Archive for February, 2009

*Home Again!

don-yvonne-in-naplesThanks to our hosts Don & Yvonne (photo on left) in Florida, for their hospitality and friendship. They’re “Snowbirds” and will eventually find their way home too. So, now to get ready for the up-coming woodcarving season. “Is woodcarving seasonal?” you might ask! Well, we look at it that way. Helps to keep it fresh that way. Also, helps to not have to heat the garage/shop during the cold-blasts of winter. Today is our second day back home from Florida. I did complete the last touches on three of the twelve American Avocet Shorebird decoys today and will move on to something else.  June, der Paintmeister, will take over from me  and complete the paint-job on them. I’ve previously mentioned somewhere in this blog that these came into being, a new species annually, as donations for the several “Carver’s Banquets” we attend at the shows all year (5). Each year since commencing this practice, we keep one of the twelve for our own collection; this will be the fourth year. We haven’t thus far come to the point of donating one of our more detailed (expensive?) bird-carvings. We do get a kick however to see a woodcarver win them at each show as a door-prize.  I wonder what shorebird species we’ll do for 2010.

Happy birding and carving,  Bill



* What’s This “German” Stuff All About, Anyway?

The Hamonhaus Artmeisters

Vell, We are from Zinzinnati! Vas you effer in Zinzinnati? Oh yah; we know that you know it as “Cincinnati”  but, I am German and raised by my German father and German grand-parents. Mom was French and died when I was 4. As you may not know, Cincinnati was a largely German town, filled with immigrants from Germany. As a child and until I left home for the Marine Corps, I grew-up hearing German phrases and eating German food. Even the store merchants were mostly German in our neighborhood. Prior to WWII, German was spoken freely and frequently in our home. The war changed all of that; except for the food. “Fast-Forward” some 30-40 years and I became a new woodcarver, learning from a German Woodcarver and his wife. Well, Bob Wening is now long-gone, as is his wife Evelyn. Guess what? now and for the duration, I’m sorta the Ol’ German Woodcarver my-own-self. Wife  June (she’s English) is by my side, teaching the painting as Evelyn used to do for Herr Bob and coping with my stubborn German/U.S.Marine disposition. So, wherever we abide, it’s “das Hamonhaus”! From this  Ol’ Carvingmeister to you,

Happy birding and carving,  Bill


*Still in Florida!

Well, if we were to start the drive home today, this would go down as a very good trip. Staying with our oldest friends (ever) is always great. Today is the “beach”. Yesterday was the Bonitas Fairways Golf Course with my “new golfer”  friend Don. He did very well, achieving several “personal bests”.  We will be back there Thursday morning for more of the same. Weather is excellent and we are getting some sun. June’s nearly “pink” by now. Not much to add at this point but can assure everyone we’re eating well and mellowing out. My thoughts are on our return and getting on to my preparations for the Miami Valley Woodcarver’s Show , the first weekend of March. That’s our annual kick-off for our new carving/teaching and Carving Shows season. I’ll be a judge of the competition at this show, along with two other judges. I’m sure this will be an interesting and challenging  new experience for me.  Unfortunately, our new Bald Eagle carving will not be eligible for the competition for obvious reasons.  Maybe, next year; maybe not!  When we get home next week, I’ll have to complete the final stages of carving the twelve Shorebird Stick Decoys (American Avocets) to pass-on to “the paint department”, which I affectionately sometimes refer to my wife June as. They (at least three of them) will be painted. One (actually, #1) will go into our home’s built-in curio as a new addition to our own shorebird stick-decoy collection. Two will go with us to the Middletown, OH show. One of those two, will be donated to the Carver’s Banquet as a door-prize at the  carver’s banquet. We get a kick out of a carver recieving one of these at each banquet we attend. Our 4th year in this series to do this. The previous three years included the Killdeer, the Golden Plover and the Sanderling. If “you” happened to be a lucky recipient of on the these, please respond with a comment below and mention your name and the # of your piece which is on the bottom of the base. See some of you soon. Now, to get to the beach. 

Happy birding and carving,  Bill

*In Florida Again!

