We are a group of about thirty woodcarvers that meet once a week in the workshops of the Mary Webb Secondary School, Pontesbury. Our membership consists of a wide age group with an equal balance of men and women. On Thursday evenings we gather to carve, chat, swap ideas, learn new skills and generally enjoy ourselves. The group have a range of carving skills from novice to expert and although we have no formal instructor/teacher we provide mentors for new members. We encourage individuals to learn from each other sharing skills and ideas.
The group also meet at the same venue on the second Saturday of each month throughout the year. At this session we have a varied programme which can include guest speakers, full or half day workshops led by professional carvers or our own members. Start times can vary but as a general rule the Saturday group meet between 10am and 5pm with a formal meeting at 2pm which last for approximately 40 minutes.
We have a small library of carving related books which are available for loan and a wide range of carving tools that can be used during our workshop sessions at the school. Tea, coffee and biscuits are on standby to keep up the energy levels.
Periodically we undertake group carvings such as the Olympic Project in 2011 – 12. This provides an opportunity for the whole group to work together developing new skills and contributing to the finished product.
The Shropshire Woodcarvers are linked to the British Woodcarving Association and all our members are obliged to take out membership of the BWA which provides public liability insurance. The BWA produces an excellent quarterly publication, The Woodcarvers Gazette, and also provides a link to woodcarving groups across the country.
In addition to the above we exhibit our carvings and give demonstrations at a number of shows and venues during the course of the year where we meet the public and promote the art of woodcarving. We also give talks to groups such as Age Concern at various day centres in the Shrewsbury area and to WI groups scattered across the county.
As well as the carving there is plenty of socialising at our meetings which we further encourage with visits, meeting other carving groups and an annual dinner.