Whittling Away: Woodcarvers show off their skills for annual Chip-O-Tex show

HARLINGEN — Lindell Graham sanded away the rough edges of his fish.

He had just carved it out of wood.

He said his next step would be to create the fish scales with a wood burner and color the model.

Graham is one of 70 Winter Texan members of the Chip-O-Tex Wood Carvers Club, which meets every Tuesday at Park Place RV Resort in Harlingen.

Over the next week, Graham planned to carve another sunfish for the club’s annual show.

The club will host its 27th show this Friday and Saturday at Casa de Amistad in Harlingen.

The event is open to the public and is expected to draw more than 1,000 spectators throughout the two-day event.

The members work several months with sharpened knives and sandpaper to turn their blocks of wood into art for competition at the event.

Club member Tom Fritzler whittled and painted batches of small magnetic toothpick cowboy boot holders that will be passed out as door prizes at the event.

“I try to make them all different,” Fritzler said. “They come in handy for the kitchen.”

And just a few seats away also at the weekly Chip-O-Tex meeting, Wes Pierson was carving out a ruddy duck for the show.

The ruddy duck has a blue bill and can be found swimming in the Laguna Madre.

Chip-O-Tex Vice President Ken Eberle said the event will have more than 150 entries.

“There will be vendors, woodworking supplies, door raffles and door prizes,” Eberle said. “It’s an excellent show and there will be some great carvings.”

Those who attend will see work ranging from small figurines to large-scale vases, wooden pictures and wooden sculptures.

The woodcarving competition is also open to the public for those who may want to enter their art work.

“People who want to enter must sign up at 8 a.m. because judging starts Friday at 9 a.m.,” Eberle said. “Just bring the pieces, and lets get them looked at.”

If You Go

Chip-O-Tex Wood Carvers Club 27th annual show

WHEN: Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

WHERE: Casa de Amistad, 1204 Fair Park Blvd., Harlingen

COST: $3