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History

of the Minnesota Woodcarvers Association
 
 
One comment about starting a club was "what are you going to do for 2 hours?" Just sit and talk about wood? It seems like once you get woodcarvers start talking about wood, you just can't shut them up! In 1964 eight members of the National Woodcarvers Association decided to form a local Minnesota club. Of the original eight members (as of 2003) Will Bondhus, Chris Effrem and Conway Tweedy are still active members. At the first meeting, held in a restaurant in Minneapolis in March, 1965, during bad snow storm, Will Bondhus was elected president of the newly formed MWCA. Fifty people who signed up as members in the first two meetings became charter members.
 
Up until the year 2000, the MWCA was operated and centered in Minneapolis. The members from outside the metro area liked the idea of members getting together. Over the years clubs were formed all over Minnesota with ties to the club in Minneapolis. A short number of years back it was proposed to spread out the operation of the club to those clubs outside the Twin Cities area. This necessitated a revised constitution and by-laws and organizing chapters. By spreading out the authority we hope to bring the entire state together and pass on information on woodcarving to a greater number of carvers. The MWCA newsletter serves as an information exchange within the clubs and with individual carvers.
 
We feel we are a self-help club, learning the many varied ways of carving, finishing and displaying from one another. Each carver has their own technique to do their carving. We want to learn and be able to get new ideas. By associating with other carvers is how we get knowledge and help to make our own carvings better and more enjoyable. Over the years we have had lapel pins, decals and patches depicting the logo of the MWCA. Decals and patches are still available for purchase. This original carving of the logo was done Al Johnson, a retired detective from the St. Paul police department. The original carving was sent to a carving museum in Monument, Colorado. It is thought that one person bought most of the carvings when the museum broke up. It has been stated that the buyer wants to start another museum. Al Johnson marked his carvings with a bear's paw print, thus he was nick named "Bear Paw Johnson."
 
The quality and quantity of the carvings is as varied as the membership. The carvings produced by our membership can be found in churches in the USA and Canada and museums all over the country. Sweepstakes winners and judged competition include caricatures, wildlife, walking sticks, small figurines, turning bowls, etc. A few of the members have excelled and gone on to be professionals.
 
We hope that his short history and comment about the MWCA has been of interest to you. We also hope you find other information that is helpful to you and you would consider joining the club. We feel we have something to offer you and anxious to find out what we can learn from you. A lot of local clubs and chapters put on shows and displays. Some of these are selling and others are not. These shows are very good places to get ideas and talk to the carvers. These shows have all levels of carving ability, from the very beginner to advanced, professional artisan. Maybe you would see something and can say "I can do that." On the other hand, observing the advanced carver's woodcarvings may scare people to even start thinking about carving. Woodcarving can be a very enjoyable hobby. Yes, even additive. You can start out with a single knife and expand your supplies as you learn and improve.
 
Happy Carving!
 
woodbar (2K)
 
 
 
Web Site in the process of being updated, Please check back often to see the changes
If you have any comments of need of additional information e-mail JD at MNcarvers@CarvingForFun.com
 
mnCarvers@CarvingForFun.com
 
Updated: Tuesday, June 23, 2009