April Guild Meeting: Out of the Woodwork Like Magic

It seems like every month lately, a handful of woodworkers who are new to the Helena Woodworkers Guild, come to our meetings. I am constantly amazed at the talent in this town! Where have all these wood artisans been hiding? Like magic, they are coming out of the woodwork to join us and the guild is so much richer for the diversity of skills and visions they bring. Thank you all for coming last night! And thank you to Dave Ashley, for inviting Chris and Tom to do last night’s presentation.

Tom Dooling shared his beautiful turned bowls and lidded containers with the guild last night.

Tom Dooling shared his beautiful turned bowls and lidded containers with the guild last night.


Chris Clearman shared his stunning bird carvings with guild members at our April Meeting

Turned Bowl and Container by Tom Dooling

Salad Bowl and Lidded Container by Tom Dooling

Canada Goose -- a work in progress -- by Chris Clearman

Canada Goose — a work in progress — by Chris Clearman

Dave Ashley hosted a fantastic Guild meeting at his shop, Helena Hardwoods, on April 7th. Grilled brats and TONS of smoke from the grill, anchored our as-usual-delicious-potluck. We hope all you guys who came for the first time last night, decide to join the Guild and come to future meetings. Thanks for being there!

The program was inspiring: Tom Dooling and Chris Clearman showed us their absolutely beautiful wood art. Chris carves birds from many different wood species. The detail was incredible! We found out he is self-taught and has never seen anyone carve birds like this before. You have to see them in person to believe the intricacy and accuracy, but check out the photos below for a little taste.

Tom’s turned salad bowl and lidded container are amazing — so much thought and planning has to go into gluing up the main chunk of wood (my non-woodworker way of saying it) in order to have the different components of the bowls “turn out” the way he envisions them. And man, do they turn out! The salad bowl is comprised of satin wood, maple, wenge, walnut and cherry and is so light and thin, yet very strong.

Please enjoy the photos, and click on the smaller thumbnails in the gallery at the bottom of this post to see other pics of the fun we (always) have at our guild meetings.


Marissa examining a lidded container by Tom Dooling

Tom Explains his Technique

Tom explaining the techniques he uses in his turned containers and bowls

Showing off this beautiful turned bowl

Turned bowl by Tom Dooling


Guild members listen intently to Chris as he explains his carving techniques


Hawk by Chris Clearman


Chris gives tips on how he chooses the woods for his birds, along with his carving techniques


Detail of Pheasant feathers by Chris Clearman

Our next guild meeting will be held on May 5th at the usual time, 6:00 pm. Meetings are always on the first Monday of the month. Meeting host is to be determined. Watch our blog here, for meeting details. We usually post an announcement of the meeting location and program 1 week before the meeting. If you would like to receive an email with meeting announcement and a link to the post, please send your contact information to Bill Daigle by email: daigle.bill@gmail.com.