The Carver
All About ME!

My love for creativity was always a part of my life. It stemmed from the teachings of my grandfather. He was born and raised in Bridgton, Maine believed in making a living through the use of your hands. He would teach me the basic carpentry in return I would craft up small projects as birthday gifts.  Since I enjoyed drawing and using my imagination I was like a sponge eager to learn all that my grandfather would teach me. My thirst for art spilled into school. I signed up for all classes which became available. Sadly, art classes were not readily available unlike today.  

My summers were spent working, or as I thought “slaving” for my grandfather. My grandfather was an entrepreneur whom was a handyman of all skill levels. He did everything from repair projects for other homeowners to landscaping. As I look back upon my “slaving”. I realize that my grandfather’s knowledge of carpentry gave me a large array of experience in general common sense and construction.  Therefore I decided to take my skills and apply them to something useful like Drafting and Design. In the beginning I was not interested in higher education; hence the pathway of drawing became my focus. At first I began with technical drawing more importantly architectural and mechanical drawings.

During my junior year in High School, I signed up for Vocational Drafting.  Unfortunately life took a turn, at the beginning of my senior year, and I had to go to night school. The following summer I was heading nowhere, a father of a three year old son and working as a dishwasher. My cousin had signed up for the army a month earlier so of course they called me shortly thereafter promising the wonders of the world. Being a young child myself and raising a child I joined with little thought. At that moment it felt like the only way to support an unplanned family. Sadly the one thing I learned was that I made a mistake and left my family and friends. In only two short years, I left the Army in an attempt to start a relationship with my son. I needed a trade so I would not end up in the dreaded Shoe Shop of Bridgton and thought of how to incorporate my creativity. Thankfully with help from the Army I was able to enter into a program at the local vocational college in which I graduated with an Associates Degree. While in college I was working fulltime as a grinder for a manufacture of radio antennas. At the end of the associates program, I was able to move off the factory floor to a design position. It was here where I picked up the nickname Nutmeg for my initials “NMG”. For those whom are not familiar with blue prints, once the blueprints are complete your initials or name are placed in the title block of all the drawings you work on. So there you go. That’s why NutMeG.

As the economy changed so did the availability of drafting jobs. With only a few years of drafting under my belt, I was laid off. Again my thirst for creativity emerged and I chose another medium. This time I wanted to do something more rewarding like wood carving. However, wood carving would become a hobby and drafting still my career. As time went by my life had evolved and my role changed into a husband and a father of four boys. I met my now wife my senior year of college. Both of us were single parents each of us working fulltime, going to college and raising one boy a piece. Two years ago my beautiful wife blessed me with two boys. Today, my role as a father of now Three boys grows daily. Although I enjoy being a father, I began to feel like I needed an avenue away from family and work life. I found a carver in south china, Maine that teaches once a week, Marcia Berkall from “Whittlins ‘n Wood”. I quickly learned what a great teacher and crafter she is. Her Carvings can be seen at http://www.pvot.net/~whitwood, you will love them. Without her guidance with the basics of wood carvings I don’t think I would have started carving on my own. After traveling for about a year to Marcia’s classes, I had grew tired of the extra hour drive and had to stop going.

Now I am carving on my own of Gnomes and to break up the time with other items like Santa and Tree Spirits. Some times I will carve Fairy Homes and Spirit Sticks (Walking sticks with a tree spirit carved in it). I have always been intrigued by stories of Gnomes, fairy, witches, and warlocks. So be sure to swing by from time to time to see new things of fantasy realm. Soon I hope to have dragons and other creatures of mythology. With luck I hope to start selling carvings and house plans full time. Until then I will continue drafting for engineering firms.

Thanks for Reading.

Nathan M Gardner
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