Group Project "Hillbilly Reunion"

This group project is open to members of the Woodcarving Illustrated magazines Message Board. It is a project that will result in a scene(s) composed of wood carvings by members of the Message Board.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Back Panels for the Scene

Those who have followed this project on the WoodCarving Illustrated (WCI) message board may recall that member,Ron Davidson is carving the background panels for the Hillbilly Reunion scene. As you can see from the photos of some of Ron's work, he is an exceptional wood carver. Ron lost his eye sight seven years ago. These two photos are examples of Ron's exceptional talent.

Ron, and his carving, has been featured in numerous news articles, WCI, MSN, and Reuters.
Ron will use specially designed templates that are being made by "Ashby" (West Virginia Wood Arts) from the WCI Message Board. The back panel will be carved in Spanish Cedar.
Keep checking back, for more progress reports.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Latest Information

First of all, I need to thank everyone for the response to this project. It's a great example of the varied talents and levels of experience of folks who participate in the forum. Once the project is completed I know you all will be proud of it. I think we will have met our goals.Now, after talks with WCI and Goody, we need to pull back a bit and see where we are. As much as we would like to keep on getting and including carvings from more and more folks we need to consider some realities. First and perhaps most important is the size of the display. The completed display/scene will have to fit into a space no wider than 4 feet. The weight of the display must also be considered, as it will be shipped here and there. This means that we will evaluate what we have and what is on its way, then see if we just have to have anything else. So unless we specifically request a carving, we will have to go with what we have. Keep on checking the Blog for further information.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hillbilly Reunion -Hand-off Completed!

Yep! That's Goody. And I can report that the hand off of the Hillbilly Reunion farm house and carvings has been a complete success.
Goody will now integrate what we have into the planned display for WCI. And if there are any out there who do not know Goody, I can assure you that the project is in excellent hands. In fact I stood at Goody's shop with Goody and Anna, and was in complete awe. Seldom have I been privileged to meet such a talented team of crafts folk. Goody's genius with all things mechanical, may be surpassed by Anna's painting. And I have not even mentioned the Carved Santa's, that are Goody's trademark. I must truly come up with an excuse for another road trip; with more time to sit and do some serious whittlin.

I am still receiving some carvings, and look forward to receiving them. These carvings will be forwarded to Goody. As we move towards completion of this project we will identify the need for some additional, and specific carvings that will enhance what we already have.....Keep checking the blog.....

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Road Trip!

It's time! Time to get the maps out, the van dusted off, and the gas tank filled. I'll be driving the Hillbilly Reunion carvings and farm house to Goody's this week. Got my map out, checked it; then checked with Goody. Goody said it was a straight shot and should not be hard to do. Just follow I 70 from Ohio to Maryland, get on I 695, get off at exit 12A to Southwestern blvd, to Route 1, then 3 more in town turns and I'm at his shop. Sounds purty simple to me. Then why did I check out MAPQUEST? MAPQUEST says it takes 27 different turns and exits, etc. What a joke! I'll just follow Goody's directions. I suspect it'll take around 7 1/2 hours. It's about 450 miles.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sneaky Photo Preview!

This photo was posted on the message board/forum in response to what size the front porch is. Since I posted the photo there, I might as well post it here too. The porch is 6 inches deep, 8 inches high, and 24 inched in width. I also have a screen door, if I ever get it completed. The plans now is to transport the farm house and the carvings to Goody in a couple of weeks. Goody will work the whole thing into a display.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


The Hillbilly farm house is complete. At the present Goody and I will arrange a date for me to drive the farm house and the carvings to his place in Maryland. We hope to be able to have Ashby get together with us also, to begin on the background templates for Ron.

I know I promised photos, but the thought occurred to me that it might be better to wait until the whole scene is completed. Any thoughts on this?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Hillbilly Reunion Latest Progress

I have made lots of barns to scale. I have always tried for squareness and clean lines. But some how all of that does not seem realistic for our hillbilly farm house. The hillbilly farm house needs to be uneven, leaning in all directions, not square, and generally worn out looking. This type of construction is all new to me. My challenge now is to take the farm house and make it look like its 100 years old, and near total collapse. But still be strong enough to withstand packing and shipping. Photos coming!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Progress Report

Well, it's past the fun stage now. The fun stage was receiving every ones carvings, and fitting them into a scene. We have said that we would place the carvings in and around a farm house with a porch across the front of it. I am now about to begin the farm house. I have a set of drawings that a generally to the correct scale. The house will be composed of three sub assemblies; 1) porch, 2) first floor house, and 3) the second 1/2 story and roof.These sub assemblies will be made so to fit together in a shipping box. The construction will be a kind of post and beam setup. Over this post and beam setup will be 1/4 th inch birch plywood. The plywood sides of the house will be tooled to resemble vertical planks, and stained to a weathered look. The roof will either be a tin standing seam, or shakes.

More later........

