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President's Message

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...


President's Message July-Aug 2016

From the President.... 
Carl Nelson

One of the many things I've learned about the creative process, is that you have to be flexible. For example, the Association was notifies in May that the Treacy Levine facility, where we hold Camp Brotherhood symposium in July, would be put up for sale in June and would close August 31st. Therefore, the board formed a search committee and began the creative process of finding a new location. We had many suggestions from members, and our search committee turned up a dozen or so possibilities.  To evaluate then, a check list was created so we would make certain our needs were covered and we were consistent. We did a lot of phone work and had five site visits narrowing it down to two possible sites. The plan was to have the board, while at Camp B, decide which facility to use.

The week before Camp B started, we found out from the Treacy Levine staff that the property had sold and it was likely the new owners would continue to rent the facility to NWSSA for its symposium. And indeed, on the first Sunday after the start of the symposium, the founder and family of the purchasing organization stopped by to see our symposium in full swing.

They all confirmed wanting to have NWSSA continue to hold its symposium there, but had to work with staff to confirm dates and prices. Given the complexity of and lead times, we need to make a decision no later than next month (August). Here is where the flexibility part comes into play. With the new owners now working to give us dates and pricing that will work for us, we should be able to make our final decision then.

Look forward to more info in the next issue, until then...

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


President's Message March-April 2016

From the President.... 
Carl Nelson

The program and registration for out 29th Camp Brotherhood Symposium is up on the website and you can now register. Senden Blackwood (New Zealand), Georg Schmerholz, Deborah Wilson, Tamara Buchanan and Ruth Mueseler will be there to instruct, talk about their work, visit old friends and make new friends. Check it out and think about entering the sculpture walk. The economy has turned around and many of our members are experiencing sales at their galleries and shows. The management at Camp B has asked about helping to promote the sculpture walk.

Also this year, we are making an effort to reach out to the sculpture instructors and their students around the country to introduce them to our symposiums. If you are an instructor or know of someone who teaches, or a student who would benefit from attending one of the symposiums, please contact me (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) so I can talk with you about the symposium, available scholarships, and work study.

Another opportunity you should put on your calendar to attend (and to show your smaller pieces) is the one day "Picnic in the Park" in Volunteer Park in Seattle on June 12th. It will be a change to picnic and party as well as talk to the local folks. Watch the website and Facebook for the call to artists.

Also, we hope to be repeating the Occidental Park First Thursday Art Walk event. This event is still shaping up and we are hoping to have a demonstration carving booth. Email CyraJane (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) if you would like to do some kind of carving demo.

Lakewold Gardens will be displaying large pieces from April to September. If you are in the South Tacoma area, drop by and check out the gardens and NWSSA member's work.

We are looking to schedule workshops this coming fall. I've already has a request for Pat Barton's polishing workshop nd his working wet workshop. If there are workshops you would like to attend, please drop me a note. 

Learn Much, Share with Many, and Carve Proud

... Carl

President's Message Jan-Feb 2016

From the President.... 
Carl Nelson

It’s the winter months and I know some of you are hunkered down until things warm up and the days get longer. Others are using the longer nights to read, relax, and contemplate. This year has seen many new faces, lots of energy and enthusiasm, and a growing interest in stone carving. It’s an alive, hardworking, and vibrant community of carvers that help one another and during these long night’s worth contemplating.

In the last year many of our members participated in the shows we held and a few have completed and installed major commissions. Several of our members have new commissions in progress and it is likely you will be hearing about them in the journal this coming year.

If you are one of our newer members or have new pieces you would like to show this coming year, please consider submitting it to the Flower and Garden show, the Mother’s Day show at Lakewold Gardens, or the Volunteer Park show. Look for the Call For Artists on our web site:

We have had requests for a repeat of the polishing workshop and the idea of a sandblasting workshop, so once again check the web site:

Finally, for those of you interested in figurative work, NWSSA (thanks to Lisa Svircic) is sponsoring and coordinating Life Drawing sessions at the Schack Art Center (thanks to Shannon Tipple-Leen) in Everett every Friday evening from 5:30pm starting Jan15th until April 29. If you are ever in Everett WA on a Friday evening think about dropping by the Schack Art Center, as an NWSSA member you’ll get a discount. For more details check-out:

Learn Much, Share with many, and Carve Proud.