At the upcoming Shelby County Arts Show, April 11-12, the craftsmanship of three generations of the Fisher family will be showcased with styles ranging from small and whimsical to large, ornate and practical.
Wayne Fisher of Shelbyville will be bringing woodworking pieces created by his grandfather, Fredrik Charles Fisher; his father, Ervil Fisher, and himself.
You will be hard pressed not to find something in the exhibit that impresses, both in craftsmanship and originality. The attention to detail and patience involved are evident throughout.
Evidences of German craftsmanship are also seen in the work, as Wayne Fisher says his family traces back to Darmstadt, Germany.
Fisher said his grandfather started whittling to pass the time in winter when he could not farm. Hand carved pieces of a boy in a hammock, a wagon pulled by two oxen and a replica of a log homestead are just some of the pieces being presented.
One of the most impressive of Fredrik’s work is an electric model of a steam engine tractor, made of wood and hand worked metal. It even has an electric motor which turns the gears and belts. However, Wayne says he will not plug it up because it has been sitting a long time. “The rubber belts are old and probably can’t take being turned anymore,” he said.
Fisher says he and his father were not necessarily ‘taught’ wood craftsmanship, but it came from observation. He remarked, “I don’t know if granddad actually taught dad, I think it was mostly just being around him and seeing what he did. I probably got the woodworking bug from my dad, but when I was a kid granddad had all his stuff down at his house and it impressed me as a kid. He would do his whittling and had a little workshop and I would see the finished products.