Woodcarvers Roundup begins June 4

EVART — Wood shavings will cover the Osceola County 4-H FFA Fairgrounds from June 4 to June 7 during this year's Evart Roundup, which welcomes wood carvers, sculptors and burners from Michigan and beyond.

The Evart Roundup is an event geared toward all things wood carving and provides a multitude of informational workshops for attendees who want to grow in the craft, meet fellow carvers and gather at one of the largest craft roundups in the country. The event, which was established by the Chief Osceola Woodcarvers, began in Mancelona, moved to Cadillac and has settled in Evart. It is now organized by veteran carver Floyd Rhadigan and attracts hundreds of carving enthusiasts from across the U.S.

"I've heard from so many people across the country and have gotten all positive responses," Rhadigan said. "We should have a good turn out this year. I'm looking forward to new and old faces. It's like a reunion."

This year, the roundup will take place from June 4 through June 7 at the Osceola County 4-H FFA Fairgrounds. Multiple buildings will be in use for numerous workshops, tutorials, vendor sales, entertainment and more. Carvers can get their hands on magazines and books, rough-outs and kits with directions, knives and other carving necessities.

The craft, though popular, is losing steam with younger generations. The goal this year, Rhadigan said, is to get more people interested.

"I would like to see more new carvers," he added. "To keep this hobby and event flourishing, we need new people."

No matter what project each novice or veteran carver wants to tackle next, workshops led by experienced craftsmen and women will help teach the tricks of the trade. Tutorials for carving canes, animals of all types, human faces, fantasy creatures, Christmas ornaments, and chain pulls will be available. For hobbyists looking for an alternative art, wood burning and gourd burning workshops will take place from a variety of experts. More than 50 workshops will be available, as more carvers are branching out into teaching.

Karen Hundt-Brown has been attending the Evart Roundup for the past six years, giving workshops on gourd burning. This year she plans on returning for the same purpose.

"I love to teach, make new gourd addicts and meet new friends," Hundt-Brown said. "It's so rewarding and I get to come up with new ideas."

Hundt-Brown will be available for numerous workshops for burning, but this year she also will incorporate gourd carving to give her students something new.

"It's a thrill for me to teach a new technique and see people enjoy it," she added.

Admission to the roundup and the workshops are free, but supplies and tools for carving are priced accordingly. Other activities include an ice cream social, a carver’s swap and an informal carver’s music jam.

For more information about the event, visit evartroundup.com or call Floyd Rhadigan at (734) 649-3259.