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The GOW (Gathering of Woodcarvers)

Our friend, the indefatigueable Joe Dillett, is at it again! With a little help from his friends he is once again hosting a little together for his carving friends at The Carving Shop in Somonauk, IL, September 20th through

After three successful Great Pig Outs Joe has dropped the pig roast, kept all the carving events, and changed the name to the Gathering of Woodcarvers. By my count this is the fourth such event Joe has hosted, so I'm referring to the event at GOW4.

Here's more details from Joe:

What's Happening

There will be a series of woodcarving seminars at The Carving Shop, 645E. LaSalle St, in Somonauk Illinois 60552. Woodcarvers will begin arriving on Monday, September 20th to set up their campsites. Monday evening we begin with a margarita seminar (alcohol and non-alcohol) as a social introductory gathering.

Carving seminars will begin on Tuesday and run through Saturday (including a full day of classes scheduled on Saturday, a change from the GPOs). Some seminars are indoors but most will be under the tents. Weather conditions are generally cool in the evenings and warm during the day. It would be wise to bring warm sweaters or jackets especially for evenings activities.

Camping and lodging

Camping with electricity and some water available for $10.00 a night. Those that don't want to camp are welcome to make their reservations at the Super 8 in Yorkville Illinois (630) 553-1634, about 9 miles from Somonauk. Also Amerihost Inn (815) 895-4979 (about 22 miles) in Sycamore Illinois.

Registration and seminar schedule

The preliminary seminar schedule will be posted soon on the various woodcarving lists, giving the instructors time to meet and organize their individual time slots. Keep an eye on the seminar schedule for changes and new seminars added throughout the week. There will be no signup for seminars. Each seminar is first come first served bases giving each participant an equal opportunity to attend.

The Seminars

There are be about 20 seminars to choose from. There may be a minimal charge for materials and perhaps to cover their expenses for putting on the seminar. An addition registration fee of $5.00, good for the whole week, to help defray the cost of renting tables and chairs. Seminars are scheduled between 8 AM to 5 PM with an hour break for lunch. Each instructor will determine the time and length of their seminar, which may run from 2 hours to 2 days or more.

Preliminary list of instructors.

Sally and David Nye, (Fan Bird carving)

Bob Mau, Facial feature instruction

Ol Don Burgdorf, Carving female characters

Grandpa Dave, Flat Plane carving

Bonnie Graser, Chip Carving

Gordon Sorensen, Fish Decoy (1 day)

Gene Westerberger, Feather carving, burning and painting

Joe Dillett, Sharpening and chisel techniques for right and left hand

Chris Howard, Indian or mountain man bust

Anton (Tony) Erickson, Bark castles

Cathy Krumrei, Carving wooden flowers.

If I forgot anyone or anyone wants to teach please notify Bob Mau <basswood@aol.com>



Meals are the responsibility of the attendees. There are several local restaurants in the area. Potluck (dish to pass or $2) and chili supper, hosted by Craig and Elsa Watson ,($4) will be organized for some evenings. There is a bon fire area for roasting your carvings or hot dogs and such.

Tool Swap

A tool swap is planned for Thursday evening. Bring tools, wood, books and any other items you want to swap. Dig out those old unused tools, books and anything else you think could be swapped for something you need.

Evening activities

A whittling contest is planned for Wednesday evening. Bring your knives sharpened for a fun time. Larry (Big Dog) Yudis will be the judge. This is intended as a fun event not to be taken seriously so beginners as well as experienced are encouraged to join in the fun.

Friday evening music and wiener roast around the bon fire. Bring your non-electrified musical instruments for a jam session for a good time. Hot dogs and buns are furnished. Bring your own refreshments.

Other evening activities such as round-table discussions and demonstrations on sharpening or drawing workshops or showing a woodcarving video are possibilities if there is an interest. These are activities that don't take much planning so if you have an interest in these please let us know.

Have fun

The GOW is an informal event with the purpose of freely sharing information among out woodcarving friends. Our objective is to keep it fun and rewarding for you.


My thanks and gratitude to the instructors who freely share their time and knowledge to promote the art of woodcarving. Without them this could not happen. A special thanks to those who helped me plan and organize the GOW especially Bob Mau (seminar coordinator) and Sandie Roosa (registration, camping, and meal coordinator). A special thanks to my wife Sharon for her support.

Joe Dillett
The Carving Shop
645 E. LaSalle St. Suite 3
Somonauk, IL. 60552
(815) 498-9290 phone
(815) 498-9249 fax