On Saturday, Dec. 8, Joe Offerman, of Owensboro, will carve and sculpt wood into a variety of Santa sculptures and ornaments, just right for your gift list, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.

A self-taught wood carver, Offerman took up his craft in 1985, after retiring as a speech and language pathologist. His Santa carvings, “wood spirits,” holiday ornaments and shelf mice all show the dexterity and marks of his carving knife. His knee Santas are made from cypress knees found in swampy areas, and his shelf mice have leather tails and horse hair whiskers.

Offerman teaches wood carving in Kentucky, Indiana, Colorado and Florida to promote interest in his art form. He has received numerous commissions for wildlife carvings, Santa and Nativity scenes. His work is in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the American Museum of Folk Art, both in New York City. Offerman’s Santa figures were featured on HGTV on “Christmas Across America” in December 2002, and his work is in the collection of the Owensboro Museum.

A variety of Joe Offerman’s Santa carvings and ornaments are regularly available at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, located at 200 Artisan Way, just off Interstate 75 at Berea exit 77. The center’s exhibits, shopping and travel information areas are open daily, year-round, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the cafe is open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free.

The center currently features works by more than 650 artisans from more than 100 counties across the Commonwealth. A special exhibit titled, “The Threads that Bind: Textile Works by Kentucky Artisans,” is on display through Feb. 23, 2013. For information about the center’s programming, call 859-985-5448 or visit the center’s website at www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.



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