Ten years ago, while spending winters in Yuma, Arizona, Ken was able to spend time with people in his park who would go to the City Recreation Centre three times a week to work on different crafts, including wood carving.
His friend carved walking sticks and he talked Ken into going along to see all the great work being done. Ken started out by carving a boat out of bass wood. they were shown how to cut with the grain, how to sharpen their tools, and safety (how not to cut your fingers).
“The first few years, I lost my share of blood! When this would happen people would come running with super glue, which works great on cuts”.
At first, Ken carved animals and characters. The recreation centre proved to be a great place, there were frequently master carvers coming in to show the other carvers how to improve and to give them tips. Then Ken saw one or two guys carving on cottonwood bark and he has been hooked ever since.
Besides learning patience, Ken has been able to meet many new friends and gained a new skill. He loves carving and has now helped a lot of new carvers to get started, just as he was once helped.