Howard Berger, the original Basswood Man, is celebrating his 95th birthday on Monday the 18th of August. Some of you may know Howard. He’s been in the basswood business for a long time.
If you would like, leave a birthday wish in the comments below. We’ll be sure to pass it along.
Bill Van Every recently ordered a 3/4 inch thick 10×14 plaque and sent this picture of his work. Now that’s a sign a wood carving club can be proud of.
Bill said, “By the way, the piece you sent carved very nicely. Very good basswood”
We attended the Winter Wood Wonders Carving Show in St. Charles, IL and were once again astounded by the quality and variety of the work shown and the enthusiasm of the participants. The ability to imagine an image or figure and then create it is quite an art.
One carver showed me this figure of a dwarf that she had carved from a box of wood she purchased at a fall show last year.
Quite an expression and exquisite detail.
But the most fascinating thing is that the box of wood she purchased was all 1x1x2 inch stock. Below is a full image with a raw block. Notice the size of the weave in the table cloth and the corners of the quart plastic bags of small blocks alongside the image.
Below are a few more things carved from rather small pieces of wood and on display at the show.
Wood spirits are a popular carving project. They express the kind of living thing that the carver finds in the wood.
The little folk with the pointy green hats were inspired by the Ents that were made popular in the Hobbit books. The cabins were also carved from blocks of basswood.
The set of carvings shown below are called Woodhenge after the Stonehenge monument — only he carved if from wood.
You can get a feeling for size by comparison with the tablecloth that it’s sitting on.
We recently got into quite a few slabs for barksides where the bark was damaged by harvesting or handling. We cut some of these into nine inch long chunks and cut away the bad edge.
We used two of pieces a bit like these to make a little knick-knack shelf. Just glued the two together ninety degrees to each other an hung it on the wall. You could make something similar for a coat or hat rack with a couple of pegs or make a soap dish and towel holder for the cabin’s john. You could also glue a couple of the wide ones together on the flat and make your own inexpensive barkside for pictures or such.
These are not sanded out and a few are pretty rough where the planer didn’t clean it up all the way to the edge on the back side. But the price is pretty good when compared to to the price of a rustic whatever in a retail store. And better yet, it will be your own unique creation.
Click on this link to see ’em in the store.
Mary decorated the company sign for fall.
When we got the Basswoodman name from the folks we made Howard sign a five year non-compete agreement.
Maxine and I were visiting with Howard and Sis recently and he said he’d found a nice basswood log and had cut a few ovals for a couple of local craft shows. They both got twinkles in their eyes and Sis said, “Well the five years IS up!”
I ‘spose now we’ll start seeing blocks and stuff with a stamp that says, “THE REAL BASSWOODMAN.”
A while back we sent a box of 2x2x12 basswood to Ralph Beverage, a carver from Maine USA. He liked it a lot and said, “I have carved for many years, and this basswood is wonderful to work with…” Today he ordered a couple more boxes of ’em.
Oh and by the way, Howard is 93 years young Saturday August 18. Happy birthday DAD. And may you be blessed with many more.
Don’t ask me how to play it or even say it but we have a customer making musical instruments from our basswood. He says,
“I make these instruments called kalimba kasters, it’s a cross between an electric guitar and a thumb piano.”
“I’ve found that your basswood has the best tonal characteristics and workability versus other woods. The fact that this wood is also harvested from Wisconsin makes it even better.”
Here’s a link to his website Dich Studios.
Some of you have been asking about buying Basswood online. So we added a store to our website.
Check it out: The Basswood Man Online Shop.
We make really great Basswood blocks, but this Web-Store thing is new for us. So we would really appreciate your reactions to what we’ve got there, your thoughts about what we might add and what we need to change. After all, this is all about bringing you the products and service you want.
To express our gratitude, we’re offering a coupon. When you check out you should see a coupon window. Type in SAVE20, then hit “update”, and you’ll get a 20% discount on the product price of your shopping spree. This coupon should work for a week. (Until July 22, 2012)
There is also a working UPS shipping calculator there so you’ll know exactly what the cost of getting it to you will be.
You can pay through Paypal using your Paypal account or your credit card.
We’ll be adding additional products as time allows.
Thanks and have a great Sunday, Ray
Symptoms: Constantly complains about not having enough carving tools, wood, or sharpening supplies.
Has blank expressions, sometimes deaf to spouse and kids. Frequently reads carving magazines and books.
Hangs out in woodworking stores longer than usual. Makes secret night phone calls to Harold Enlow.
Will share tips and secrets with anyone who asks. Always giving away things that they just carved.
NO KNOWN CURE.
Treatment; Medication is useless. Disease not fatal.
Must attend carving seminars as often as possible.
12-9-09 © Patrick Pelkey
Used by permission at Basswoodman.com
We visited with Scott M Conner at the Indiana show and recently sent him a package of four inch wide by 32 inch long 1/8 inch butternut for his dulcimer manufacturing business. He plans to use these for the face of the instrument.
Scott’s Dulcimers and Bows makes mountain or Appalachian dulcimers. He lists the one in this picture as a T30. It was made from Sitka Spruce. We are anxious to see what he does with our butternut.
He sent a CD of his playing. Maxine and I both think it is fantastic. It looks like Scott is both a fine instrument builder and musician.