We've done shows all over the US. During those times we're pretty busy and don't always get to see what's going on around us. One state that we hadn't had much chance to explore is Ohio. Recently, we went to see our friends, Jim and Linda, who live there and they gave us a great tour.
Jim likes to be a bit mysterious, and so he didn't tell us where we were going as he was driving us around the area. We saw some beautiful countryside, some of Lake Erie, Amish country and had some excellent ice cream. It was a fine tour.
As model makers, he was right on when he took us to a place that I was previously unaware of and I imagine that most people unfamiliar with the area also don't know about.
It's called Warther's, or more formally Warther Cutlery and they make outstanding knives, primarily for the kitchen and dining room, but also for carving. Anyone that enjoys any kind of model making or wood carving should make a visit to this place in Dover, Ohio. I don't want to downplay the importance of their knives, but there is something there that I think everyone should see and that is the collection of steam locomotives and trains, intricately carved from Ebony, Walnut, Mother of Pearl and Ivory....so add any and all train buffs to the list of those who will love this place!
The founder of the cutlery company, Ernest “Mooney” Warther lived an almost fairy-tale story, finding a small pocket knife in a field, meeting a man who caused him to discover a method of carving a small pair of pliers from a single strip of wood, working in the steel mills and gaining the knowledge required to make outstanding knives as he grew into a world class carver. If I remember the story correctly, his carved models were displayed at a World's Fair, The White House and Grand Central Station.
I can't do justice in a description here, but his descendents, who still run the museum and cutlery company certainly do. It's very interesting and a lot of fun.
I must say, and this is from a professional model maker's perspective, that his carved trains are exquisite, with their thousands of beautiful parts. Any model maker or carver is going to learn things simply by seeing his works. Whether you currently care about models or not, you cannot help but be impressed. Of course, if you like things of quality, their knives alone are truly worth checking out. Consider that the White House Food Service uses them. For more information about the musuem and Warther Cutlery go to http://warthers.com
If you've been to my blog before, you may remember that I am a firm believer that model makers, as with any other artist, should sign their works. This is because, in my opinion, all too often beautiful models are found in the world and there is no way to know who the artist was. I am thrilled to know that this artist; Ernest “Mooney” Warther is recognized for the contributions that he made to the world of modeling, the world of carving and for his contributions to the history of the railroads.