Homer Kizer - Wood Carver

Homer Kizer, Woodcarver, Chosen as one of America's Top 200 Craftsmen working with traditional tools (2006), offers Hand Carved Treenware, Accoutrements for Reenactors and Living Historians, Museums and Galleries, Collectable Bowls for Special Occasions or Everyday Use.

Homer previously carved wood in Old Bedford Village, Bedford ,PA, where he entertained and educated visitors with carving blows delivered from handmade adzes and crooked knives, reducing a block of hardwood into useable shapes before their eyes. All treenware are from a single piece of wood; are food safe and intended for actual use. Anyone can own a wood bowl from a bowl mill, each bowl the same or very similar to every other bowl, but only a few can possess a bowl carved one at a time into shapes suggested by the block of wood. Some lengths of wood become utilitarian trenchers.

Homer carves fruit, nut, salad bowls in shapes other than round. Many are fish, otters, crouching bears—natural creatures indigenous to the North woods. Homer made his tools, crooked knives from worn out files, adzes from car springs, each hafted on whatever hardwood was available: wild cherry from the Oregon Coast, mulberry from Illinois, Osage orange from Ohio, birch and blacktag alder from Fairbanks, canyon maple from Idaho, ash from Pennsylvania. As he demonstrated here and there, he picked up a usable crouch from a local tree until twenty years later, his handles (hafts) represent an unintentional history of place.

Of the traditional pieces he has examined, the majority are carved heart down while using the natural contour of the log. The pieces were initially carved green and in the drying process this design lends itself to greater survivability than carving heart up. By carving heart down and using the natural contour, while drying, the bowl "cupped," thereby using the radial shrinkage of the wood to produce more of a bowl-like shape.

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