Women with knives a good idea? Quil Ceda Carvers think so

MARYSVILLE Many women might learn to play the sport rather than be a golf widow, but thats not the case with carving.
What might surprise some is the proportion of women at the Quil Ceda Carvers club; at the last meeting there was a 60/40 split in favor of the fairer gender, and while club president Karen Miller and her husband Don both carve, she notes that there are a lot of women who carve, and its not because they got into it due to their husbands.
Many of the women are former schoolteachers, and a lot of the women are attracted to carving because of the smaller size and scale of the projects. All have a natural creative streak.
Club treasurer Laura Fraser noted that men will tackle larger projects such as cabinet making or cutting down trees. Most stump carvers are men using chainsaws to make life-size objects. The hand-held nature and quiet approach are more to the girls liking, some say.
Theres a lot of women carvers and we actually have a lot of women carvers whose husbands dont carve, Miller said. They really seem to enjoy it, they really get into it.
If their men dont carve, they might lend a hand with painting, staining or finishing the projects their wives create, she added.
Merry Axtell is a Woodinville woman who has been carving for eight years.
I do it for relaxation and enjoyment, and for gifts, Christmas gifts and birthday gifts, Axtell said. I do everything from realistic birds to caricatures.
Nancy Snyder was showing off her shelf elves, and shelf Santas, balanced so they perch on the edge of a shelf or table. She got a kick out of her relief carving, but admitted there is still work to be done.
Check that nose out, Snyder told the group. I havent figured noses out but Im going to figure them noses out.
Miller noted the group holds an annual Spit and Whittle gathering, which is a weekend of camping, carving and teaching, amenable to everybody.
Its a real family affair, Miller said.
The womanly touch is inherent in the groups bent on spreading the word; most of their meetings involve someone sharing a technique, from carving to keeping tools sharp.
What they want to do is share their skills and keep the art of carving alive, Miller said. Thats basically what we do know. We like to bring in new carvers and teach them.
The groups makeup and dynamics change, reflecting the older crowd with a large number or snowbirds who head to Arizona and parts south for the winter. Gatherings are larger in summer when the flock returns to roost, Miller explained.

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