This master carver comes by his talent honestly
Ihave loved woodworking all my life, thanks largely to my father and grandfather, who were great teachers. They taught me that in order to build anything, you first have to understand the structural part of the design.
My interest in building model ships began when I worked with my father, who repaired real boats. I began building model ships using standard blueprints, but when I became bored with that, I started designing my own blueprints for projects. I’d look at pictures in books, sketch a design, create blueprints on paper and then transfer the design to wood.
Along with modern tools, I really enjoy using old-fashioned ones to achieve the look that I want. Many of the tools I use, such as old hand saws and rasps, have been passed down through my family. I use all types of wood—including pine, walnut, maple, mahogany and ebony—to create carvings of wooden sailing ships, a logging truck and a caterpillar skidder, just to name a few.
Living on the shores of Lake Superior has taught me to have great respect for the captains and crews of all sailing vessels, from the old wooden sailing ships to the doomed Great Lakes freighter the Edmund Fitzgerald. On the model ships I build, no detail is too small to include. I carve figureheads, install rigging and create tiny mahogany planks for decks.
Among my other pieces is a Harley-davidson motorcycle, a British man-of-war ship with more than 100 guns, a D-10 caterpillar bulldozer and an Alaskan king crab boat. I also enjoy handcrafting full-size furniture such as hutches and cabinets.
I am proud to have had some of my models on display at the Sault Ste. Marie museum over the years, as well as in several local businesses. Hundreds of hours of work have gone into each of the pieces I’ve carved and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it! n