Woodcarvers News

Manny Conti

Jay Rosenlof

How many of you know that there is a woodcarving club in SaddleBrooke? Since the beginning of SaddleBrooke, there has been a woodcarving club, and it seems like the best kept secret!

We have about 23 active members, and every one of them has carvings in the works. Some of their projects include animals, birds, Kachina dolls, bowls, Christmas ornaments, scene carvings, cottonwood bark carvings, and even car models. Some of our members had never carved before joining, and some were very experienced. All it takes to get started is a piece of wood and a sharp knife.

This is my first article, so I would like to introduce one of our most senior members, Manny Conti. He is our club vice president and a valuable part of our club.

Manny and his wife, Ro, came to SaddleBrooke in 1999 from Granada Hills, Calif. Manny worked in the grocery business but has had a lifelong love of cars and hot rodding. He also did car upholstery as a hobby. He was never a woodcarver until he joined the club in 2000. Since he started, he has many successful projects to his credit.

In the beginning, he started his carving career with club projects of basic carvings of a computer mouse, a coyote, and a teal duck. These projects gave him confidence to venture into other and more difficult carvings.

His biggest accomplishment is his horse head that he carved out of a mesquite piece from a tree in his front yard. It took several years to carve the head, and then more than a year to create the mane from real horse hair. His carving won a first-place prize at the Arizona Woodcarvers annual competition.

He has also carved Indian figureheads, Kachina dolls, and other small projects. His current Kachina doll projects are full of fine details and honor the true ideals of the Indian spirit.

Now that you know of the SaddleBrooke Woodcarvers Club, we hope that you come by to meet some of our members and join us. We meet Monday afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m. and all day Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Turquoise Room at MountainView Center. See you soon!