Bill Hamon

Glad that we caught-up with each other.  My up-coming “Summer Class” is the American Kestrel (aka: Sparrow Hawk) and commences on Saturday, July 9th.  The class is full and I’m ready to band-saw the blanks. Only one in the class prefers basswood over tupelo. Myself and the other five will do tupelo. My basswood source is and has been for many years, Heinecke Wood Products in Cumberland, WI.  My tupelo source is and has been for many years, Curt’s Wildfowl Corner in LA.   This will be my 7th Kestrel carving and my 3rd class on it since 1988.

Two years ago, I significantly reduced prices on classes due to the economy. I haven’t returned them to original levels and won’t until further notice, if ever.  A few years ago, a “carving buddy”, Jim Callahan,  gifted me a 10 year-old 40″ wood-latheTurning is a new adventure for me and I’ve only turned out a hand-full of walnut bases for myself and a few of my carving-buddies. A few years ago, a show-judge commented to me (following my blue and red ribbons) that she thought round-walnut- bases are “old-fashioned”!  I, of course, disagreed, as I often do with judges. What else can you expect from an “old-fashioned” codger like me.  Glad to report that I’ll continue to put round walnut bases under many of our bird-carvings. Check them out.

Our next show is one of our very favorites; Sauder Village in Archbold, OH will have their 25th Annual Woodcarver’s Show & Sale on Oct. 29 & 30, 2011. We enjoy this show as one of our most favorite to attend. It’s our only “one-niter” and is like our little vacation “get-away”. A few years ago, we took our church’s seniors, the “OWLs” up in the summer and we all loved the visit.

Our wood-carving classes have undergone several format changes in recent years in my attempt to blend this past-time with our retirements. By the time we decide to finally retire from this wonderful hobby all-together, I expect to have tweaked the format to perfection. Call it “growing-old-pains”.

Maybe these past-changes have worked better for some and less for others. Changes have included a move to Saturday mornings for those troubled by driving after-dark, a decrease from three class-projects to only two, an increase from 10 project sessions to 12,  an increase from 2 to 3 hours of instruction in each session,  steady decreases in total students in each class until we’ve settled on 6 max  and the creation of the free-carve-ins almost every Wednesday during the class-year.

Well, we’re revising again in 2012:  Class sessions are returning to 10 (from 12) because 12 just hasn’t increased the number of times most students attend. When we have more time, we take more time. Only “teacher has to be there all of the time!  Also, Class times are returning to Saturdays, 9a.m.-12p.m. (from 10a.m.-1p.m.). Frequently, carvers must leave early for other week-end appointments or activities.

We hope all will support these changes as you have in the past.

p.s: I recently turned-away a near-by prospective student who saw our Summer Class in “Chip-Chats” due to having 6 already enrolled.

Happy birding and carving,  Bill

Bald Eagle #3

Bald Eagle #3