Young Carving Masters Preserving Traditional Arts

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Daniel Irons

The Dorchester Center for the Arts (DCA) has offered decoy carving classes for many years, even adding a second class this fall. Recently, the Thursday evening class had the opportunity to work with some highly-skilled “masters” of the art. While you might expect these veterans to be of an older generation, the fact is these talented artists are 10 and 12 years old.
Daniel Irons (age 12) and Jonathon Irons (age 10) have been decoy carving for 5 years. They are skilled with knifes and gouge sets and make pieces that older carvers would envy. While it is not typical for young people to work with such sharp equipment, these boys began working with tools at a very early age. In fact, their mother stated that Daniel was “swinging a hammer” at the age of 1, pounding nails into boards. Daniel’s interest in working with the tools inspired Jonathon to also take up the art form.

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Jonathan Irons

The work of these young men has been featured at the Ward Museum Fall Festival. In addition, Daniel has competed in carving challenges, and actually bested adults in the competition.
When they reach the point of completing a piece, they have elected to paint their birds with oil, which is not always common. In addition to their love of carving, they are also avid bird watchers.
Warren Saunders, master carver and instructor of the classes at DCA has nothing but high praise for these young artists. He would like to see more young people participate in decoy carving, so that this heritage art is enjoyed for generations to come. While the current carving classes are already in session, new sessions will be offered in January.
DCA presents annual Photography & Digital Arts Exhibit
The Dorchester Center for the Arts will present its Annual Dorchester County Community Photography and Digital Arts Exhibit and Competition beginning Oct. 30 and running through Nov. 29.
The Photography Show is open to the public. The show is judged and each photographer may enter up to three works. Judging is based on the quality of the photograph, originality, composition and overall presentation. Cash awards will be given in each of the three divisions: Youth, Amateur Adult and Professional Adult, as well as a DCA gift certificate for Best in Show. Ribbons will be awarded for the People’s Choice and honorable mentions.
The Center, located at 321 High St. in Cambridge, will host an Artists’ Reception on Nov. 8 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. and awards will be presented. Refreshments will be served and music will be provided.
Photographs are available for view and some are for purchase during the Center’s regular business hours which are Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information, call 410-228-7782.
Space available in these classes:
•Festive Fall Apple Bags – Instructor Windy Karpavage
Students will work with a pattern kit that includes all materials, and yields a charming, felted-wool apple bag in a variety of colors, decorated with beading. This class is for the intermediate student.
The two-day workshop will take place on Nov. 15 and Nov. 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Students should bring a lunch. The fees are $40 for DCA members and $70 for nonmembers, plus a $50 supply fee payable to the instructor.
• Take a Child to Art – Instructor Heidi Wetzel
This class is the perfect introduction to natural fiber weaving, and is ideal for beginners and children. Each adult/child team will complete one basket in their choice of warm autumn tones. Materials and tools are provided.
The class will meet on Nov. 25 from 10 a.m. to noon. The fee is $15 per adult/child team and a DCA membership is not required.
To learn about these and other classes, call 410-228-7782, or visit dorchesterarts.org.
Editor’s note: Spectrum is the weekly column of the Dorchester Arts Center. It is written by Mickey Love, executive director.

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