PebbleCreek Woodcarvers Club – fall in love with carving

Larry Matney

Cynthia Schwartz and her husband Michael moved to PebbleCreek in August 2017. They quickly became involved with pickleball, softball and woodcarving. Cynthia was the first to join the Woodcarvers Club and was just interested in learning how to carve. She had never carved before.

She took an introductory class to learn basic carving skills with a rotary tool and burrs, sanding and painting a decorative spoon. She liked it enough that she next took a cottonwood bark carving class with Gerald Findley and fell in love with bark carving. Cottonwood bark has no grain and is somewhat soft, so it carves easily and works well for subjects that benefit from the bark’s irregular shape. Cynthia quickly completed three bark carvings of whimsical houses. Then her instructor from the introductory class, Joel Hawkins, suggested she try other subject matter. So, her next project was a Kachina in basswood and that was quickly followed by an elephant carved in red cedar. She is next going to do a series of Christmas Tree ornaments. Cynthia is also starting to use knives and chisels along with her rotary tool.

The club is very active this summer so if you want to learn how to carve it is a great time to start. Club formal classes will start in October, but if you would like to start carving during the summer contact Joel Hawkins via email at or stop by the Quail Room and there will usually be someone there to get you started. During the summer there are normally carvers in the Quail Room Monday through Friday in the mornings except on Thursday when another club uses the room. Note that the Creative Arts Building will be renovated from July 9 through July 30 so the Quail Room will not be available during this time.

The Woodcarvers Club meets in the Quail Room in the Creative Arts building on the Tuscany side of PebbleCreek. The club has general meetings on the second Tuesday of each month at 9:00 a.m. from October to April. If you are interested in woodcarving stop by to see completed work and meet club members. Most members have had little or no experience carving prior to taking one of the club’s classes. Carving equipment is available for use during your first two classes to see if you like carving.