Friday, April 16, 2010

Preliminary Timeline

Just a few more weeks until we take a serious look at the carvings received for the "Hillbilly Reunion" scene. The main purpose of this "look-see" will be to determine two things:

1. Type and size of scene/display needed to support the carvings,
2. Additional carvings to request,
3. Background panels to be designed and carved.

The quality of the carvings received so far is outstanding. We have received carvings from very experienced carvers and beginners alike. Whether the carving is a banjo player or a moon shine jug; both are exceptional. This display will represent the talents of all members of the WCI Forum.

PRELIMINARY TIME LINE (first go round)

1. Carvings received (end of April 2010)
2. Carvings cataloged (photo + description, carver), (2nd week May)
3. Photos and sizes sent to Goody and Thomp (2nd week May)
4. Received carvings studied to determine scene specs and additional carvings necessary. (3rd week May)
5. Request specific, additional carvings (3rd week May)
6. Scene and display structures determined and planned.
7. Background panels planned and begin to carve.
8. Scene and display structures built.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Up Date!

These are the carvings that we have so far. As I receive the carvings I'll just add the carvers name and a description of the carving(s).

Jug Blower - Jeff Bailey
Cow - Mike Sullivan (Breezly)
Lady Wood Splitter - Gene Messer
Banjo Player - Tom Ellis
Dog plus 6 pups - Wayne Smith (Soggy)
Standing Man - Herb Johnson
2 Cats - Brian Rickman
Pump, bath tub, wash board, bucket, cracker barrel, shovels, broom, rake, wash tub - L. Miller
Boy with slingshot, dog and skunk - Claude Freaner
Harmonica player _ Gilles Caron
Rooster - LBlake
Moon Shine Jugs, Yard Flamingos - Eric Oswandel (Midnight Carver)
Jail Bird Out! Girl on Log, Log with Boy in it, Barrel - Dan Slater
Two Dogs - Kent Wilkins (Slowmover)
Carved Outhouse - F. Pace
Mule, 2 wheel cart + girl driving the cart - Sam Carnes
Laying down, sleepin hillbilly with jug - Jim Arnold
Girl with pie, Gal with shotgun, guy with fishing pole - Dileon
Beer tree with raccoons & boy stuck in tree - Kris Brown
Moonshine jug on tree stump - Stephen Wood (Trout Bum)
"Cow-waw-sockie" - Earl Benton
Girl in red sweater (Sue Ann) - Fred Krafton (
Old truck - Robert Cahill
Pigs head, turkeys, platters - Sam Carnes
Moonshine jugs, flamingos - Eric Oswandel
Pies, cake, cookies - Steve Nordboig (Ripton)

This posting is more of an information post for the carvers who sent a carving, to let them know it arrived. And speaking of carvings, they are absolutely first rate. We will all be proud to have been a part of this group project. Remember, we're shooting for the end of April to have the carvings sent in. Scene/display design and construction will begin the first part of May.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Next Step!

Since I am not at my home, I have made arrangements for my neighbor to collect all "Reunion" carvings mailed to me, and hold them until I return home April 7th.

As soon as I open the mailed carvings, I'll record the carver's name, and photograph the carving. I will next share the photographs with "Goody", and start a dialog with him about possible scenes, backdrops (Relief Carvings), and display construction.

Next, it would seem appropriate to discuss any additional carvings that may be needed for a selected scene(s).

Suggestions and comments called for..

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Claude's Little Drama

I sure can see this "little drama" in any hillbilly scene.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

How's The Carving Coming?

Some of the participants have shared their progress regarding their carvings for the "Hillbilly Reunion" group project. Use the comments section here to share your comments and progress. Should you have a photo of your progress, or completed carving that you want to share, just let me know (or send it to me in an e mail).

Saturday, March 6, 2010

First photos!

Here's the first photo of a submission for the Hillbilly Reunion group project. "Soggy" carved this dog and her pups.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Who's Carvin What!

A review of the WCI Message Board posts under "Group Project" resulted in the following members listing what they will carve:

jmischel: one or two goats
Dan S: couple of kids playing on a hollow log
gtech: hillbilly harmonica player
breezly: cow
Soggy: dog and six pups
brushpilecarvings: a few animals
Midnight Carver: two jugs
happyhal: wash tub and wash board
sccarnes: Shannon as a hillbilly
LBlake: rooster and sleeping dog
urawyo: standing adult male
Jim Arnold: adult male laying down
Slowmover: hounds running/treeing a coon
LMiller: hand pumped waterspout, bath tub, shovel, broom, barrel, bucket
Dileon: ladt with blackbird pie
fpace: outhouse
chuckbolton: cow
Claude: puppy barking at skunk
Tom Ellis: banjo player
Gene Messer: Hill woman chopping wood

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Project Launch Data

Seems like we have a launch. And it seems like it's time (maybe past time) for some more details. I have been reading all posts and noted all ideas that have been mentioned. I hope the following details reflect these ideas and suggestions. I think we have to continue to be flexible and open to new ideas as we move along. We can make any further adjustments as we go.