It’s neat to be here again. Perfect weather, food and friends; not necessarily in that order. Great trip down on Wednesday, all the way from Centerville to Jasper, FL. Next day, arrived at our destination in N. Naples. On the way home, we’ll possibly stop-overnite in Bradenton, FL. for some more golf with other friends.  Hit some golf  balls yesterday marking my first effort at that for 2009. It was only at a driving range but, all went better than expected.  Maybe, it’ll be lunch at the pool today; maybe not. Our Tee Time this Monday is set and the course is beautiful.  Who cares, we’re in Fl. Noticed high volume on this blog’s hit-counter yesterday. Maybe we’ll find out that you enrolled in our Spring Classes when I get home to check the mail. Hope so. Stay warm,  Bill

Happy birding and carving, Bill


At the 2004 Loveland Art ShowAs a career banker for over three decades, and, “back-in-the-day”, as a Bank President, I was actually called upon twice that I can recall, to serve as a Judge!  Once as a beauty pagent judge and once for a civic cooking-receipe-contest for a local newspaper.  As a banker, I found myself in court from time to time; always on the side of the “good” guys.  Many of my impressions of the parade of judges that I’ve encountered there, were distastful and dissappointing. Over a quarter of a century ago, one of my passions was my beautiful German Shepherd, “Candy von Westendorf”. Candy was very large, very trained and awesome in every way. I  trained her extensively in “obedience”. My brief  brush with dog-shows tended to convince me that those judges didn’t know “squat”; not because of who they didn’t pick to be winners but because of who they did pick. The “cronie” situation” was alive and well.  Apparently, it’s everywhere! Eventually, I took up woodcarving (a fluke!) over two decades ago. My first show was at the encouragement of my teacher in my first year of woodcarving. I didn’t even know that there were such things as shows.   Although I was fortunate to win a Blue in Category in my very first show and a Green in Novice in the second show, I was an unhappy camper due to the overall judging which tended to keep the majority of top-awards “in the family”.    So, many years later, we exhibited our carvings in an outdoor Art Show along with about a hundred other artists of all kinds. Throngs surrounded our table all day. I spotted the judge pausing for about two seconds in the rear of our “throng”  to glimpse our “stuff”. She quickly moved-on and didn’t come back. At the end of the day it was announced that the Winner of the Show was a wood-turner whose “bowl” she loved.  She was the only judge and the wood-turner was the Judge’s husband! Ouch! I was reminded that my old opinion of some “judges” apparently still held true. Over the years, I’ve observed the process  thinking that one carving genre, i.e. “chip-carvers”, “fish-carvers”, “critter-carvers”  or “relief- carvers” might have difficulty judging mine and vice-versa!  Well, that still holds kinda true but. I  have lately kinda mellowed my opinion.   I realize this may sound a lot like “sour grapes”. I remind myself that “sour-grapes” actually do exist! I do appreciate shows that combine genres in the judging-team.  Over the years, I’ve been approached a couple of times to serve as a judge. I’ve politely declined each time, until recently. I’ve  said to some  that I wouldn’t be technically qualified to judge charactertures or chip carvings, etc. Well, that excuse has worn thin, even in my own ears. It’s true, I’m drawn to what I like. So, probably, are you.  By now, I realize, that  I do know the difference between “good” and “excellent”, etc. and that is important!  I also know that most judges work at it selflessly and to make a genuine contribution to the art and to the process. All of my comments herein are about the exceptions to the rule and not about the majority of the  judges I’ve known. I’ve decided to give it a go.

Happy birding and carving,  Bill

*If You Enjoy Bird Carving, So Might Your Friends!

How about, you help me and I’ll help both you and your friends! Over the years, more than several of you have steered a friend or two to our classes. Often, they, maybe like yourself, were not either “power-carvers” nor “bird-carvers”.  Soon enough, like yourselves, they were both.  So, just to put the issue on the table, and until further notice, We wish to attract students who have never previously  been enrollees in our classes. We want you to consider if you know someone who hasn’t and invite them to enroll in our classes. All they need to do is check-off on the Class Enrollment Form that “you” are their Referer! That would entitle each of you to a $25.00 reduction in the class fee upon both of your enrollments in the same class. You, would simply check on your own enrollment form that you are refering  “so & so” . This only applies if you are also enrolled in the same class. If you are a visitor to this blog who is not already a “Hamonhaus Carver”, I suggest that you find one, team-up to both benefit from this limited offer. It is hereby in effect for the year 2009.

Happy birding and carving, Bill & June Hamon

*My Great Horned Owl Project Page 1

Great Horned Owl - The Prey's ViewI want to bring your attention to this newly published page on this blog. Go to the list of “Pages” immediately to the right of today’s blog. Click on ” Great Horned Owl Project”. This is a project began and abruptly ended  in 2006. The several pages I’ve posted in the Journal are from 2006 and speak for themselves. I’m in the process of ressurecting this carving and wish to share my sessions on it with my blog-readers, such as yourself. This Owl has been waiting patiently for my return to it. Well, I’m back! Please feel encouraged to comment on the pages in the event you choose to do so. Imput is always helpful. Whether it is on sources of materials, other guidance or on techniques of carving. Be in touch via the “Comment” sections.

Happy birding and carving,  Bill


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