Sunday, August 4, 2013


As one of this year's fund raisers, Stroke Camp is thrilled to raffle off chances to win one of three beautiful intarsia wood carvings made by stroke caregiver Rob Herb from Cheyenne, WY. First place is an American Eagle intarsia. Rob spent countless hours creating this wood carving from different types of wood imported from all over the world. Rob also made a second place praying hands intarsia and a third place wood burned eagle plaque. I've included pictures of the three below.

You can purchase your raffle tickets 
online at:
or by mailing a check to 425 W. Giles Lane Peoria, Illinois 61614. Please include a memo with the check stating that it is for the raffle tickets. We will mail you your ticket stubs so be sure your name and address are included.

Ticket prices are: 1 ticket for $5, 3 tickets for $10, and 7 tickets for $20. All proceeds go to fund Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp.

The winner will be drawn on November 9, 2013.

Don't know what intarsia is? Following is a definition taken in part from Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia. Following the definition is the "back story" on how Rob got involved in doing intarsias and why these particular ones have such special meaning to him, his family and now, us. I've included, within Rob's story, photos of the actual carvings being raffled by us. 

Intarsia is a form of wood inlaying. Inlay is a decorative technique of inserting pieces of contrasting, often colored materials into depressions in a base object to form patterns or pictures that normally are flush with the matrix. In a wood matrix, inlays commonly use wood veneersIn woodworking, veneer refers to thin slices of wood, usually thinner than 3 mm (1/8 inch), that typically are glued onto core panels typically, wood.

It is thought that the word 'intarsia' is derived from the Latin word 'interserere' which means "to insert". Intarsia is a woodworking technique that uses varied shapes, sizes, and species of wood fitted together to create a mosaic-like picture with an illusion of depth. Intarsia is created through the selection of different types of wood, using their natural grain pattern and color (but can involve the use of stains and dyes) to create variations in the pattern. After selecting the specific woods to be used within the pattern, each piece is then individually cut, shaped, and finished. Sometimes areas of the pattern are raised to create more depth. Once the individual pieces are complete, they are fitted together like a jig-saw puzzle and glued to wood backing which is sometimes cut to the outline shape of the image.

The Story
Here's the "back story" from Rob:
It all started with 2 items:
[1] In April 1999, we were searching for our older daughter's godmother, whose 1st husband (Don Dwiggins) was killed in Vietnam and with whom we had lost contact. After some searching and emailing, we found Lynn Dwiggins Honeycutt [& had lots of tears] and convinced her to attend our 35th reunion in 2002. BTW, the phone call with Lynn occurred on the 14th of April, 1999, Judy's 55th birthday. That was one heck of a birthday present. FYI, I told Boyd that Don Dwiggins was with the 25th Infantry Division when he was KIA, so I have a special bond with anyone who served with the "Tropic Lightning" Division.

[2] Our 2nd granddaughter was born in June 1999 with some medical problems & was medevaced to Houston, so we asked Dr. Tom Parr, a 1967 USMA grad & orthopedic surgeon living in Houston, to explain some of the medical jargon for us. Also, Tom and his wife were the ones who ultimately got us reconnected with Lynn Honeycutt because Tom was working on Don's Memorial Article for the Assembly Magazine. Rob made his 1st burning of his class crest in 2001 for Tom in thanks; when we realized how much he appreciated it, it got us thinking about making them for Surviving Family Members (SFMs) of classmates who died since we graduated in 1967. The first presentations were done in November 2002 at our 35th Reunion, and we've been doing them ever since then. Lynn is now the class representative for our Surviving Family Member group.

