Archive for November, 2009

*Just Checking In!

Bill & June

It seems like our “Holiday Season” actually kicks-off each year on June’s birthday, October 9th and doesn’t end until the new year begins.  June harbored an aprehension as a youth and as a young woman that she wouldn’t live beyond the age of 40!  she recalled that premenition, when at that age, she battled cancer and won!  We’ve been celebrating each of her birthdays with vigor, ever since (about  30 years now and counting).  We both kind of wrap ourselves in  the presence and love of our family and friends. We celebrated Thanksgiving at daughter Michelle’s home.  All of our immediate family were there with rare exception, plus a few new faces.  Growing and merging families transform “what was” into “what is”!  Michelle has certainly inherited her mother’s sense of hospitality and styleThe food  was perfecto!  As usual, son Rick and his family drove up from KY which he does faithfully at nearly every opportunity.  So, that’s where we now find ourselves. June commenced the decorating ritual here at das Hamonhaus yesterday afternoon by assigning me to carry the decor-laden boxes into our house from the garage.  That includes the Christmas Tree, which is now lighted & standing sentinel in it’s regular place in the Great Room.  Much more work to go; always done by June. She’s done the heavy-lifting on seeing the work through on all-holiday decorating every year for nearly a half-of-a-century.   As for woodcarving & painting, she’s nearing the end of a series of painting-sessions involving two student’s Ring-necked Pheasants.  I have only three more Thursday Carve-Ins to do for our students, ending on December 17th.  That’s when we happily commence our Winter Hiatus.  That means that our scheduled classes are over for the winter and our freed-up-schedule will include some carving and some “get-aways” hopefully, such as Florida in February.  Most immediate among the carving-projects, will be to post blog articles and photos on the “Bill’s Special Projects” page for the progressive work on the various carvings of the  Bald Eagle #2, Red-tailed Hawk #3 and Great Horned Owl #1. These are not actually Class Projects although the hawk  started out as one.  I hope to attack these in earnest very soon. If you are on our Woodcarver’s E-Mailing List, watch for our next notice to arrive in mid-February for the Spring Class on the Red-headed Woodpecker.  If not, why don’t you e-mail your e-address to  me or do whatever it takes, right now.   I’ll try to keep the blog and the Calender of Events current at all times this winter. Keep in touch.  In closing from June and myself, may you personally, as well as your families enjoy a Blessed  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year .

Happy birding and carving,  Bill 

Bald Eagle #3


*1993 Eagle #2 Project Page 2

Bill & June, Wildfowl Artists

Well, I’ve been examining the 16 year-old remains of an “aborted” Bald Eagle #2 Project.  It was started in November, 1993 and roughed-out nicely.  I can’t even recall why or exactly when that I set-it on the shelf unfinished. As mentioned on the previous installment of this series, I assisted via teaching, the carving of another 1/4 scale Bald Eagle by Elaine Rasp.  As I’ve previously stated in this blog, Elaine’s Eagle  turned-out beautifully. It moved me to find my old-project on the shelf.  I’m now in the process of  picking-up where I left-off on Eagle #2  16 years ago.  Of course, Eagles # 1 & #3 are completed. consider #2 to be properly dusted-off and not worse for any wear. Following are the component parts of this Eagle as it exists today.  We’ll go back to these components as I pick them up and carve in future segments of this series. I hope you check-in from time-to-time. 

Walnut base with bottom section of carved-base affixed with screws & glue

Upper-section of carved-base with metal leg-rods inserted & glued

Upper & lowers sections of carved base dowelled & glued together

Two legs carved to fit on upper-carved base

Legs drilled & slid onto leg-rods

So far, so good!

