John R. Henderson:

I’m often asked “How long have you been carving?” I just say, “I don’t remember.”  I’ve been whittling for over 50 years.  I remember sharpening my pencils with my pocket knife in the first grade.  My first memory of whittling was sitting on my Grandfathers porch in Alabama and listening to him, my father and uncles tell stories as they sat and whittled.  I turned 60 in 2009, so I know it’s been over 50 years. Toy knives and guns were my first attempts at doing something in wood.  My first attempt to do something artistic was at age 10.  I started carving seriously about 18 years ago while still working on the Broadview Fire Dept.  I retired as Deputy Chief in 2001, after 28 years of service.  I have been participating in wood carving competitions and art shows for several years.  I have done a few commissions pieces, however, I prefer using my own ideas and creating my own designs.  I enjoy working with many different woods and soft stone.  When I finish a piece, I hope someone likes it enough to take it home with them.