Artists create whimsical and beautiful items from blocks of wood
The dictionary states that wood carving is the “art of fashioning or ornamenting objects of wood by cutting with a sharp handheld implement.” Here at the Tewksbury Senior Center, 13 talented carvers are experts at turning wood into many exciting works of art.
Everyone’s on time for the Tuesday morning class. Toolboxes are opened, carving knives are ready and the wood chips start to fly. Participants work on their own pieces at their own pace. There are birds, bears, Christmas ornaments, miniatures, fairy doors and so much more, including a pileated woodpecker and relief carvings — figures or patterns carved on flat wood panels.
The class is led by Laurie Willis, but Willis says she is more of a facilitator these days. Participants like Veronica, above, sit around the table working and helping one another. There are different proficiency levels, and all are happy and willing to pitch in any way they can.
Willis has been teaching for over 14 years. She inherited the class from her uncle in 2008. Many will remember her uncle, Rupert “Rip” Stangroom, who taught the intricacies of wood carving for many years at the Tewksbury Senior Center.
Willis began this adventure in wood carving when she helped her uncle “Rip” by hand-painting the carvings he produced and sold at his store in Chelmsford.
If you have an interest in wood carving and would like to learn more, call the center or stop by on a Tuesday morning to see the class in action. Check out the wood carvings in the foyer of the center, a small sample of what can done with a piece of wood and some special tools.
Participating in activities like wood carving can be a great way to meet new people, learn new skills and stay mentally and physically active, so don’t hesitate to explore the many opportunities available to you at the Tewksbury Senior Center. Find this month’s calendar of events here.