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Artistry in Wood 2007

By Jim Moser

The 26th annual Artistry in Wood Show, presented by the Dayton Carvers Guild, was held November 10 and 11, 2007 at the Dayton International Airport Exposition Center.  Saturday’s weather was beautiful, with rain and thunderstorms on Sunday.  But no matter the weather, the over 4,000 visitors viewed some of the nation’s best in woodcarvings and woodworking.  The 300 spaces at the show held 188 woodcarvers and woodworkers, and 31 commercial vendors for a total of 219 exhibitors.  The Dayton Carvers Guild hosts one of the top shows in the nation, drawing the finest artisans and craftsmen from 22 states to exhibit and compete.

Special Exhibit

The  Special Exhibit at AIW was an collection of Antique Carrousel Animals provided for exhibit by a local collector.  The collection consisted of seven animals from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s including a Dentzel Muller, Loof and Parker which were very well appreciated by the viewing public.


Tucked in the front of the Exposition Center is the area where free demonstrations are Saturday and Sunday. Each demonstration packed the house and some had standing room only. Lecture/demonstrations included:

  • Joe Schumacher, who provided a demonstration on how to render hands realistically
  • Rick Jensen carved a whimsical house in cottonwood bark
  • Keith Howard showed his process for carving a tree spirit face in found wood
  • Everett Ellenwood demonstrating how to sharpen carving tools; he advocates sharpening tools only by hand
  • Bob Stadtlander relief carved a water wheel alongside a mill house.
  • Lynn Doughty showed how he carves a horse for a caricature carving;  he even had a skull to show what’s under the skin because that’s what you are carving

Ornament Carving Contest

On Saturday, a Christmas ornament carving contest was held.  All carvers started their projects at their booths, carving for two hours.  They completed the ornaments during the last hour in the entrance area, where it became a real attraction.  Judges for the contest included Tom Brown, Ed Gallenstein and Steve Hedrick.  Winning the first place ribbon was Edgardo Postestades of Taylor Michigan. Robert Stadtlander of Wellsville, New York received second and Bob Biermann of St. Louis, Missouri took home third place.
Cane Presentation

On Friday night, a sneak preview was held for supporters of the United Rehabilitation Services of Greater Dayton.  At this preview Dayton Carvers Guild President, Judy York made a presentation of 16 Eagle Head canes.  The canes were carved by members of the Dayton Carvers Guild and given to Mark Frazee, Chief -Voluntary Services for the Department of Veterans Affairs, who will forward them to our deserving veterans.


Our dedicated judges this year were Pete Ortel, Rick Jensen, and Robert Guge for woodcarving entries.  Robert Hornung, Jim McCann and Earl Richards judged the woodworking entries.

Woodcarving Division

  • Best of ShowCharlie Smalligan for “Horseplay”
  • Second Best of ShowDavid Boone for “Let’s Dance”
  • Third Best of ShowWayne Smith for “Native Spirit”

Woodworking Division

  • Best of Show - Boris Khechoyan
  • Second Best of Show - Robert Millard
  • Third Best of Show - Gary Vance

A special thank you goes to Cy Byrd who designed and produced the beautiful Best of Show trophies for both woodcarving and woodworking. The trophies were sponsored by Jim and Judy Moser.

Special Awards

Deitz Family Award for Religious, realistic/stylized (any finish) First and second place went to Chris Howard of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, third place went to Glen Maynard of New Plymouth, Ohio.

Moore rough-out award is presented for rough-out or instructor assisted projects.  Winning in the Human Figure, any finish category was Bruce Henn of Troy, Ohio. In the Animal, any finish category was Sandy Czajka of Troy, Ohio.

Whittlin’ Jack Williams award, sponsored by Bruce Henn and established in 1992 by Jack’s widow Betsy Williams Greer, honors the late Whittlin’ Jack Williams.  First place went to Bob Stadtlander of Wellsville, New York. Second place went to Don Mertz of Wilmington, Ohio, with Jim O’Harra of Grove City, Ohio taking third place.

Walter Grether Award for Stylized carving was established in 2001 through an endowment by his family in honor of him and his carving style.  Jim Willisof Kansas City, Missouri won the award this year.

Young Carvers Award is a special category open to anyone under the age of 16, who need not be an exhibitor to enter. Again this year Fox Chapel Publishing sponsored this award. Cheryl Dow presented the winner with an Optima Burner. The winner in this category was Samantha Logan of Dayton, Ohio.

Closing Banquet

The Saturday night banquet was well attended and the raffle prizes were desired by everyone in attendance.  Everyone entering the banquet drew a number to be used to claim their door prize at the conclusion of the banquet.  An exiting part of the dinner is the raffle which has many prizes but one outstanding one, which is the $500.00 Woodcraft gift certificate, won this year by Karen Christian, Dayton, OH.  Woodcraft has been a loyal supporter of Artistry In Wood for many years and their support is sincerely appreciated.

A very special part of the evening was the presentation of the Ron Ryan Award, presented each year at the Dayton Carvers Guild’s Artistry in Wood Show to one who may or may not be an accomplished woodcarver, but one in the carving world who typifies and demonstrates the ideals that Ron exemplified, the ideals of giving one’s self, expressing goodwill, and exerting the extra effort needed to promote these qualities in one’s own community and throughout the woodcarving word in general. Don Worley presented this years’ Ron Ryan Award to Bob Guge.

Again this year the evening was topped off with the presentation of a $5000.00 check to Dennis Grant of United Rehabilitation Services, our charity of choice. The money is spent to further the progress of helping children and adults with disabilities in the Dayton area.

A special thank you to Jack and Carole Williams of Sun City West, Arizona, for dedicating their weekend to taking such fantastic pictures of the show for use in this article and on our web site.

Mark your calendar to attend our next show on November 8 and 9, 2008 at the Dayton International Airport Exposition Center.  The Exposition Center is just off I-75 at Exit #64, Northwoods Boulevard.  We welcome large groups to our show.  However you plan on attending our show, you will be pleased to see the wonderful exhibits of Artistry in Wood. They will carve a big impression on your life.

To visit the AIW '07 Photo Gallery - click HERE


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