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President's Message

President's Message January-February 2017

From the President.... 
Carl Nelson

2016 is hardly over and I’m already seeing a fun and full next 8 months.  
The Flower and Garden Show is coming up Feb 22 - 26, 2017. Hope you have been thinking about what you want to display to those thousands who will pass by our booth. Contact Kerin Monica (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and let her know what you’d like to display.

On Saturday, March 18, Marenakos will be holding NWSSA DAY at their facility in Preston. They are inviting their customers, suppliers and the public to come meet NWSSA members and see them work, have some free lunch, do some hand carving, see demos of Marenakos capabilities and check out their new retail tool space. Contact Pat Barton (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to volunteer to help with setup and display of your work.

Speaking of volunteering, Ben Mefford and Cyra Jane have been working with King County Parks to install several plinths at Marymoor Park in Redmond, WA to create an on-going, rotating display of our members’ work. Marenakos will be lending us a hand and Ben will gather volunteers to help make it happen. If you would like to help, email him at (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

On June 2, 3 and 4, Arliss Newcomb has put together
a NWSSA sponsored women’s hand carving weekend with Ruth Mueseler, Tamara Buchanan and MJ Anderson instructing. She’ll have brochures at the Flower and Garden show and there will be more info in the Journal.

Speaking of the Journal, it is now possible to do gift subscriptions of the journal. Keep your clients, friends and family informed of our community’s activities by giving a $30 gift subscription to Sculpture NorthWest. Check it out 

The 2017 symposiums will have guest artists and instructors from Africa and Japan. August 20 - 27 at Suttle Lake. July 8 – 16 on the Olympic Peninsula at our new site Camp Pilgrim Firs...

Learn much, share with many, and carve proud


President's Message Nov-Dec 2016

From the President.... 
Carl Nelson

After a five day binge of Museums, I'm ready to get back into carving. I caught myself asking, when does walking through contemporary art and 2000 years of art history turn from a learning experience to one of entertainment and amusement? And when does it activate the consumption gene? Which, if we are not careful, can take us away from that fulfilling part of learning needed to help us create better.

NWSSA Symposiums can be a binge of learning and discovery. While in the Journal, in addition to looking out on the world, showcases our members moving forward and supporting each other, each with their own approach, enthusiasm, and skill set.

Another way NWSSA helps folks learn, are the public displays of members' sculpture. The Lakewold Garden, Volunteer Park, Occidental Park, Seattle Flower and Garden Show, and various galleries, such as the Matzke Gallery and Gallery Mack, are all opportunities to see and learn about our membership's work. Requests for submission to the Flower and Garden Show (February 22-26th, 2017) will be coming up soon. Please consider displaying your recent work this year.

I also had the opportunity to visit the Noguchi Museum and Garden in NYC and found, among the pieces displayed, influences reflected in our membership's work. Because of NWSSA, I am lucky to walk into these museums, feel at home, and part of a larger community. It motivates me to get out, carve, talk and work with all of you. I hope NWSSA does the same for you.

Learn Much, Share with Many, and Carve Proud...


President's Message Sept-Oct 2016

From the President.... 
Carl Nelson

The Symposium NWSSA holds in July at the Treacy Levine Center and has traditionally been called “Camp Brotherhood,” will be at Pilgrim Firs July 8th thru 16th in 2017. It is a great environment with trees surrounding the carving field, cabins and group lodges. There’s a small lake, boats to take out, trails to hike. The staff is attentive to our needs and supportive of the arts. It will be a great place to carve and celebrate our 30th gathering.

Pilgrim Firs is located in Port Orchard Washington at 3318 SW Lake Flora Rd and yes, you can see in the google earth images a peace symbol in the northwest corner of the property, for you to confirm or deny.) Check out pictures of the buildings and grounds at: and read a short history at:

I want to thank the many, many NWSSA members who contributed their suggestions, time, and effort to help in finding and selecting a new place for our symposium. And especially Rick Johnson and Pat Barton; you made this look easy and possible, thank you.

Like all works of creation, the process of looking and asking questions has opened up many possibilities which we will be following up on. In particular an option for a winter symposium indoors. It may be years, or it may never happen, but it has provided us with a larger picture, hope, and another potential venue for our members and the organization.

Finally, a thank you to Doug Wiltshire for his efforts as Director of the Suttle Lake Symposium (Camp Sisters). This year had many new faces, energetic work study folks, two Japanese carvers Kamu Nagasawa and Koichiro Bambara, in addition to Uchida. There were great presentations, campfires, swims, kayaks, and an overall program and environment where I, and I think it’s safe to assume many others, had a great experience and even got some carving done. Already looking forward to next year.

Learn Much, Share with Many, and Carve Proud...