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From shavings to settings

There is an alluring quality to wood that inspires the imagination, as members of the Siskiyou Woodcraft Guild well know.Founded in 1979 as a group of woodworkers wanting to promote themselves, the guild has grown into a network of more than 60 master craftsmen hailing from Southern Oregon and Northern California.

These craftspeople produce furniture, carvings, musical instruments and other items that are both practical and beautiful. Many pieces created by the guild's members can be found in galleries, while many others are in private residences.

The Siskiyou Woodcraft Guild will present its 28th annual show Friday through Sunday, Nov. 23-25, at the Great Hall at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, 70 E. Main St., Ashland.

"It's an exciting event for us," says Tom Phillips, president of the guild. "After 28 years of shows, there's always a variation of artists who participate. We still try to present quality woodworking, furniture and carvings."

About 16 craftsmen will be at the show. There will be handmade violins by John Hill; furniture by Mallory Hicklin, Phillips and Don DeDobbeleer; and woodcarvings by Russel Beebe and Jim Chandler, just to name a few, Phillips says.

Art Dalke has been a member of the guild for about two years. One of Dalke's handmade pieces, a music stand made of cherry wood, was displayed in the guild's 2006 show, but he began woodworking many years ago.

"I started out making toys for my kids," Dalke says. "Then later I made furniture for our house because we couldn't afford it." He built cradles and changing tables, headboards, footstools, end tables and other wood furniture.

Dalke moved to the Rogue Valley about five years ago after he and his wife retired from their jobs in the Bay Area. Now he enjoys working with wood as a hobbyist in his garage in Medford.

Dalke calls his one-of-a-kind pieces "heritage furniture." His newest piece, a rocker, took him a year to complete, he says.

"I designed the chair from a style that is known as a Lincoln rocker," Dalke says. "It's a high back rocker made out of black walnut, and the seat and back are caned."

Weaving the cane by hand for the rocker was a meticulous process that took Dalke about six weeks to finish, he says. "I looked at a lot of pictures of the style of rocker before I decided to build one."

Dalke says he designs his pieces for his own satisfaction. When he joined the guild, he wanted to create something that would be suitable for the annual show. So he created the music stand. This year he will present both the stand and his Lincoln rocker.

Dalke has come full circle with his hobby. Now he builds wooden games and puzzles for his grandchildren.

The Siskiyou Woodcraft Guild show will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 23, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 24 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 25. Admission is free. Call 482-4829 or see siskiyou guild.org. on the Web.

Pieces such as this Lincoln rocker and music stand created by Art Dalke are featured at the annual Siskiyou Woodcraft Guild show.