Ohio's largest living history destination offering guests experiences
rich in history, hospitality, creativity and fun!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Why Woodcarving?

In celebration of National Craft Month, here is another article from one of our talented craftsmen at Sauder Village!By Jean McDonald, Sauder Village Craftsmen
What could possess someone to want to get up at 7:00 am on Saturday mornings to watch television? That is when a PBS series, Woodcarving with Rick Butz, aired in the 1990s featuring Rick Butz, a woodcarver from New York State. It was fascinating to watch him create figures from little chunks of wood as he continually reminded his viewers that anyone can carve wood.  I was prompted to make a donation to PBS in order to get his book that featured the projects in the series. Now, it is almost 25 years later and I have yet to meet the person who unwittingly tweaked an interest that became a passion for carving.

I love to demonstrate carving at historic sites because the children always come up with new and interesting comments and questions. Adults ask things like, “How long did it take you to carve that? (Answer: I don’t know because it was fun.) What kind of wood is that? (Answer: Probably basswood because it carves nicely or maybe something that was free. Free basswood is the best.) Kids ask questions like, “Why did you make it purple” and “Can you make a dragon?”  It is great fun to encourage them to touch the carvings and talk to them about their own creative processes. I always ask them if they are woodcarvers already and they usually say no. My response is always, “Well, it is not too late for you to learn.” You can usually see a spark of interest light up in their eyes as they imagine themselves, knives in hand, attacking a chunk of wood.

Woodcarving can be enjoyed with a minimal number of tools. A knife, gouge, a v-tool and a sharpening strop can get a person started doing relief carving, three dimensional carving, animals, caricatures, architectural carving, folk carving – the possibilities are limited only by your own imagination! There are many woodcarving books, classes and carving clubs in the area to help new carvers get started.  The internet is also a great source of information and supplies.

Sauder Village is one of the few places where time truly stands still for me. It has been one of my favorite places for many years, enjoying art, craft, and history. Visiting the farmhouse is just like a visit to my grandmother’s home. I remember when Grandma heated with a coal stove and you knew it was “safe” to crawl out from under the warm comforters from the unheated second floor bedrooms when you heard the clinkers rattling and coal pouring into the stove for the morning fire.

I love attending the Woodcarver’s Show and Sale each October and now am very fortunate to be able to be a part of the event by setting up a table and attending classes.  Another favorite activity is to be able to volunteer to demonstrate fiber art in June at the Focus on Fiber Arts event. What great fun to pack up my spinning wheel and wool and spend the day spinning and talking to visitors about another activity that I love. This past summer I also worked in the Basket Shop and Tin Shop a few days each week weaving baskets and making my favorite, tin cookie cutters. The visitors are great sources of information relating their stories and memories.

If you are interested in learning more about woodcarving here are some sources I have found useful:
Woodcarving with Rick Butz by Rick and Ellen Butz
How to Carve Wood by Richard Butz
Woodcarving Illustrated - a magazine published by Fox Chapel Publishing. www.woodcarvingillustrated.com
Woodcarving Magazine, www.carvingmagazine.com
National Wood Carvers Association - P.O. Box 43218, Cincinnati, Ohio 45243
Woodcraft  - 577 Foundation, Perrysburg, Ohio
Sauder Village Woodcarving Show - October 27 and 28, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Learning to Make Buckets

Have you ever wondered where we find so many talented craftsmen to share their skills at Sauder Village? Some craftsmen have been weaving or making baskets for years and others may have learned a new craft just to work at Sauder Village! To help celebrate “National Craft Month,” here are some thoughts from one of our coopers . . .

By Mark Breininger, Cooper

Becoming a member of the Sauder Village family came at the right time in my life. My father-in-law, a Master Cooper, encouraged me to visit Sauder Village and consider working in the Black Swamp Cooperage. I was hesitant at first because this opportunity was totally out of the realm of my life. I wasn’t sure how comfortable I would be speaking to hundreds of people each day and engaging guests who want to see and hear about being a cooper. However, I soon realized how much I love history and being a part of Sauder Village!

Learning the craft of coopering was made easy with the help of two knowledgeable coopers – Chuck Salsbury and Kenny Schang. Under their guidance, I learned the right way to make a quality wooden bucket, butter churn or keg. Learning this craft has taken me back 200 years! In the Cooper’s Shop we use the same tools as our forefathers. We start with a log, striking it with a froe, splitting the wood and shaping that piece of wood into a stave. Using the draw knives, shaves, scorps and planes I have learned to create items to hold dry goods, liquids and more.

Working as a cooper at Sauder Village is very rewarding and satisfying. At what other job can you meet people from all over the world on any given day? All of the talented craftsmen at Sauder Village make my job even better. They all love sharing the history and demonstrating their craft just as our founder Erie Sauder envisioned. I’m having so much fun making buckets and hope to be involved at Sauder Village for many years to come!  

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wedding of Your Dreams at Sauder Village

Field trips, day trips and family vacations often come to mind when people think about Sauder Village. For many brides and grooms; however, Sauder Village plays an important role on their wedding day . . . offering unique facilities, varied food options and welcoming hospitality.

“It is so much fun to work with brides as they plan their wedding at Sauder Village,” shared Amy Whitacre, sales manager. “From planning menus, discussing decorations and set-up to all the other important event details – it’s a pleasure to be involved and help brides plan the wedding of their dreams!”

Why host your event at Sauder Village? There are so many reasons . . .
• Beautiful facilities
• Experienced Staff
• Professional meeting planners
• Attention to detail
• Relaxed atmosphere
• Unforgettable memories
• Exceptional food
• Proceeds support mission of the Historic Village

Sauder Village is one of the premier venues for weddings and receptions in Northwest Ohio. From outdoor weddings on the Village Green to a small ceremony in the historic church or a larger gathering in Founder’s Hall – there are so many options! With guest rooms at the Heritage Inn, varied food options at Founder’s Hall and the Barn Restaurant, and our experienced staff – it’s easy to see why so many brides and grooms choose Sauder Village for their special day! Visit our banquet/conference page online: http://www.saudervillage.org/Banquets_and_Conferences/default.asp

Are you planning a wedding? Make plans to attend our annual Sauder Village Bridal Show this Sunday, March 11 from noon-4:00 p.m. in Founder’s Hall. Show information and a discount coupon are available at www.saudervillage.org/bridal   You can also contact our Group Sales team to schedule a tour or to receive more information. Call 800.590.9755 or e-mail groupsales@saudervillage.org and we’ll work out the details together!