Jim's Crafts or "The Dabbler"


Bobbin Lace
Growing Flax
Chip Carving
Mountain Dulcimer
Dalton House
Ezell-Peavy House
1954 John Deere 60

Chip-carving on the Front Porch

Using a compass, Jim designed the pattern seen on the paper before him, transferred the pattern to a wooden plate, and then carved out enough triangular chips to reveal an image of two love-birds. He made a plate like this for each of his grandchildren who married. Their names and date were inscribed on the plate's margin.

When the temperature rises, he sits on the porch in the shade and carves while listening to his favorite afternoon radio conservative talk-show hosts. Never mind comments re. the glare.

Jim studied the craft of chip carving at Davis and Elkins College, West Virginia. The class was taught by long-time carver and author Wayne Barton.

Shown at the left are two bowls and utinsels carved by Jim. The heart-shaped bowl is made from spalted wood while the larger bowl is made from sassafras. The utinsels are made from pieces of a cherry tree that was blown over by high winds in Jim's backyard.

Blacksmith Forge

Forger at the Forge

Jim likes blacksmithing. Tending a coal fire and forging red-hot metal is both art and science. The art and skill is in forming the rough material into the desired shape. The object can be ornamental or functional or both. The science is in choosing the correct stock and tempering it to the appropriate hardness. Blacksmithing has been going on for several millennium.

While some blacksmiths still shoe horses, he, like many other smiths, prefer to leave that chore to real farriers.

Note the appropriate red bandana hung out to dry as it is used to wipe away perspiration on a hot summer day.

When Jim volunteered at the West Virginia State Farm Museum, he could, on occasion, be found in their Blacksmith Shop fabricating plant hangers; some were sold and donations were made to the Country Store.