Western Woodcarvers Association

 8th December 2013

 Scott Hampshire

One benefit of living in the greater Portland area is the active woodcarvers community in the community. I've noticed that the population in general is more interested in the Arts. This is especially good for people like me, because I not only have a great support community, but it also give a great variety of local craft stores for supplies.

When I was living here last summer for my internship I was introduced to the Western Woodcarvers Association , or Portland Woodcarvers Club as I casually refer to them. Attending meetings at first was strange, partially due to the fact that I'm the youngest member in attendance by roughly 20 years. Once I came to terms with my lack of age, meetings became quite enjoyable. Meetings follow roughly the same schedule: Arrive/Socialize, Business Updates/Show announcements, Show and Tell/Wood Giveaway, and a demonstration/presentation by either a club member or invited guest.

I'm the youngest member in attendance by roughly 20 years

Last month I was presented with the opportunity to give a presentation on how I make my signs. I was naturally nervous about presenting to a group of people who have been carving for more than 15-20 years, while I've been at it for a mere 3 1/2. I figured that everyone knew how to carve, so I focused on techniques I use to draft the letters and what I do to make the carving easier. During the presentation I also gained useful insights from the club members that I had not considered. These included ways I could carve better, different lettering styles, and material choices. When all was said and done I was pleased with how it went. Many of the members commented positively on the pieces I had to display, and made sure to let me know how much promise and talent I had. Looks like I won't be quitting anytime soon. Along with the presentation there was a plethora of pieces on display from other members, a few I've included in the photo reel.

I'd call the whole endeavor a success. Even if none of the members come back with a sign they've carved by next month, I was at least able to demonstrate my skills for the group and solidify my position in the club.

If any of you are in the area, I welcome you to join us each month. You can find all information about times and the meeting place at their website. We love newcomers.