Twenty years ago Bob Ziegler of Canfield wanted to do his wife a big favor. That one instance led to a rewarding hobby both Bob and his wife, Diane, have been involved with since that day.
Bob was retired from teaching math and science in the Austintown School System while Diane still worked.
After visiting a wood carving show at the Metroplex, Diane wanted to take up woodcarving as a hobby. She started carving at home but wanted to perfect her skills. She heard about the Western Reserve Wood Carvers, but the classes were scheduled at the same time she worked.
Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Bob Ziegler of Canfield isn't bothered by the weather when it comes to keeping active. He has been involved in the art of wood carving and continues to attend classes such as the one held each Thursday at the Austintown Senior Center. He is pictured here with an Indian head carving.
"She couldn't take the classes at that time, so she asked me to join, learn new things and bring them home to teach her," Bob said.
After attending the classes, it didn't take long until he was hooked.
"I realized I could do this," he said, "And my pieces were turning out good."
Like Diane, Bob wanted to improve his skills, so he enrolled at the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center, and with each project, he picked up a new skill.
It wasn't long before Bob and Diane moved from the amateur level into experienced woodcarvers. The couple wanted to keep learning and enjoyed socializing with other wood carvers, so they joined a carving group that met at the North Side Senior Center in Youngstown.
When the Austintown Senior Center began classes they decided to take those as well. The Zieglers now are regulars at the classes held each Thursday in Austintown.
Bob said he is currently working relief carvings, which start with a three dimensional portrait. The portrait is traced onto a piece of butternut wood where Bob said he begins the task of removing wood around the stencil to form the object.
The piece he working on now is the portrait of a Native American chief.
"It's easy," he said. "You just find a picture, trace it onto a board and start carving."
Diane is involved in chip carving, and her current project are coasters that have a specific pattern.
The couple enjoy their time at the Senior Center as well as sharing their hobby with others who enjoy woodcarving.
"Carving has a lot of family participation," Diane said. "You'll find husband and wife teams, father and son teams, brother and sisters, and even fathers and daughters. It is a great family hobby."
The Canfield couple love showing their work and what they have learned. They have recently entered a wood carving class in the Fine Arts building held during the Canfield Fair.