Full Name: Mike Johnson
City: Walnut Grove
Date Joined: 2007
Member Classification: Exhibiting
As a boy, Mike often sat watching, fascinated by his father and the men who would sit, talking and producing thin, aromatic curls of cedar from sticks they were carving. There seemed to be no desired result from their ‘whittlin’ other than simple relaxation. He carved occasionally in his early adult years, trying to produce more than “shavings.” These efforts were less than an attempt to be a serious carver, yet more than just “whittlin.” Then he started carving jewelry and figures from found wood and began to develop a self-taught style. He became interested in carving hiking sticks when he saw some that his sister had carved and others at craft shows and museums. Now, though his carving techniques and ideas, he makes pieces that are “story sticks,” because they have a story, song or theme. He hopes that his pieces might pique the interest of children the way his was caught by the whittlers of his youth.