Columbus Chippers create wooden wonders

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Lorrie Cecil/ThisWeekNEWS
Loren Black works on his carving of a wooden gunduring a meeting of the Columbus Chippers at the Whetstone Community Center in Clintonville. The Central Ohio Wood Carving Show & Sale will be held from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at the center.

The members of the Columbus Chippers wood-carving club, now in its 40th year, are slowly but surely reviving the tradition of holding a show and sale in the fall.

The club used to have a large event every year, but that got too costly to put on and, coupled with dwindling membership, the events went on hiatus for a period, said current President Paul Herbeck of Clintonville.

A small show, without the sale of the sometimes-elaborate artwork, was held last year, and the results were encouraging enough that the Chippers decided to do it again this year -- and to include the opportunity for attendees to purchase pieces that catch their fancy.

The Central Ohio Wood Carving Show and Sale is set from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Whetstone Community Center, 3923 N. High St.

Those unfamiliar with just how accomplished some carvers of wood can be are in for an eye-opener, Herbeck said.

"I think people are really fascinated to see what people do in wood," he said.

"They're going to see all sorts of different styles of carving," said Chippers member Lorene "Lori" Andrews of Westerville. "There are different disciplines of carving."

"Of course, a lot of them want to know, 'Well, how do you do that?' and 'How long does that take?' " Herbeck said.

Some people also will want to know how they can learn to carve, and club members are more than happy to provide the answer, he said.

The Columbus Chippers meet on Wednesday mornings at the Whetstone Community Center, and people interested in finding out what woodcarving is all about are always invited, Herbeck said.

Membership in the Chippers has dwindled of late to about three dozen members, he added, so new carvers are eagerly recruited.

"They come from all over," Herbeck said of club members. "We've got some members from Delaware, out west, out east, down south."

"Like any hobby, it can be done very simply or it can be done with very elaborate tools," Andrews said. "Most people start with the knife, and that's probably the easiest way to get started."

Andrews, a graduate of the Columbus College of Art and Design, is the exception to that rule.

She started using rotary tools from the start of her woodcarving career, and now has "close to 300 bits that do pretty much what I want them to do."

"I started out doing basic carving with just one knife," Herbeck said, "and it went from there. You can do a lot with simple tools."

"A lot of times, people have thought about it or even had someone in their family in the past who did it, but it's not taught in school," Andrews said. "By seeing all different aspects of carving, from the fairly simple carving all the way up to the more elaborate, maybe you're inspired."

Herbeck said admission to the Oct. 13 show is free, and 10 percent of all sales will be donated to the Whetstone Community Center.