Woodcarver Ezine
Back Issues
Carvers' Companion Gateway


By Vern Robinson, vernon@tbaytel.net


Editor's Note: WOM contributor Vern Robinson has spent the better part of the last two years developing a half-hour television show centered on woodcarving. Vern provides a update on his progress with A Chip Off The Ol' Block;

Hi I'm Vernon Robinson, the founder of Zephyrn Productions, also the Host and Executive Producer of it's flagship production, A Chip Off The Ol' Block.

For the past two years we have been researching and developing a strong foundation and clear path for this new and exciting proposed television series. Our pilot episode was sent out and was very well received. At present we are completing a re-edit for a distributing company who has shown a keen interest in our show. They believe that it is a very marketable program. An undertaking such as this requires presales before the actual production can begin, so for this reason we must have a great pilot episode for the distributing company to market. In a matter of a couple of weeks the re-edited pilot will be sent out once more, and we think it's great!

The First Season: During the first season of 26 episodes we plan to travel the North American continent profiling individual woodcarvers. Numerous types and styles of woodcarving will be explored. Stories of real people coupled with artistic creations, featuring a diversity of skills and unique expertise will be the substance of each episode. The series will bring television viewers a dynamic and insightful look at the art of woodcarving. Many of the worlds' finest woodcarvers have been in touch with us and are very eager to participate. We will explore the cultural influences that play an important role in this art form.

Selections for the first season have been made and are approximately 60% US content and 40% Canadian content. At present there are approximately 65% male artists and 35% female artists. The show will cover every style and type of carving, from carving in the round to chip carving, relief, chainsaw, power carving, pyrography and much more. We will have artists who carve realistic figures, wildlife, caricatures, representational figures, musical instruments, architectural sculpture, furniture, interpretive, historic family heirlooms, traditional native art and much much more.

A Chip Off the Ol' Block will Inform: Each artist will offer instruction on the how to do and don'ts in working a specific project. Each artist will be asked to share personal tips and trade secrets. Tool safety and maintenance will also be discussed.

A Chip Off the Ol' Block will Inspire: Inspiration comes to people in many ways. The viewers will be introduced to each artist through an intimate profile and interview. This will offer a real life story of how and why the artist became involved in woodcarving. This interaction will make people laugh, marvel, and learn. A personal understanding of each artist, how they came to be on our show, and their personal stories will undoubtedly influence the viewers.

Depending on the project for that week, a variety of other themes will be incorporated. For example, exploring ones creative side can lead to a happier, healthier and fuller life. This will fall under the 'Life Styles' theme. Each episode will address health, fitness, and relationships. In today's world many are searching for alternatives. The art of woodcarving is beneficial to those who suffer from a variety of emotional, mental, spiritual and physical challenges. Exploring one's creative side is therapeutic and healing. This lends itself to more harmonious relationships.

Two other themes, 'Outdoor Leisure Activity', and 'Nature', are naturals for "A Chip Off the Ol' Block". Many of the guests selected for season #1 have strong connections with their local forests and natural surroundings.

A Chip Off the Ol' Block" will Entertain: For those who are looking for more, they have come to the right place. From humorous interactions with the host and his pet dog Zephyr, intimate profiles of the artist and their work, this show will be packed with informative, interesting, and fun moments.

Two episodes will be classified as specials each season. The specials will cover a quality Canadian and American Woodcarving Show. For example, the province of Quebec has a town named Saint-Jean Port Joly. This small community borders the historic St. Lawrence River. They are hosting the 7th Internationale de la Sculpture of St. Jean Port-Joly (Symposium 2001).

The United States provides numerous quality shows. West of the Mississippi, the Great Plains Woodcarving Show held in Wichita, Kansas is featured during the second weekend of April. East of the Mississippi, the Artistry in Wood Show in Dayton, OH, is held during the second weekend in November. Some believe the best show in the world is held right on the shores of the Mississippi River in Davenport, Iowa. The International Woodcarvers Congress is now in its 34th year and is rivaled as the longest running, competitively judged, woodcarving art show in the United States. It is held at the Putnam Museum in Davenport during the third week in June. These are only a few of the many unique opportunities the show will present as specials.

Finally, in terms of 'Life's Entertainment' theme, some episodes will profile well-known Canadian and American celebrities showcasing their personal interests and expertise in the art of woodcarving.

This exciting venture issues a certain statement to the likes of Martha Stewart : "move over baby - we are about to enter the race". Zephyrn Productions rides the cutting edge of multi-media design linking people, their creativity, art and global technology. By zeroing in on existing dichotomies we will bridge the opposing worlds of expressions, facilitating and embracing the resulting synergy. Consider what the root of an old tree has in common with a microchip. What does an 85-year old have in common with an 8-year old? What does a person in Africa have in common with a person in America? A Chip Off The Ol' Block, with its groundbreaking, bridge-building networks, will target individual dreams in a collective spirit.

To keep up-to-date on further developments, visit www.achipofftheolblock.com for more information.