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Article posted: 2/12/2013 2:02 PM

Winter Wood Wonders Festival comes to Kane fairgrounds

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Many people stop by the Winter Wood Wonders carving show at the Kane County Fairgrounds just looking for something different to do indoors on a cold winter day.

"They're not expecting much," carver Bob Mau said. "A lot of people come in and they're bored. Then they wander around and they're just shocked at what they see.

"They say to me, 'Wow, this is good stuff and it's really neat. I had no idea.'"

The third annual show takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 16-17, at the Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall, St. Charles.

It will feature many kinds of wood art, including carving, turning, woodworking, intarsia, furniture making, and more, said carver and organizer Shelly Weiser of Naperville.

There will be wood club exhibits, tool vendors and artists showing off their creations, he said. All of the artwork is hand made, and there will be hundreds of pieces shown, Weiser said.

If you go, you will see pieces ranging from full-sized human heads to miniature people intricately carved.

"You're going to be shocked at the quality of the woodcarving from tiny little things to big things," said Mau, who lives in Big Rock and has been carving since 1979.

The show also will feature free demonstrations.

There will be one on beginning carving, another on flat plane carving, and a third on carving eyes.

"Among woodcarvers, they can think carving eyes is one of the most difficult things," Mau said.

"It's actually easy to do, you just have to learn the technique," said Mau, who is doing the demonstration.

Some of the works will be for sale.

But many carvers are there just to show off their hard work and creations to the public, Mau said.

"The carvers are really friendly and they're just tickled pink that someone is interested in their works. They just spill their guts and tell you all about it. They're very friendly people," he said.

For anyone who wants to get started, there will be wood carving supplies for sale at the event.

The carvers have a club that meets every Monday at Bethany Lutheran Church in Batavia, from 7 to 9 p.m.

"We have all ages from kids to men and women, we have all walks of life -- bankers and retirees. And we have people who are very good to just beginning. Anyone can join us," Mau said.

A complete list of local clubs and meeting times is on the Winter Wood Wonders website, www.winterwoodwonders.com.

The cost of the show this weekend is a suggested donation of $3 per person, with children younger than 12 and veterans admitted free.

Proceeds will go to benefit veterans as part of Hines Hospital's Windy City Athletes program. The in the past the money was used to buy recreational equipment for the vets, Weiser said.

Lunch and refreshments also will be available for purchase at the show.

For details, visit the Winter Wood Wonders website, or call (773) 405-2229.

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