HARLINGEN — Paul Edgington held a piece of bass wood in one hand and a carving knife in the other.
He worked patiently, rounding the wood with precision – shaving slivers of the wood off one-at-a time using mild pressure as he whittled away.
He was transforming the wood into a gnome figurine with its hands holding its head and one leg crossed over the other.
A few seats away, Judy Lange was carving an angel.
She planned to work on other small wood pieces of a hand holding a cross, a small cross, a heart shape and leaf.
This was all happening at the Chip-O-Tex Woodcarvers club.
Both Paul and Judy were joined by many other woodcarving club members from across the Valley and all were there creating their works of art for this upcoming weekend’s 28th annual Chip-O-Tex Woodcarvers show.
“Most artists put their art on canvas,” said Ken Eberle, Chip-O-Tex Woodcarvers vice-president. “These artists put their artwork on wood.”
The event will be held at the Casa de Amistad located on Far Park Boulevard in Harlingen on Feb. 9 and 10.
Eberle said the show is going to have excellent woodcarving for everyone to enjoy.
The event will also have door prizes and a raffle for spectators to win.
“There will be a lot of carvings, different events and different pieces,” Eberle said. “There should be up to 150 different carvings.”
Last year the event drew more than 1,500 spectators.
Those who attend will see work ranging from small figurines to large-scale vases, wooden pictures and wooden sculptures.
Woodworking has a long standing place in history that goes back to the ancient times of Egypt. Local artists and Winter Texans continue to celebrate, enjoy and share this timeless art form with the Valley.
Eberle said some of the best carvers are from the 1600s.
“If you ever go into some of the old churches and see some of the old carvings – they’re unbelievable,” Eberle said. “The carvings in some of these churches in Europe will blow your mind.”
And this week many Winter Texans are finalizing a myriad of wood pieces that will be on display to do just that.
Many of the club members began woodcarving with the Chip-O-Texas Club. They have said it is very fun and relaxing.
Winter Texan Wally Ellefson, of Wisconsin said he enjoys woodcarving every day during the summer season.
He said he started carving in 2004 and enjoys making decorations for home and church.
This week’s event is open to the public and to all woodcarvers who want their work judged. Participants will compete within the beginning, intermediate and advanced skill levels.
He said woodcarvers who want to enter must sign up Friday morning between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
“Last year, we had many local woodcarvers enter the show,” Eberle said. “They want to see how they compete with other woodcarvers.”
WHEN: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday
WHERE: Casa de Amistad, 1204 Fair Park Blvd., Harlingen