David Egesdal

Fine Arts & Crafts

by Joshua Heston.

What was commonplace two generations ago (the art of making what was needed rather than buying it) is quickly fading under a flood of cheap — and cheaply manufactured — imports.

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However, wherever there are people who care about quality and maintain a careful link to their past as well as the land, you will find master craftsmen.

David Egesdal, Carver

Well, a little about myself and my hobby. My name is David Egesdal and my wife's name is Lacy. We have two boys, Hunter and Carver. My wife and I decided to make the Ozarks  our  home in 2009. We both loved the atmosphere of the Ozarks and the family that we had become part of at Sonrise Baptist Church.

The heritage of this area is a major attraction to me as well. Ever since I was young I had an interest in crafts from woodworking to leather working and now my hobby of woodcarving. I see art in everything that we do and it is a shame that our culture has limited it to specific areas.

From my undergraduate degree of Youth Ministry with a Bible Minor to my masters in Biblical Counseling to my Math Certification for teaching I see that each has an art of their own with techniques and skills specifically developed for their application to the world in which we live.

As I consider the more specific arts that are universally agreed upon I have to say that I favor woodcarvings. I started carving about three years ago as a healthy alternative to watching television and playing video games. There is something about creating an object from a block of wood that is satisfying. 

It has been said by many that the carving was not carved but rather the pieces hiding it have been removed. I suppose that this is not only a statement that can be made about carvings but also a statement made about each of our lives in general.

As the years go by we began to understand who we are more and more. Most of us carry many masks that hide the real us. With time the hope would be that we would learn to live and be as God intended for us to be.

I started woodcarving after visiting the Ozark Whittlers and Woodcarvers club in Springfield. I took to the art quite naturally and found myself buying a couple knives the first night and carving for about 15 hours the first week.

After finishing my graduate degree my wife and I moved to Ozark and I began doing woodcarving on walking sticks and found them to be quite enjoying. Now we live in Sparta, Missouri, and I have started a small business called Creation Carvings. I started a website at creationcarvings.com and at handcarvedwalkingsticks.com; Lord willing I will be able to do more craft shows each year.

Woodworking has been very rewarding as it gives a sense of satisfaction in being able to see the finished project. My future plans are to continue carving and perhaps someday start chainsaw carving, basket weaving, painting, pottery and furniture making.

David Egesdal

plate 1. Ozark Carver David Egesdal, originally from southern Iowa, holds one of his creations. October 2013.

Carved Fairy House

plate 2. Fairy House Window and Roof.

Dave Egesdal notes, “These are called fairy houses or gnome homes. They are actually cottonwood bark carvings. The bark has to come from fallen trees (you can’t really tear it off a live tree). The carving was made from a large cottonwood tree alongside the Des Moines River.

“The tree had been struck by lightning years before I harvested the bark. It is special to me as that tree was down by the trailer court where I grew up. Everything there was surrounded by corn fields there in southern Iowa near Ottumwa.

Fairy House

plate 2. Fairy House Study.

“That tree was about six feet wide. It was truly ginormous.The cottonwood trees down here in the Ozarks are different. The bark doesn’t get at thick and it may be because of the winters. A lot of carvers get their cottonwood bark from Canada. If you look real close, you will see paper-thin layers — each layer is a year of growth.

Fairy House Detail

plate 2. Fairy House Detail.

“When you carve the bark, you gotta go with what the bark has. Sometimes there are holes or wiggles off to the side because of the growth patterns.” — Dave Egesdal, Sparta, Missouri

Fairy House Detail

plate 2. Fairy House Detail.

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Has God ever surprised you? Well, He did me! I’ve been into right-brain creative activities through high school, college and in business never imagining a possible “passion” for painting to be included in the mix later in life. 

And then ”this” … on “that”….. painting domestic animals and wildlife with acrylics on native Arkansas sandstone. With a lot of encouragement from my husband Larry, family and friends the “vision” began!

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Each piece of stone is hand picked, according to color, size and depth, thoroughly washed and treated with a poly-acrylic sealant. Then the size appropriate image is drawn on the stone and painted with care. It is then twice treated with a spar urthethane UV spray and dried.

The image determines the size and shape of the stone in many ways. Whether it be a commission of a beloved pet or one of God’s creatures that strikes an emotion within us, it will fit within the “perfect” confines of the earth stone and become a one-of-a kind piece of original art.

It is my privilege to share this blessing of God's talent with you. — Marty Schmitt

Visit ArtThatRocks4U.com. Call (417) 598-0885. Email Marty@ArtThatRocks4U.com

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