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More from Market Square

June 13, 2010

I ran across this woodcut lawn figure behind a woodworker’s tent at the market. Having just finished a nice talk with a fellow Clemson alum and friend, I headed up toward the square from Krutch Park in search of some Old City Coffee – which was good, but was no Conscious Coffee from Boulder. As I crouched to snap a picture of this wizard and his friend, Ray, their kindly creator, appeared from behind the tent to tell me there were more up front.

We discussed his scroll work and pole people, which were creepy only in the sense that yard gnomes can be creepy. He was very generous to discuss his methods such as how he made the elves from the remnants of whole logs, getting two Santa Clauses and an elf from a whole log, and how he made the dog circles, which where scroll cut portraits of various breeds of dogs, using a drill to create a teeny tiny starter hole to fit his saw blade into and, as he explained, used a saw with the same action as a sewing machine to cut the precision openings.

He walked me through his entire catalog right there beneath his tent, explaining what his best sellers were and how he was on back order for other items and how he had not tapped the football player market yet, but did have plans to begin production. We went on like this from Easter to the Uncle Sam to Witches and Scary Cats to Pilgrims, Turkeys, Santa Claus and Elves and another customer arrived. I grabbed his card and thanked him for his time, and as I made my way toward the chicken salad lady, I knew he was like a record, having already dropped his needle at the beginning, not because he feels he has to do so, but because it is natural, because Saturday, at the market, was the pay off for all the broken scroll saw blades, botched pole people, and moments he had broke the line on his diagram.

Check out more about Ray and his knotty art at

One Comment leave one →
  1. Emily permalink
    June 24, 2010 4:56 am

    My mom has a scarecrow and snowman. Seasonal pole people I made in shop class in 7th grade, obviously.

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