Door County, Wis., woodworker Erik Rinkleff learned to carve in 1998. He was instantly hooked and now enjoys carving a variety of subjects, including Santas and snowmen, country characters, gnomes and wood spirits.
Erik doesn't use power tools or power carvers. Each of his pieces is a one-of-a-kind, hand-carved original made of butternut or basswood harvested in Door County. Erik paints each piece in multiple layers of oil paint washes, providing a rich, antique-like appearance. He then coats the piece with a clear lacquer finish, resulting in a treasure that will last a lifetime.
Erik is the assistant director at The Clearing in Ellison Bay, Wis., where he teaches classes both in woodcarving and in making rustic furniture.