In Honor of Donald H. Dwiggins, Jr.
After presenting Tom with the Class Crest at the Ski Reunion in Breckenridge, CO, we contemplated how we could 'honor' Donald H. Dwiggins, Jr.'s death. In February 2001, we decided to make the first-ever [for us] intarsia of the class crest with the names of my 29 classmates who were killed in Vietnam inscribed above the crest (see attached photo). It took both of us about 16 months to make, from scratch, with mostly hand-sanding and a small belt sander. This is the first piece where purple heart wood (the backing for the inscription) was used to honor my classmates who were wounded or killed in Vietnam. Although the feathers on the eagle's wings seem to be mismatched, we tried to incorporate as many different woods as possible to signify the diverse backgrounds of the members of the Class of '67. It was dedicated at The Wall at a Memorial Service in June 2002 and is displayed in the South Conference Room of Herbert Hall, the Alumni building at West Point.

We have continued !

1st Place (16" x 20")
All of our intarsias are made of natural woods with no stains applied. Since that first one, we have tried to incorporate some blood wood or redheart to remember the blood that has been shed by our men and women in uniform to keep our Great Nation free, some white or black ash to signify the Common Book of Prayer's graveside rights reference to 'ashes to ashes' and dust to dust, and purple heart wood to honor those who have been wounded or killed in battle. The Eagle & Flag intarsia pattern is one that Judy adapted from a calendar picture we've had for 10 years. 
3rd Place (9" x 12")

This is a wood burning of the Intarsia pictured above. 

2nd Place (6" x 10")

The Praying Hands is a pattern that we found in one of my woodworking/intarsia books. Judy has one similar to the one you'll be raffling (slightly modified) hanging in our living room.

Not part of the raffle
As for the crosses that we've made, that's something that evolved from the care that Judy received after her stroke in 2004. The medical professionals we've come in contact with since her stroke are truly a gift from God. I started making them around 2005 after I got some patterns from one of my Masonic friends. I think the first one I made was for Judy's Occupational Therapist who was determined to find a way to get Judy's right hand functioning again. Since then, we've been providing them to the good people who continue to cross our path and give us hope for the future.

If you need any more info, please let us know.

Warm Regards,
Rob & Judy

Here are the schematics Rob used to make the above intarsias:

You can purchase your chances to win online at:
or by mailing a check to 425 W. Giles Lane Peoria, Illinois 61614. Please include a memo with the check stating that it is for the raffle tickets. We will mail you your ticket stubs so be sure your name and address are included.

Ticket prices are: 1 ticket for $5, 3 tickets for $10, and 7 tickets for $20. All proceeds go to fund Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp.

The winner will be drawn on November 9, 2013.



Anonymous said...

As an added bonus, the folks who win each of the pieces will also receive one of the cherry wood crosses shown above. As with the significance of the specific woods I use in my intarsias, I chose cherry wood because of a song I heard many years ago. You can Google/Bing "The Cherry Tree Carol" by either the Chad Mitchell Trio or Joan Baez to understand why I use cherry wood. Rob

Anonymous said...

Jim and I have purchased raffle tickets for your beautiful intarsias. Thank you so much for producing them and giving them to Stroke Camp in order to raise the much needed funds to continue this great relaxing and refreshing experience. My Jim is also a veteran. Fortunately, all State side. He remembers very little and his stroke has taken away his ability to walk,, talk, read or write, but he still knows he loves me and has the best smile of almost all the campers. I just had to tell you how much we appreciate your beautiful and meaningful work. Bless you both. Jim and Joan Leeney

Anonymous said...

Joan: Thank you for supporting the Stroke Camp folks and their mission. The intarsias, wood burning, and crosses are but a small token of our appreciation for all they do for stroke survivors and caregivers. Please give our warmest regards to your husband and our sincere thanks to him for his service to our country, God Bless! Rob & Judy Herb

Naomi Julia said...

The orthopedics are highly educated and qualified doctors. They go through approximately 14 to 15 years of specialized education after completing graduation. They have to maintain bright academic records all throughout their schooling. After years of training and internship, they have to pass a state exam to get their practicing license, in that particular part of the country.To learn more at:-Houston Orthopedic Surgeons

Chuck J. said...

Naomi,thank you for your comment. I did not realize how much training Orthopedics experienced.