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Stuart Johnson, Deseret Morning News
Bob Dailey gives 9-year-old Coulson Boggess some pointers on carving. Coulson is learning the art of woodcarving.

PROVO — Although their reasons for belonging to the Utah Valley Woodcarvers Club are varied and their goals differ, there's one thing the carvers have in common.

They love working with wood and creating interesting, original sculptures — from Santa in his long johns to a frog on the wall to delicately hued songbirds.

Susan Hendrix carves, teaches carving and writes about carving.

Dale Taylor does intarsia, where the sculptor prepares the pieces and then puts the sculpture together like a puzzle. Working from his wheelchair, he's created small raccoons that sell for $150 a piece. He routinely earns a Best of Division prize in the expert category at shows.

Clyde Ward just started figuring out what to do with the air-driven power tool his wife gave him for Christmas. He carves bone, eggshells, driftwood, metal, whatever he can find. He particularly likes to carve wildlife scenes on a set of deer or elk antlers.

"She got me the tool and hasn't seen me since," he jokes. "I can sit down and start carving and time just flies."

JoAnn Boggess bought a drill for her 9-year-old son, Coulson, and hired club president Bob Dailey to teach him the basics.

Now he's busily carving a small hippopotamus and an alligator out of small blocks of pine.

"I've been surprised. He'll sit down and work at this for a while," said his mother. "And now his sister wants a pocket knife."

Hendrix said her mother was a woodworker, so she grew up assuming everybody's mother did the same. She majored in industrial arts and woodworking at Brigham Young University and teaches classes at her home and at the Treeline store in Provo.

"I've been carving for about 20 years," she said. "It's something I can take wherever I go."

Royann Baum is a professional watercolor artist who discovered woodcarving and now turns out songbirds and fish that sell for a nice price.

"For me, it's not a hobby," said Baum.

She does wooden eagles for her grandsons as they achieve their Boy Scout Eagle rank, but generally she prepares items for sale.

Baum draws her own patterns and carves and paints her sculptures with great care. The red cardinal in her collection even has the tiny edge feathers and the dark wingtips.

"I start with a wash and layer the bird in color," she said. "I try to have all my birds worked out like this one."

P.J. Peery is a member of the club and an employee of Treeline. He says woodcarving is easy to get into and relatively cheap to do. A basic set of woodworking tools only costs about $100, and the possibilities are limited only the imagination.

"It's just one of those addictive habits. We see a lot of people tired of television soap operas who come in and get excited with this. It's really amazing," Peery said. "It's like a grown-up's candy store."

Peery said the "Wood Sculpture Show and Competition" on Oct. 12 and 13 will feature more than 250 pieces with everything from hand-carved furniture to small figures.

Hendrix will teach a three-hour class each day on carving (the first project is a snowman, the next day's project is a Santa Claus).

There will also be live bald, golden and raptor eagles displayed at the show by Ben Woodruff between 10:30-11:30 Saturday.

If you go . . .

What: "Second Annual Wood Sculpture Show and Competition"

Where: VFW Hall, 386 N. Main, Spanish Fork

When: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Oct. 12; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 13

Cost: $2/children 12-under free

To enter a project: bring it to the VFW Hall between 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Oct. 11. $5 entry fee.

E-mail: [email protected]