This year's show features over 40 booths of woodcarvers, a carving wood vendor, knife and tool makers, a knife/tool sharpener, a chainsaw carver, and hand-carved door prizes all day long.

If you hear the sounds of a chainsaw or see wood chips flying on Oct. 28, you’ll know that the Lake of the Ozark Woodcarvers Club’s annual carving show and competition is in full swing.

The event will take place at the Community Christian Church in Camdenton Saturday, Oct. 28 from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

This year’s show features over 40 booths of woodcarvers, a carving wood vendor, knife and tool makers, a knife/tool sharpener, a chainsaw carver, and hand-carved door prizes all day long.

The show will include a judged carving competition of 38 different carving categories culminating in a “Best of Show” award. The public is given an opportunity to vote on a People’s Choice winner. This is an outstanding opportunity for visitors to purchase a one-of-a-kind gift for the holiday. Best of all, it’s free admission.

The Lake of the Ozarks Woodcarvers Club began in the early 1980’s with a few woodcarvers getting together to enjoy their love of woodcarving. Formalized on Oct. 18, 1983, the group has grown to over 95 members from all across Missouri and adjoining states.

The club ranks consist of beginners to seasoned and even professional carvers. They comprise of the largest single grouping of woodcarvers in the state.

Twice a year they hold beginning and intermediate carving classes at the Lake Area Technical School. Additionally, they hold nine or more advanced carving seminars a year taught by nationally-renowned woodcarvers. More casual carving get-togethers occur each week at four different venues (in Osage Beach, Laurie, Lebanon and Camdenton) and before each monthly meeting.

Additionally, members participate in local festivals such as the Versailles Apple Festival demonstrating the art of woodcarving. They also present workshops and programs at local schools, the Sonshine Camp, civic groups, and Boy Scouts, and others.

In 2009 the club became participants in the “Eagle Cane Project” providing individualized canes to wounded veterans nation-wide. Longtime member, Bud Murray, is the local chairman of the project which provides decorative canes for post 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan and recent conflict veterans with leg injuries.

Club members carve an Eagle head to go on a staff, which is decorated by Murray with decals depicting medals and honors down the cane individualized for each soldier. The club has sent out over 100 canes including some specialized canes.

In 2016, the club held the 1st annual Woodcarving Show with carvers from around the states of Missouri and Arkansas presenting their work. Attendees ranged in age from toddlers to octogenarians from as far away as Indiana.

There were 28 judged categories with ribbons for the first three winners in each category, as well as, a grand prize Best of Show winner. A Peoples Choice award was chosen by show attendees. This year they have expanded to 38 judged categories and special sponsors awards.

For more information the show and the club, go to www.lakeozarkswoodcarvers.org, or contact Doug Bibles at 573-286-1049 or email dbibles@charter.net.

Member highlights

Bud Murray is also a nationally-known knife maker and gouge maker with a dedicated following among carvers. Additionally, as a strong advocate for introducing young people to carving, he has developed “wooden” carving tools for use with a specialized foam that permits a wonderful introduction to carving for kids. Bud’s spouse Carol is also a talented carver and the club’s public relations officer.

A veteran club member, Loren Woodard has been carving since 1990 and has been instructing others in the art of carving for over 10 years. Loren co-hosts the Ozarks Woodcarving Seminar annually in Springfield for hundreds of carvers from around the country.

His favorite carving subjects are Native Americans, Santas, and Christmas themes. Loren was a guest carver at Silver Dollar City for about 15 years and still holds carving classes around the country several times a year. He is also a juried member of the Best of Missouri Hands. Loren’s wife, Carol, is also an accomplished carver specializing in relief carving.

Another LOWC member is Russ Biros, a juried Best of Missouri Hands artist. Russ has been a professional woodcarver for over 15 years, with many of his pieces in private collections and galleries around the country. Having grown up in the north woods of Wisconsin, Russ began his carving career with wildlife, specifically fish and birds.

However, in 2004 his Viking heritage erupted and he began carving and decorating objects in the traditional Norwegian style. A characteristic of this specialized style is extreme tool control (with no sanding allowed). In 2015, Russ became a Gold Medalist at the prestigious Vesterheim (Norwegian) Museum in Iowa.

Tom Lease, a retired periodontist, has been carving for over seven years. His carvings demonstrate extreme detail. Tom used to collect unusual wood sculptures but now he crafts his own.

Carvers aren’t only men! Nearly a third of club members are ladies, the youngest being Kyrah Lewis at age 19. Kyrah has been carving five years now and does mostly relief style carving. Her first instructor was Tom Lease. She has missed several carving sessions recently since her mother, Faith, has stage four salivary cancer. Donations for her family will be accepted at the show.