Eagle's body has drilled leg-holes for the leg-rods & legs to fit into

Eagle's beak is carved open. A tongue will be inserted later

Top of tail includes the feather & quill lay-out

Bottom of tail has the feather & quill lay-out

All components assembled except the wings

Top & bottom views of wings & partial feather lay-out
This carving was last worked-on by me, when I was a  54 year-old  wannabee-bird-carver/teacher who had only been carving about 5 years at that time. I used the one & only Foredom Flexible -Shafted Grinder that was given to me by that very first class that I taught (a Bluejay) in 1988.  I was also using an Optima 2 Micro-Motor at that time.  As luck would have it, the Eagle #2 carving must now be completed by a 70 year-old  still-a-wannabee-carver using a much older (tho the same one)Foredom Flexible -Shafted Grinder and a pretty-old Foredom Micro-Motor.  Luckily, I have a few more techniques today to lay-on this bird than I had back in 1993!  I hope that you can check-back soon to see what I decide to do next to this bird. 
Happy birding and carving,   Bill 


Bald Eagle #3






*1993 Eagle #2 Project (Resumed) Page 1

Commenced project November, 1993

A dilemma of the Carving Teacher is his Class Schedule.  To prepare for the next class project, the teacher must sometimes set-his own carving aside in-order to prepare for the next scheduled project.  This is certainly true of this ol’ Carvingmeister.  I have shelves crowded with almost forgotten and half-completed bird-carvings. I harbor a confidence about them all that tells me that they will turn-out much better for their wait!  Hopefully, I tend to improve a-bit with each piece that I do.  The piece (Eagle #2, piece #82) in question today was commenced by me in November, 1993.  This  happens to be exactly one year after doing Eagle #1, piece #81 and exactly 14 years before doing Eagle #3, piece #149.  Both Eagles #1 and #3 have won 2-Blue Ribbons each for being 1st Place in their categories and 1-Red Ribbon each for being 2d.  So today, I’ve dusted-off the Eagle #2 and intend to pursue it’s completion starting NOW!  What better time to do so?  Our Winter Hiatus period is at hand and I’m a-bit inspired and motivated. Who knows when this “perfect-storm” might occur again?  The “inspired part partially comes from watching a student carve qtr-scaled Bald Eagles for sons who are Eagle Scouts.  She name is Elaine Rasp,  a member of the Cincinnati Carving Guild.  Her Eagle #1 is a “stunner” and her 2d is underway to arriving at the same or better level. I got to watch her progress as her teacher. So, back to my old/new project, Eagle #2; it’s also  qtr-scaled,open-winged Bald Eagle , standing 16″ tall. The walnut base is 9 3/4″ wide by 7″ deep. The Wings, tail  and feet will be carved.  Individual flight-feathers will not!  These and the glass eyes will be inserted.  You can follow it’s step-by-step progress on this blog under the categorie “Bill’s  Special  Projects”. As you may watch, your imput, comments, questions, suggestions, etc. are encouraged.  

 Happy birding and carving.


*Artistry in Wood Show Signals the End of Our 2009 Season

AIW 2009

Well, the “chill’s on the pumpkin” a little!  We felt that this show is the “Must Do” show among the five shows we’ve done this year.  It’s the largest one that we do or that we’ve ever done. We feel that a significant improvement this year was the Judging Format.  No, we don’t get to observe the Judges in action. We do know though when we’re uncomfortable about  the traditional delays associated with having to wait receive the announcement to go to the judging-area to pick-up our carvings. In the past, it is inevitable that they’d not finish their chores until “late” on Saturday. meaning, that competitors “best stuff” is hidden from the public behind the curtains of the judging area.  This year was much better. We were summoned to pick-up our pieces soon after arriving on Saturday.  This year’s  Judges literally worked into the wee hours the previous evening and picked up the task very early Saturday.  Kudos to everyone associated with this degree of comitment and toil.  Although we failed to garner a ribbon, we feel that those who truly deserved those honors were properly selected by these qualified judges.  I don’t even know who they were.  Special Kudos to Chairman Sandy Czajka for doing a yeoman’s job.  She was everywhere doing her job. Also evident were many volunteers helping her..  Thanks  Sandy for your contribution and special congrats as well on winning your well-deserved Best of Show Ribbon. The crowds of public attending the show seemed to be huge!  We were gratified to pick-up about a dozen new carvers on our e-mailing list. This is the primary way that our students find us and get on our E-Mail-List.  Our Thursday “Carve-In Schedule” continues  through December 17th.   Don’t think that we shut-down carving all winter; just our schedule to teach. We have much to work on and to complete. Our 2010 Season traditionally  begins at the Middletown, OH  Valley Woodcarver’s  Show, the first weekend of March. Also traditionally, we commence our Spring Class sessions the following weekend.  The Thursday Carver-Ins also commence at that time.  From next month until March, 2010, we’ll be on our Winter Hiatus.  In the meantime, please keep those bird-feeders filled!  Also, forward your contact info to us if you wish to be on our E-Mail Class Notification List for future notices. We try to not send Snail Mail anymore.

