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March 03, 1989 - Image 83

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-03-03

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members who work with Lucite
meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The group is self-sustaining. Each
member purchases his own handtools
and materials — basswood, pine and
Lucite — through the Center. The
Center purchased a circular saw and
a grinding wheel for sharpening car-
ving tools, and provides the meeting
space as well as coordinates members'
exhibits at both the JPM and Maple-
Drake Centers. For the last few years,
the club has displayed its carvings at
the Oak Park Ethnic Festival and, as
one of the more popular exhibits, has
been getting the table nearest the
"They are an exceptionally fine
groUp of people," says Miriam Sand-

"I think, 'Ah, that's silly,
why are they wasting
their time?' "

weiss, director of the Jewish Com-
munity Center's senior adult depart-
ment. "They serve as support, both
technical and emotional, for each
other and they are willing to take in
others. They are very willing to help
Goldbaum, a commercial fisher-
man known as the group's "professor
emeritus:' was joined in the early
days at the old Dexter-Davison Center
by Yitzhak Portner, Maurice Poulin
and Jack Weinhaus, who made carv-
ing tools which members are still
In addition to Yamin on this par-
ticular day at JPM, other wood-
workers include Joe Math, Irving
Stepak and Louis Cahn. Doing Lucite
is Twi Golinbursky. Other members
include Nate Moore, Sam Zafron and
Sam Faitler.
The men work from a file of il-
lustrations. Some are ethnic or
religious, showing the word shalom or
a rabbi reading the Torah, while some
are secular, such as Norman Rockwell
works. Several men sport leather or
rope necklaces with woodcarved
chais. It is one of the easier items to
make and one of the first newcomers
"We like to let them (newcomers)
see if they like it (woodcarving), so we
start them with something simple,"
says Math. "The more experienced
teach those who don't have the skill.
"For example, one guy in our
group is a busdriver, Hyman Matlen.
He didn't know anything about carv-
ing when he joined us, but now he can
do this blindfolded." It was Matlen
who, during a trip to California, saw
Lucite being carved. He taught Golin-
bursky and Al Samoss, the others
who prefer Lucite to wood. And it is
Matlen and Stepak to whom the
others turn for expert advice and
The projects take anywhere from
a couple of days to weeks — "how long


Above, Golinbursky works with Lucite while
behind him are Cahn, left, and Yamin.

Left, Joe Math shows his Norman Rockwell
model with his copy.




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