Ted Rumsey had done some wood carving throughout the years.
But the pastime became a passion in 2000, when he was helping at a Boy Scout camp.
“All the boys had a knife and a stick, and they didn’t know how to handle either one,” Rumsey recalled.
So he taught them to carve walking sticks.
He’s barely put down his own knife since.
Rumsey, 78, of Camano Island, has an impressive repertoire of work. And he’s been selected as the featured carver at the 22nd annual Artistry in Wood show March 19-20 in Kennewick.
He’s honored, he said.
“Everybody wants to be noticed, no matter how old you get,” he said. “It shows appreciation for your efforts.”
The show, coordinated by the Tri-Cities Woodcarvers Association, is at Tri-Tech Skills Center in Kennewick.
Hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 19 and from 9 a.m. to 4 pm. March 20.
About 80 carvers from throughout the Northwest will have works on display and for sale at the show. Carving tools and wood also will be sold, and demonstrations are planned.
Breakfast and lunch will be available both days.
Admission is $3 a day. Children 12 and younger get in for free.
Rumsey, a retired Seattle firefighter, generally eschews power tools and does his carving by hand, producing walking sticks, detailed decorative pieces and the like.
Ted Rumsey generally eschews power tools and does his carving by hand, producing walking sticks, detailed decorative pieces and the like.
He likes to use natural wood, like Cypress knees and cottonwood bark. He sees carving as, “taking Mother Nature’s beauty and enhancing it a little bit.”
For him, carving’s appeal is its creativity, he said.
“Anybody can do it. And when you’re done carving something, it is what it is. It doesn’t have to please anybody else. Art is in the eye of the beholder. If you’re a carver, it’s the same kind of thing. You carve what pleases you. If somebody likes it, fine. If not, it doesn’t matter much, at least to me.”
But plenty of people like what he produces.
Jerry Dilley, Artistry in Wood’s chairman, is among them.
He praised Rumsey’s work, especially his carvings in the Native American style.
“It’s top of the line Northwest coast work. He’s really, really excellent,” Dilley said.
The association holds regular carving sessions that are open to the public. People don’t need to bring wood or tools to attend.
They are from 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesdays and from 9 a.m. to noon Fridays at the Kennewick Senior Center, and from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursdays at the Pasco Senior Center. For more information on the association, go to www.tri-citieswoodcarvingclub.blogspot.com.
▪ Artistry in Wood holds regular carving sessions that are open to the public. People don’t need to bring wood or tools to attend.
Tri-Tech Skills Center is at 5929 W. Metaline Ave.
IF YOU GO
What: 22nd annual Artistry in Wood show
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 19 and 9 a.m. to 4 pm. March 20
Where: Tri-Tech Skills Center, 5929 W. Metaline Ave., Kennewick
Cost: $3 general admission. Children 12 and younger are admitted for free.