Happy birding and carving,   Bill

*A Military Tribute by the 10 Tenors: “Heres to the Heroes”


The Ten Tenors …. Beautiful  and will only
take a minute of your  time to watch.

It will remind you of why America is a Great  Nation.
God bless those that serve…Amen!


Happy birding and carving, Bill

Semper Fi

*It’s called “Christmas” with a capital “C”!

Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner! It's never too early to consider the true meaning that Christmas has for Believers. Let's all embrace our faith and our convictions. Don't allow the "Political Correctness" of others rule your life. Be kind to all and true to your own conscience. All people are individuals and I'll regard them accordingly. Goodwill and Peace on Earth.

Happy birding and carving, Bill



*Obviously why they’re called “Warbirds”

  This came from a gent who runs a 2000 acre corn farm up round Barron, WI not far from Oshkosh. He used to fly F-4Es and F-16s for the Guard and participated in the first Gulf War. Submitted for your enjoyment, and as a reminder that there are other great, magnificent flyers around besides us.  


Bill & June, Wildfowl Artists

A Great “Aviation” Story

I went out to plant corn for a bit to finish a field before tomorrow morning and witnessed The Great Battle. A Golden Eagle – big bird, about six foot wingspan – flew right in front of the tractor. It was being chased by three crows that were continually dive bombing it and pecking at it. The crows do this because the eagles rob their nests when they find them. At any rate, the eagle banked hard right in one evasive maneuver, and then landed in the field about 100 feet from the tractor. This eagle stood about 3 feet tall. The crows all landed too and took up positions around the eagle at 120 degrees apart, but kept their distance at about 20 feet from the big bird. The eagle would take a couple steps towards one of the crows and they’d hop backwards and forward to keep their distance. Then the reinforcement showed up.  I happened to spot the eagle’s mate hurtling down out of the sky at what appeared to be approximately Mach 1.5. Just before impact the eagle on the ground took flight, (obviously a coordinated tactic; probably pre-briefed) and the three crows which were watching the grounded eagle, also took flight thinking they were going to get in some more pecking on the big bird. The first crow being targeted by the diving eagle never stood a snowball’s chance in hell. There was a mid-air explosion of black feathers and that crow was done. The diving eagle then banked hard left in what had to be a 9G climbing turn, using the energy it had accumulated in the dive, and hit crow #2 less than two seconds later. Another crow dead. The grounded eagle, which was now airborne and had an altitude advantage on the remaining crow, which was streaking eastward in full burner, made a  short dive then banked hard right when the escaping crow tried to evade the hit. It didn’t work–crow #3 bit the dust at about 20 feet altitude. This aerial battle was better than any air show I’ve been to, including the war birds show at Oshkosh! The two eagles ripped the crows apart and ate them on the ground, and as I got closer and closer working my way across the field, I passed within 20 feet of one of them as it ate its catch. It stopped and looked at me as I went by and you could see in the look of that bird that it knew who’s Boss of  the Sky. What a beautiful bird! I love it. Not only did they kill their enemy, they ate them.  

Ray Allenton


Happy birding and carving,   Bill



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