Artisan Showcase highlights local talent
Wood carver Jack Ader is one of about 18 local artists who will be showcasing their talent at the Artisan Showcase held Saturday, Feb. 13 in Bell Tower Residence’s Assisi Hall from 1-5 p.m.
Jack enjoys the art of carving and chooses to create at his own pace. Many of his Santas are given as gifts and some are purchased to be added to Santa collections. His Santas take many hours to create so he considers each a “labor of love.”
Most of his carvings are from basswood because it is plentiful, easy to carve, keeps details and has good grain. The process may include using a band saw, knives, gouges, paint and stain.
His workshop is full of Santa Clauses in all stages of the process and shelves are full of carving books and patterns with a bin of “rejects.” Carvings are all shapes, styles and sizes and most are painted and antiqued while some are stained or left natural.
In addition to Santas he has carved birds, letter openers, soldiers, Native Americans and signs. One of his carved signs in his workshop reads, “Will carve for chocolate.”
Ideas for his carvings come from magazines, catalogs, gift shops and his wife Helene Ader who is on the Artisan Showcase planning committee. Over the years he has taken several carving classes and belongs to the Merrill Carving Club.
The Artisan Showcase at Bell Tower Residence is the only show Jack attends. “I like that it’s an opportunity for area artists to show what they can do,” said Jack. “And many of the artists sell their artwork, so it is a nice venue for them.”
Admission for the event is $5 for adults and includes wine, cheese and appetizers with on-going piano music by Merrill pianists on the Steinway grand located in the hall. The on-site raffle of artwork donated by participants is a popular addition to the show.
Bell Tower Residence Assisted Living is a ministry of the Holy Cross Sisters.