28th annual Woodcarvers Show this weekend

“We like to try to keep mankind’s oldest craft vibrantly alive,” said Mark Campbell, Kitsap County Woodcarvers show chairman.

The Kitsap County Woodcarvers are hoping to recruit members and educate the public this weekend about the art of woodcarving.

On both Saturday and Sunday, the club will present the 28th annual Kitsap County Woodcarvers Show in Bremerton at the West Side Improvement Club.

The event is free and open to the public.

“We like to try to keep mankind’s oldest craft vibrantly alive,” said Mark Campbell,  Kitsap County Woodcarvers show chairman. “We like to promote woodcarving throughout the county. One of the ways we do that is through the woodcarving show.”

Campbell said guests can expect to see around 127 different entries that have been submitted for the show. Several categories will be judged by a panel of three judges who are experienced in woodworking.

Attendees can also offer their opinion through submitting their vote for the”People’s Choice” award.

Entries will be accepted through today for woodworking of all types, including scroll-saw work, driftwood, pyrography, turning and intarsia. Both adults and children can enter their pieces.

Items crafted by a machine will not be accepted, Campbell said.

Additionally, there will be live woodcarvers and pyrography (wood burning) demonstrations for guests to observe. A few vendors will also be on site to sell woodcarving wood, and guests can purchase original woodcarvings from artists.

Guests can expect to see everything from a 3-foot-totem pole to a beaver mask — all hand carved by Pacific Northwest artists. In past years, winning carvings have varied from coffee tables to intricately carved nativity scenes inside globes.

Even the most seasoned carvers are amazed by the pieces that are submitted each year.

“It’s still surprising each year,” said Jeff Iller, Kitsap County Woodcarvers president. “There’s things there I can’t make. There are many talented people there and they each bring something different.”

Iller, a third generation woodworker, hopes that the event will bring a renewed interest to the art of woodworking in the Kitsap County area. While his club has 80 members currently listed, there’s always room for more, he said.

On the first Saturday of every month, the group meets in Port Orchard to discuss all things related to woodworking. There’s usually a project or craft showcased, and members bring their carvings that they’re working on to get tips.

Guest speakers are often a part of the agenda as well. Guests of all ages are welcome to the Active Club Building meetings to learn a little more about woodworking.

“Woodcarving seems to be a very complicated and difficult thing to do, but like anything, it just takes practice,” said Campbell. “You would be amazed at what you can carve in just a few lessons.”

While the event is free, donations will be accepted. Raffle tickets will also be available, and the drawing starts at 3 p.m. Guests do not need to be present to win.