Hidden In The Grain: Woodcarvers reveal their magic at annual show Nov. 6-7

Hidden In The Grain: Woodcarvers reveal their magic at annual show Nov. 6-7
BECCA MARTIN-BROWN
bmartin@nwadg.com

“I remember walking up to a lady and asking her how can someone like me, someone without any art degree of any kind, begin to carve,” Scott Boyle starts his story. “I never carved when I was a kid. I did have a knife, but the only thing I cut was my fingers.

“She told me to get a simple coloring book and trace the outline of the picture with a knife instead of a crayon. It’s just like those 3-D images that you stare at, and within the colors an image forms right before your eyes!”

“I have trouble carving one style,” says Pennie Boyle, a member of the Woodcarvers of Northwest Arkansas. “I work on deep relief carvings, fun caricatures, and woodburning. I get an idea and create my pattern then decide which style it would work best in. I usually have a few research pictures that I use to help me with proportions and layout.” (Courtesy Photo)

From that first experience with relief carving, Boyle now makes not just three-dimensional sculptures from wood but also has recently taken up wood turning, creating wine/whiskey bottle stoppers, key chains, bottle openers, bowls and more on a lathe.

Arguably, the act of creation is not the biggest attraction to Boyle, however. He says the Sunday meetings of the Woodcarvers of Northwest Arkansas are “the one time I get to spend with my friends and family doing something we all enjoy — sitting together doing a craft we all like.”

“There is no TV or radio, but there is coffee, snacks, laughter and different colors and shapes of wood chips on tables and on the floor,” he says. “Rain or shine we are at the Foxfire building in Rogers, carving — or even wood-burning — a masterpiece.”

It doesn’t hurt that Boyle’s wife Pennie is there beside him. She’s been carving since she was a 12-year-old in Des Moines and, after a foray into clay sculpture, came back to carving in her late 20s. “After many years I eventually found my own style of woodcarving,” she says.

“At the carving meetings, we enjoy seeing what each carver is working on and watching their progress,” she explains. “It’s also a time to get suggestions and input on the process, or help new carvers with instruction from more experienced carvers. [And] cookies and coffee are always a bonus!”

Then, when it’s time for the Woodcarvers’ annual show — which is Nov. 6-7 this year — “my parents, husband and I always seem to have a carving or two to compete against each other.”

“You know, I have attended several shows lately because of competition and being a tool vendor,” adds Scott Boyle, who is the show chairman. “The thing I enjoy about attending a show is the people. Walk up to a woodcarver and ask them about their work, and they will tell you what inspires them, their visions, [and] the crisp colors to the dull colors that are painted will tell you something. Our hope is to show the public carving is fun, and you can carve practically anything. There are so many mediums available from stone, antler, bone, wood, acrylic, soap, potatoes, pumpkins, leaves, plastic, nuts, etc.”

Scott Boyle has also taken up woodturning and says he is taking a class with the Stateline Woodturners on designing and turning his first segmented wooden bowl. (Courtesy Photo)

“Also we get carvers from other clubs in surrounding areas and get to share their carvings,” his wife puts in. “We also have a judged show, which is fun competition for everyone.”

“You know, it is fun competing against her,” Scott Boyle adds. “She has been carving for much longer than me, about 30-plus years, [so] it is a challenge. She is the one that has carved in different mediums, and her paintings are stunning.”

The Boyles agree that visitors to this year’s event — the 41st for the organization — can expect to see a wide variety of wood creations, but they both share one single goal.

“We hope to get people interested in the art of carving and to come join us,” says Pennie Boyle.

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FAQ

Woodcarvers of NWA

Annual Show & Sale

WHEN — 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 6 & 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 7

WHERE — Frisco Station Mall in Rogers (use the entrance near Hobby Lobby)

COST — Admission is free; art will be for sale

INFO — Email Scott Boyle at sdascoot62@hotmail.com

FYI — Special guests include judge Danny Rebb from Texas and vendors Bigfoot Carving Tools, Roger Stegall, Loess Hill Sawmill and Working the Grain.

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