Sauder Village Woodcarvers Show & Sale 2017


Sauder Village Woodcarvers Show & Sale 2017

Combine a carving show with a visit to a fascinating historic site at Sauder Village

First, a little background. Sauder Village is the largest living history museum in Ohio. It was developed more than 30 years ago by the Sauder family, owners of the wood product company of the same name, to show how people lived in pioneer days and demonstrate traditional handcrafts. The 235-acre property is home to pioneer-style buildings and businesses, including a cabinet shop, barber, church, doctor’s office, school, and mill. Working craftsmen demonstrate woodworking, basket making, weaving, quilting, spinning, glass blowing, native crafts, and more. In addition to historic crafts, shops sell delicious baked goods, chocolates, and other delights.

The facility also comprises a hotel, campground, and conference center, where the Sauder family has hosted special events since the 1980s. And when I say that the Sauders host the event, I mean it literally; the family runs the village, attended the banquet, visited the show, and greeted every vendor and many guests. They were gracious, involved, and knowledgeable, and clearly favorites among the carvers.

Now in its 31st year, the 2017 woodworking show took place at the end of October. It was an intimate gathering of about three dozen artists—mainly carvers, but also scrollers, turners, and general woodworkers, plus a couple of suppliers. Although more than 1,000 visitors attended, the show never felt hurried or uncomfortable; in fact, it was easy to chat with exhibitors and guests alike.

This year’s special guest carver was the bark-carving expert Rick Jensen. He taught a class before the show, spoke at the banquet, and served as a competition judge. Fellow exhibitors Bob Stadtlander and Ann Wenger taught seminars during the show. A band provided lively music in the lobby during much of the show.

Unlike many shows, carvings are judged on the tables during this event, and the tables themselves are judged as well. Mike Allen won the Sauder Award (Best of Show), while Roger Strautman and Jim Spencer received Second and Third Best of Show Awards, respectively. Sandy Czajka, Floyd Rhadigan, Amy Schultz, and Martin Schnur all won Awards of Excellence for overall presentation and received coveted limited-edition handmade plates. Gary Bityk, Don Mertz, and Lowell Rose were also honored with awards. To see the carvings, visit the show’s website.

If you’d like to combine a carving show with a visit to a fascinating historic site, look no further than Sauder Village.

For more information about Sauder Village, visit their website. For information about next year’s carving show, keep an eye on the events page.

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Rick Jensen, the show's featured carver, told carving tales and jokes at the Saturday night banquet.


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