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Donald K. Mertz of Wilmington, Ohio has been actively carving since 1975 when he joined the National Wood Carvers Association. He is a frequent contributor to its publication “Chip Chats” writing under the byline, “The WOOD BEE CARVER” whose philosophy is “Would be carvers would be carvers if they would carve wood.”
Mertz has retired from teaching and participating in woodcarving shows at the beginning of 2020. He continues to carve for his own enjoyment as well as add instructional and informative postings to his blog ~ www.woodbeecarver.com ~ which will continue to serve as a his woodcarving journal or diary of Whittle-Carving endeavors that center on carving using only knives.
Whittling is an art of the common people often self learned, so it is natural to call his carving process “Whittle Folk Art.” His subjects are called “Whittle Folk” be they “Whittle Folk Geezers, Whittle Folk Gnomes, Whittle Folk Monks, Whittle Folk Busts, Whittle Folk Eggs, Whittle Folk Shelf Squatters or Whittle Folk ‘Pokes’.”
The fine detail of various whittling cuts creates an “Exaggerated Realism” in figures six inches tall down to miniatures. The WOOD BEE CARVER, who began whittling as a boy growing up on a farm three miles south of Poneto, Indiana continues to be a would be carver always learning through the carving process as he has discovered that “wood carving is more the journey than the destination.”
His down to earth roots on the farm and sense of humor contributed to the creation of his “Hog Heaven Pig Seeds” and “Purtirina Chicks” novelities.
EACH CARVING IS A JOURNEY – a digital edition of SALT MAGAZINE published by the Wilmington News Journey, Wilmington, OHIO Summer (July/August) 2012, written by Carol Chroust who interviewed Donald Mertz, the WOOD BEE CARVER. http://issuu.com/thesaltmagazine/docs/julyaug2012/6 [turn the pages by clicking on the arrow at the right until you come to Page 24, 24 and 26 and hover mouse cursor and click to enlarge page or advance pages and enlarge by the way your computer operates]