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Woodworking Showcased at the Kentucky Artisan Center in May

 “Wood is a gift of Nature and each piece is unique and full of potential surprises. My goal is to allow the beauty of the wood to evolve according to its natural design.”       Jamie Donaldson - Woodturner

 

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea will host a variety of woodworking events each Saturday in May.

Working almost entirely with cottonwood bark, William L. Rogers found his creative outlet after a 30-year career with IBM. Rogers will be demonstrating his carving skills on Saturday, May 7, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.

The Montana and Alaskan cottonwood bark that Rogers uses is harvested from dead trees whose bark has fallen to the ground. All of Rogers’ carvings are original, and because no two pieces of bark are alike, no two of his carvings are exactly alike.

“As I begin to carve a new piece of bark, I strive to reveal the face or house that is hidden within the cottonwood bark,” Rogers said.

Elliott County’s Jo Ann Butts will show visitors her woodcarving and painting skills as she creates ‘critters’ from wood on Saturday, May 14, from 10:30 to 3:30, at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.

Being born in a log cabin, acquiring a pocketknife at a young age and having a cousin who is a renowned folk artist all contributed to Butts’ love of carving with wood. 

“Creating things runs in my family,” Butts said. “After moving back to Kentucky from Ohio in 1999, my cousin, the folk artist Minnie Adkins, encouraged me to begin working with wood.”

Starting with a small sheep, Butts slowly branched out and she now creates a wide variety of animals that reflect having grown up on a large hillside farm. 

Three members of the Berea Welcome Center Carvers will demonstrate a variety of woodcarving techniques as they talk and cut-it-up with visitors on Saturday, May 21, from 10:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the center. Carving that day will be John Ferguson, of Danville, Oris Stanton, of Somerset, and Gene Barnes, of Richmond.

The Berea Welcome Center Carves is a woodcarving group whose members come from throughout central Kentucky. The group began as a grass-roots gathering of interested woodcarvers and then became a regular part of the Kentucky Artisan Center’s roster of demonstrations. The group demonstrates the third Saturday of every month at the center.

On Saturday, May 28, Jamie Donaldson, of Georgetown, will demonstrate wood turning on the lathe from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center.

Donaldson began his wood education in his high school shop class. He began to pursue wood turning in 1986 when he added a lathe to his wood shop’s tool inventory. After attending a wood-turning workshop, Donaldson began collecting works by wood artists at craft shows. His numerous workshop teachers taught him to see the potential beauty in wood and to make many of his own tools. 

“Wood is a gift of Nature and each piece is unique and full of potential surprises,” said Donaldson. “My goal is to allow the beauty of the wood to evolve according to its natural design.”

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is located just off Interstate 75 at Berea Exit 77. The center’s exhibits, shopping and travel and information areas are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the cafe is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea currently features works by more than 700 artisans from more than 100 counties across the Commonwealth. Special exhibits on display include “Great Impressions: Prints by Kentucky Artisans,” through Sept. 10, 2016; and in the lobby, “Kentucky Clay: A Continuing Tradition.” For more information about events call 859-985-5448, go to the center’s website or visit the center’s Facebook page.

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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