To move this project forward here's what I propose:

1. Those WCI Message Board Members who want to participate post on the message board a description of what they want to carve. If you have an idea of a smaller drama within a scene, you should describe it. If you will carve the whole "drama" say so, or if there are parts that someone else can carve, say so.

2. I'll keep track of what's being carved and by whom. I'll do this on this Blog.

3. Folks should check the Blog for these listings, and see if there is a part of a scene that they would want to carve.

4. After posting what you are carving (on the WCI Message Board), complete the carving, sign it and send it to me along with the following written information:
Your name
E Mail address
If your carving is part of a little drama/scene

***You'll have PM me for my address. Sorry, but I didn't put the correct change into a toll basket on the OK toll road, and they may be after me. No sense telling them where I am.

5. At this point, if you wish to post your finished carving on the Message Board, go for it. This will only generate more interest.

6. I will collect the carvings, and photograph them for the record.
After accumulating some carvings we can attempt to place them into any scenes, or little dramas within scenes. A determination of additional pieces needed to complete a scene will be made.

7. A listing of these additional needs will be posted, and perhaps some "invitations" to carve them will be sent.

8. At this point I think we can begin to finalize the plans and begin the actual construction of the scene elements.

Lots are asking about a "deadline", but since we are going to be working to develop several scenes, there may have to be several deadlines as we move forward. How about setting a first deadline for the end of April??

Any Comments, additional things you want considered?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Update - Scene size!

On Goody's suggestion I asked Bob D. about scene size concerns. It could get very large, depending on the response of the Board's membership. Bob D. agreed, and stated that it might be better if we considered multiple scenes, that could be used separately or all together. The multiple scene idea would make packaging, shipping, and set up a lot more manageable.

So, we should be thinking about some smaller scenes, that can work together. I think we need to keep the same figure size as listed in previous posting.

Use the "comment" at the end of this post to add input.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Participants (A Growing List)

g tech
bigEd H
Tom H
Names will be added as they request.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Group Project Description

As promised, here is a general description of this group project, and some specifications.

THEME: "Hillbilly Reunion" A scene composed of carved objects by existing members of the Wood Carving Illustrated, magazine's Message Board.

SIZE: The items to be carved and constructed will involve a 1:14 ratio. That puts a 6 foot man at 5 1/8th inches tall carved. This ratio has been established as an average size that carvers on the board are used to carving (not too small, and not too large).

It should be noted that the final scene and structures will be determined and based on the finished carvings received. In this regard, we may find ourselves doing several scenes. We'll have to wait and see.

It is our intention to let the participants select an item(s) to carve with the understanding/goal of having them select an item(s) that is within their carving skill level. To help achieve this we have grouped the possible objects to be carved/constructed into three skill levels.

I. Beginner II. Intermediate III. Experienced


Adult Males: Skill level II or III
Standing (3)
Sitting (3)
Leaning (2)
Laying down (1)
Running (1)
Playing banjo (1)
Playing fiddle (1)
Playing guitar (1)

Adult females: Skill level II or III
Standing (3)
Sitting (3)
Carrying trays (2)
Carrying pitchers (1)

Kids: Skill level II or III
Standing (2)
Sitting (3)
Running (3)
Swinging on tire swing (1)

Pig standing (1) II
Pig laying down (1) II
Baby pigs (lots) II
Cow (1) II or III
Horse (1) II or III
Chickens (4) II
Dogs standing (3) II or III
Dogs laying down (2) II or III
Dogs treeing raccoon (2) II or III
Dog peeing on mans leg (1) II or III
Raccoon in tree (1) I or II
Possum (1) I or II
Cats (3) I or II
Goat (2) I or II

Equipt & Misc. Skill level I
Wash tub and wash board
Clothes line with clothes
Firewood pile

Misc. Skill level II
Old pickup truck
Old car
Picnic table
Porch chairs
Porch rockers

Use your imagination when you carve the males,females, kids, and animals. Add humor to them. Have them doing something. You can carve a hillbilly leaning against a porch post while doing something else. If in doubt, read dileon's posts on the message board.

These are also but suggestions, come up with some of your own, just remember the ratio.

Also Thomp will be posting some general sketches of hillbilly's in various poses, as well as some dogs.

We don't want the final assembled scene to look like "cookie cutter" patterns, a static scene with no movement, nor all one carving style. Just as there's "talent in them there hills", there's talent among this list of carvers. There's humor out there too.

The above description may change in some of the detail, as we move forward; but should remain essentially the same.

Group Project

In order to keep the necessary information in an order that we can all see, I've started this blog.

We'll be better able to provide information that is necessary in order to manage a group project this size. As I am posting this we have 31 participants in our "Little" project. Not only will we be better able to provide information, we'll be able to keep the Message Board from getting bogged down with group project information. We can also better post photos and such with this blog.