North Alabama Woodcarvers Association was founded in 1982 with the mission of promoting the art of woodcarving throughout the community as well as providing a venue where woodcarvers could learn, share, and exhibit their work. We are growing every year, largely through our class program which we offer every year.
We have a monthly Club Meeting on the 3rd Thursday of each month at Oak Park Baptist Church, 2105 Cloys Avenue, NE, Huntsville, AL 35811. We also host free Open Carving Sessions each week where anyone may bring a carving project of their choice and work at their own pace. This is a wonderful opportunity to begin, to hone your skills, or to just have a fun and relaxing few hours. Please go to the Open Carving page for more information and to see locations.
NAWA offers 2 sessions of free classes in basic woodcarving techniques starting in January of each year. These classes include a variety of techniques including relief carving, chip carving, and carving in the round. Go to the Classes page to learn more about our educational program. You are never too young or too old to learn to carve. Whether you are just beginning or have been carving for many years, we would love to welcome you to our club.
CLASSES & CARVING SESSIONS
It all began in 1981 when Jerry Sanderson saw a picture of a woodcarving in Chip Chats. This carving had been entered by Jack Hucks in an Iowa Show. In the caption, it stated that Jack was from Huntsville, AL. Jerry later discovered that Jack had a shop, the Leaf and Petal, in what was then Parkway City Mall. Jerry had been carving for about 5 years and he and Jack soon struck up a friendship. Jack had some of Richard Sanders' ducks for sale and Richard and Jack were the only 2 carvers Jerry knew of in the Huntsville area. He and Jack wondered if there might be other woodcarvers close by who would like to form a woodcarving club. To that end, they put a notice in the Huntsville Times asking that interested parties meet them on a certain date at the Public Library. Several woodcarvers and a few folks interested in other forms of woodworking showed up. Some of those who were present were Doug Adkins, Mike Stewart, Larry Woodward, Arthur Cary, Harry Garber, Dr. Bill Goodson, Bob McGregor, Wade Wharton, J. D. Pope, Roland White and Phil and his father Roy Williams. The next problem was where to meet. Fortunately, Jack's wife, Ina, was principal of Chapman Middle School and she allowed them to meet there. After several meetings, they invited all the wives and families to their very first show, held in the lunchroom at Chapman. They had 15 carvers and around 100 carvings on exhibit. The club continued to meet at Chapman for several years until Ina's retirement. In the spring and summer of 1982, the club decided it was time to have a show for the public. Parkway City Mall allowed them to exhibit there and the manager even put up $100 for publicity. Pappy (Al Metzger) got a list from Chip Chats of all the carvers that were members of the National Woodcarver Association who lived in Alabama and surrounding states and invited them to participate in the show. Registrants were told that anyone who wanted to mail their carvings in for judging could do so but they had no takers. North Alabama Woodcarvers Association had its first public exhibition on November 5, 6, and 7, 1982. All carvings entered were placed in Jack's shop for judging. They had secured Jim Wilsford of Townsend, TN and Jerry Golden from Murfreesboro, TN, to do the judging, after which the carvings were placed on display in the center of the mall. Participants with booths could offer carvings for sale. Prize money was awarded for 1st Place and Best of Show winners and there were 2 Purchase Awards from Coca Cola and the Leo Agency. 1st Place winners in that show were C. Worley from Birmingham, Donald Kochevan, Dave and Elaine Bagley from Bordentown, New Jersey, David Goodell from Prattville, AL, Robert Cumbie from Greenville, AL, Roland White from Rogersville, Doug Adkins, Jerry Sanderson and Jack Hucks all from Huntsville. Roland White won the Purchase Award from Coke and Ronnie Staggs from the Leo Agency. The club continued to exhibit at Parkway City for many years till a disagreement with management caused them to move to the Roundhouse where the shows were held through November 2014. Beginning in 2015, the shows will be held at the Jaycee Community Building in South Huntsville. We are proud to say that 17 charter members are still on the member roster today. They are Doug Adkins, Jan Copeland, Jim Gokee, Aurora & Euyless Holcomb, Jack Hucks, Harold Huie, Robert McGregor, Wharton Melbourn, Allen (Pappy) Metzger, Ann & Jerry Sanderson, Mike Stewart, Roland White, Phil Williams, and Jim Wilsford.
© 2015-18 North Alabama Woodcarvers Association