The Friends Wood Carving Club of Port Orange held its annual wood carving show on Sunday, Jan. 13.
Wood carvers from clubs in Volusia County displayed several creations at the annual Friends Wood Carving Club Show, sponsored by the Port Orange City Council, on Sunday, Jan. 13.
Artists laughed and talked with their colleagues and the public as they stood beside tables set up in the Port Orange Adult Center on Ridgewood Road. Animals, caricatures, birds, chains, people, bowls and fish, were among the creations that adorned the tables.
The Friends Carving Club got its beginning from a man dedicated to the city of Port Orange, Wilbur Haller. Haller served as the volunteer fire chief for the Port Orange Fire Department for 18 years. He and John Thompson started the club in 1975. Haller became a friend and mentor to John Carleton, current vice president of the club and retired police officer.
When Haller died, at 89 years old, carvers from Friends Carving Club created a totem of Florida animals at a site by City Hall, in memory of their friend. During Christmas time, Haller used to carve small birds to give to his friends. Carleton has carried on that tradition.
Club member John Henderson got into carving when he had a motor home and travelled around the country. He met a man who was whittling one time, and that peaked his interest. When he got back home, he found a carving club and has been carving ever since.
Some of the creations John Broughton displayed were lighthouses, where the sides had black streaks in random patterns going across them. The process was called fractile wood burning and was created from using an oil furnace transformer.
The transformer created an electric current that burned through the wood creating random patterns. Using a wood lathe, Broughton also made wooden bowls from different pieces of wood that had electric burn patterns running through them as well.
Neil Cooksey, with the Palm Coast Woodcarvers, was the 2017 Wood Carver of the Year. Some of his carvings were scenes atop motorized turntables. For some of the scenes, lists of objects to find were part of the fun in his displays, like hidden gems waiting to be discovered.