Olsen and others.  Her collection of carved characters is growing!


Dot Rygh has finished the woodburning of the elephant calf between its mother’s legs (photo) Dot says the project was quite tedious and the result was not one of her favorites.  She continues to work on the bufflehead, trying to cross the primary feathers, which is a fun challenge, she says.


Pat Rygh has finished painting his gyrfalcon, Dot reported.  He is now designing the rock upon which it will stand.  He still has a few months to go before the total piece is completed.  He HAS counted the feathers on the gyrfalcon and will soon be ready to host the “Count The Feathers” contest.  (Tongue-in-cheek suggestions from today’s attendees: Pat should  count the (very many) feathers a second time just to be sure his count was correct and/or   Dot should count the feathers while Pat is asleep by dotting each counted feather with a black sharpieJ)  “There’s a lot of feathers on that bird”, attests Dot.


Al Plasch showed us his two carvings, one being carved with a backbent tool for the most precise carve.   He touts using “ the right tool for the right skill level.”  He voiced frustration with the challenge of cleaning up the wood fuzz and hanging bits on a finished piece. He’d like to have a clean piece without needing to use sandpaper. Scot Lang emphasized using a sharp tool to carve with will reduce the fuzz and bits.  Kristen Bachman finds it helpful to sand WITH the grain of the piece when finishing.


Larry Wade purchased rock maple (or the equivalent) eggs on Amazon to carve comfort creatures out of, for his daughter’s birthday in 3 weeks.  He made a handle to hold the eggs while carving, but is concerned about carving such hard wood with the proper power tools.  He is asking for recommendations: please email him with helpful suggestions.  (Dot and Pat Rygh have over 30 years’ experience with using power tools and have volunteered send him their recommendations.  Any other carvers have recommendations for Larry?)  He’s interested in what tools to use and the proper sequence of using them to carve.  Note the time sensitivity of this project.


Joe Peery  (from the CCG) found a carved piece at a garage sale in Sonora recently.  The piece was made in 1999 for a couple’s anniversary.  Joe will return the piece to the carver who is from the Napa area. Joe has been carving fish to hang on his wall.  Yvonne Bailey  volunteered to send patterns to him.


Gary Hensley was recently contacted by an individual in Pismo Beach who has an 8’ redwood stump that they would like carved into a standing bear.  If you are interested in discussing the project with this lady, or know of someone else who might be, please contact her at


Larry Wade received some Pacific Northwest gourd growing information from a gourd aficionado elsewhere in the states who noted that, in their experience, thin shelled gourds are typically the product of seeds from gourds that have been cross-pollinated,  freezing seeds before planting enhances growth, covering the ground that has been planted with black plastic will  warm the soil and encourage plant growth.

Larry Wade gave a review of the ChipChat presentation and gave a history of the magazine.  It once had 55,000 subscribers (at $20 per subscription),  currently stands at 5,000 subscribers.  Larry has agreed to assist in promoting and improving the ChitChat, which benefits carvers and carving organizations throughout the U.S, helping them survive and thrive

Please see Larry’s attached newsletter from the Oregon Carver’s Guild which lists upcoming free classes for all carvers, including those in the CCW.  Presentations are scheduled for the second Tuesday of each month.  Next weeks’ presentation will be given by a carver/sculptor/blacksmith.


Strive to care for and about others near and far.   Keep safe and be kind. Make friends and make memories.

Laurie Wright, 2021 Secretary

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

Happy St Patrick’s Day, Carvers!

Thirteen of us met via Google MEET yesterday, March 16th.  We were especially glad to have Jerry Graybill join in.


Pat Graybill’s service will be this coming Friday, March 19 at 11 a.m. at St Timothy’s Church.  Pat and Jerry’s grandson will be videoing the service and will post it on-line for future viewing.  Our thoughts continue to be with the Graybill family.


Gary Hensley is reworking a 100 year old black walnut Secretary’s desk into a gun cabinet for storing 7 rifles. (photo)  He added the top 9 “ to the piece and was able to match the stain perfectly.  He applied a polycrylic finish.

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