Charlotte-area woodcarvers are a cut above the rest
Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014

Charlotte-area woodcarvers are a cut above the rest

  • Want to go?

    • The Showcase of Woodcarvings will be noon-4 p.m. Feb. 22 at the Marion Diehl Recreation Center, 2219 Tyvola Road in Charlotte.

    • Judging is 8:30 a.m.-noon. Guests can buy pieces any time Feb. 22 and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Feb. 23.

    • For more information, visit; contact the Charlotte Woodcarvers Club at 704-529-1748; or email

As the wood falls away, the artist’s vision comes to life.

Woodcarving is a way to relax for local artist Maria Senkel, a Ballantyne resident who has carved wood for more than 10 years. “It’s a passion,” she said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

The creative process, in which the artist must take away the right amount of wood, can be a challenge, Senkel said.

“It’s incredible what you can do with it,” she said.

Hundreds of carved creations will be on display during the Showcase of Woodcarvings, the largest woodcarvings show in the Southeast, said Senkel, a show committee member.

The showcase will be Feb. 22-23 at the Marion Diehl Recreation Center, 2219 Tyvola Road in Charlotte. The show is free and open to the public.

Senkel also is a member of the Charlotte Woodcarvers Club that sponsors the show. “Our mission is to promote the art of woodcarving,” she said. “We want the public to see what we do.”

Artists from around the country will display more than 700 pieces of work of various styles, experience levels and themes, Senkel said.

The pieces will be judged by professional woodcarvers Feb. 22 and awarded ribbons in the various categories, including Show Theme, Best of Birds and Best of Santas.

There also will be an overall Best in Show winner.

With more than 125 artists in attendance, the public will have a chance to view a wide spectrum of pieces, from animal carvings to religious-themed pieces and miniatures.

“It’s an unusual art form and an unusual show,” Senkel said.

This year’s theme is cartoon caricatures, and there will be a display devoted to that theme as well as an award for Best of Caricatures at each experience level.

The “Full Moon Saloon” exhibit, a woodworking work of art created by 21 woodcarvers from around the country, also will be on display, Senkel said.

The exhibit is 4 feet wide, 2 feet long and 2 feet tall and is the result of thousands of hours of work, according to the show’s website.

Many of the pieces on display will be for sale. There also will be a raffle and silent auction with more than 70 prizes.

Vendors include Tom Wolfe, an internationally known North Carolina artist, Carolina Mountain Reefs and Bab Barts Knives. Visitors can participate in the Tom Wolfe Competition on Feb. 22 and 23.

The show will feature a variety of one-hour seminars for those who wish to learn woodcarving from professional instructors.

Senkel said they expect more than 2,000 visitors to this year’s show.

“It’s a fun show,” she said. “North Carolina has a great number of wood carvers.”

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