crafter whittles away
the hours with scrap wood
steamboat ride led to Wallaces
fascination with the replicas
Helen E. McKinney
CARROLLTON, Ky. (April 2009) When David Wallace
took a ride on the Belle of Louisville, the boats paddlewheels
caught his attention as they slowly churned water. Thinking to himself,
I could make some miniature paddlewheel boats out of scrap wood,
Wallace went home and got right to work on the project.
At a neighbors suggestion that he display the finished paddlewheel
boat replicas he had made, he targeted the downtown area of Carrollton.
The fruit of his labors have been showcased at the Carrollton-Carroll
County Tourism and Convention Commission at 515 Highland Ave.
by Helen E. McKinney
Wallace spends many hours
carving details into his wooden
creations. He was inspired by the
Belle of Louisville to try his hand at
re-creating miniature paddlewheelers.
Wallace, 67, has crafted walking sticks, smoking pipes,
birdhouses and cars out of wood, just to name a few of his creations.
He used to make larger pieces, such as gun cabinets, but now focuses
on smaller wooden items that do not take quite as long to build.
For the last two winters, Wallace has whittled away long, cold hours
by crafting magnificent, lifelike works of art from ordinary pieces
of wood. Extremely modest about what he does, his work is anything but
Neighbor Jimmy Supplee, 62, was raised on the same street in downtown
Carrollton that he now lives on next to Wallace. This is a close-knit
neighborhood, said Supplee of the Main Street area. Supplee he
has marveled at Wallaces creations for some time.
He does all of his work by hand, preferring to use old tools
instead of more modern, efficient ones, said Supplee. Wallaces
creativity runs in all directions. He took wood from the Ohio
River behind my house and made a marlin fish.
Perhaps it is the river that inspires Wallace to reproduce
his paddlewheel boats and fish, using pine scrap wood for many of his
creations. Some of his walking sticks have been crafted from apple
trees that were cut down in my neighbors yard, he said.
He then embellished the wood by whittling fanciful birds on the sticks.
Even though his work has caught the eye of many admirers, Wallace said
he has no plans to set up his work for sale any where soon because it
takes too long to make each piece. Wallace plans to display his
hand-detailed work at the tourism office again in the near future.
by Helen E. McKinney
closeup shows the detail of
David Wallace's work on a steamboat.
For now, his creations are just a hobby for Wallace but
could easily become more than that if time allowed. His boats have tiny
working, moveable parts and can be lit up.
His work is amazing. It is so very detailed, said Carrollton-Carroll
County Tourism Director Rhonda Crutcher. Like many other local artists,
she believes Wallace has a gift that it would be a shame not to
Crutcher is in the planning stages of deciding what exhibits she will
stage next year at the tourism office. There are a lot of talented
people in this area, she said.
She is thinking of displaying Wallaces paddlewheelers again next
spring When you think of boats, you think of the spring and summer
months, she said.
And when many Carroll County residents think of paddlewheelers, they
will think of Wallace.
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