Woodcarver’s Rendezvous is back for 2021 classes


CREEDE — The Fourth of July celebrations in Creede were a smash hit and now that the major holiday is in the rearview for another year, the town is ready to welcome back the Woodcarver’s Rendezvous after a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s event begins on July 10 and will be slightly different than those in the past, but one thing remains the same, it will yield some beautiful artwork and offer an opportunity to learn some fantastic skills from instructors from around the US.

About 15 instructors will be offering classes that are at this time, mostly sold out. Though the class schedule is currently packed, the event is still a great opportunity for visitors to come and see some works of art in progress and learn about the art of woodcarving. Due to supply shortages in wood used for this genre of art, most of the participants will have to bring their own wood this year, but it is still expected to be a fun, interactive event.

The event began 30 years ago when founders Fran and Ivan Vanaken who after years of teaching the art of woodcarving in schools to students, thought Creede would be the perfect place to start a woodcarving club. According to the history, Fran invited members of another club based out of the Front Range to the area to see if they were interested in hosting an event in Creede. It didn’t take long for word to spread about the unique venue and beautiful location before the Woodcarver’s Rendezvous to take hold. The event has been a favorite in the area ever since.

This year’s event will feature instructors that come from all walks of life to teach the art of woodcarving to participants. The event takes place in the underground community center located north of town where instructors and vendors will pack the long corridors with a wide variety of wooden homemade gifts and classes for participants.

The event begins on Saturday, July 10 and continues all week long with live and silent auctions, classes, lectures from several instructors, daily drawings and ends with a banquet to close out the week. The event is made possible through the auction items that are donated by participating artists that come to not only share their expertise in the art of woodcarving but to share their personal works of art as well.

Students that register for the event can learn everything from carving walking sticks to mastering the art of creating wood figures with a chisel. Participants learn how to make Christmas ornaments, wooden drums, wood burning techniques and so much more. There are even classes that teach the art of stone carving, making jewelry, watercolor painting and bead crocheting.

Though the event has slowed over the last few years, with fewer and fewer participants, event coordinators are preparing for a much more successful year this year and ask that anyone wishing to participate in any of the classes, to preregister online or do walk-in registration during the week. Registration for any left-over openings in the many classes being offered will be available on the first day of the event.

For a full class schedule or to preregister for the event, visit www.creedewoodcarvers.com.

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