Don’s first carvings were two sets of stylized
cats which were carved with an electrician’s knife in 1963. They are still in the family! After a 15 year hiatus from
carving he again took up tools to carve a boot and a mouse for his daughters collections, after a trip to Silver Dollar City
that was in 1978 and he has contributed to his families collections ever since.
His work in the construction industry took him
to many states and exposed Don to many carving environments. He has participated in carving clubs in Missouri, Montana,
Texas, California and now in Northwest
Arkansas. He was the past president of the Bella Vista Woodcarvers club. Don has participated in several carving
shows and has several ribbons to show for his efforts. His first show was in Detroit,
Michigan and it earned him two blue and one yellow ribbon in the three categories
that he had entered.
In his travels, Don has been able to study carving
with some to the top carvers in the country. Since retiring in 1996 he has not missed an opportunity to participate in the
annual two week “War Eagle Carving Seminar” located at War Eagle Arkansas
and he has been able to carve with some of this country’s greatest carvers.
Don spent forty-one years in the construction
field, assigned primarily to power plant and refinery projects. He served as a Field Engineer, Construction Manager and Project
Manager with responsibilities for meeting schedules, budgets and assuring that contract requirements were met. His relief
when he left the project was to produce a carving. “It’s a means of taking your mind off of the daily pressures
applying your energy towards the project at hand”.
Don was raised in Ladysmith, Wisconsin where he met his future wife Donna.
After four years in the Air Force where he taught electronics, he returned to Ladysmith and he and Donna were married. They
have four children and fifteen grand children all with special carving requests, scattered from Illinois
Don’s carvings cover a wide range from small
whimsical ornaments to Cigar store Indians and carousel horses. He always has a brogan or a small cowboy boot ready to grace
a special friend’s shelf, his calling card for years. These calling cards are located all over the states, with several
outside the country. Each carving with his initials, a hole in the sole and in many cases the initial of the recipitants name
carved into the boot. His cowboy boots usually have a carving of the state and a star for the location.
To complete the circle he has recently been accepted
as a visiting carver at Silver Dollar City located in Missouri, where he looks forward to meeting carvers and visitors interested in carving.
The nature of carving is that it takes a lot of
time to complete and paint so production is limited and you fall in love with each one. A special treat is the feel of caring
chips under foot so
“LET THE CHIPS FALL WHERE THEY MAY”!!!!