Jerry Murphy had not always wanted to be a carver, but he encountered a number of circumstances in his life that led him to be where he is today as a member of the Calgary Carvers Club. When he was younger, his father who did not carve, but had owned a number of carving tools, drew a horse trotting on a flat board, challenged Jerry to carve the horse. Jerry took up the challenge, carving the horse in relief, and it turned out well for him. For a while there was a break in his carving activity until another incident occurred. This time, he happened upon a carving exhibit at the Sportsmen's show at the Stampede grounds, where members of the Chinook Wildfowl Carving Society were exhibiting a number of decoys that had been locally carved by this club. Jerry became intrigued by seeing these carvings and proceeded to join the club. The member that he met was Ken Sheets, and Jerry has been in continuous contact with him since then.
At the time when Jerry joined the Chinook Wildfowl Carving Society, it was somewhat frowned upon to attempt other objects to carve. The main impetus of the club was to prepare bird carvings and to enter them in exhibitions and various contests. In those days nearly 28 out of 30 attendees were carving full sized decoys. Jerry carved some miniature decoys, but was more interested in carving in other areas. When reorganization occurred and the club evolved into the Calgary Carvers Club, all sorts of carving were quite acceptable, and this suited Jerry very well. He has maintained this membership all long, and has felt quite at home as a member of our club. Presently he is carving canes, walking sticks and caricatures. He is willing to try most anything for a new challenge.
He feels the transition to our present club has really suited his as well as other people purposes to be in the carving club, because there is never any pressure, and it is always a relaxed atmosphere. He really likes the present surroundings at Ogden house because there is always someone working on a new and different project.
He does research lots of textbooks about carving, but maintains that the best carving occurs when you think them up yourself. He also enjoys making some carvings for friends taking some of their attributes and parts of their life an putting it into the carving. He finds it very rewarding and has had positive feedback from many of these efforts. He has never had any commercial interests by trying to sell any of his completed projects, however, during his time with the Chinook Wildfowl Carving Society, several entries to competitions and exhibitions have won some ribbons, placing first, second, and third place results.
Maybe, if you feel like getting started on a project early on Tuesday meeting nights, you will find that Jerry is most often there as early as 6 pm. He is always ready to volunteer, and is a big help to our president.
Although Calgary Carvers Club do not run carving classes, every week is a new learning experience. You can walk around, watch and talk to other carvers to learn something from everyone from the first time carver to the award winning carvers. If you are looking for help with your project there is always someone to lend you their experience. We have carvers that have never held a carving tool before join the group and are now excellent carvers. So Jerry's advice is if you would like would like to carve, come out have some fun and learn by watching and talking with other members.