DANCING TREE LEATHER & WOODCRAFT

About Falcon River 

I grew up in the Appalachian mountains of southern West Virginia, climbing trees and crawling into every crack in the ground I could find. My parents were talented and industrious mountain people who taught me that you can always make something out of nothing. They never discarded potentially useful materials. My father salvaged lumber, pipe, fencing. They were not hoarders, they were consummate recyclers. My mother’s favorite saying was “waste not, want not”.

    Here's a favorite memory of one spring day, I went with my father to the local junkyard. We walked amongst the wrecks with my father pointing out different parts and pieces that he wanted – a chassis, a hood, a cab, an axle. In a few days, all of it was delivered to our home on a huge wooden wagon drawn by two massive draft horses. By the end of the summer with my help, Papa had built us a beautiful truck.

     I started helping my father remodel houses when I was six years old. His specialty was to jack up an old house, repair/replace the foundations, and set it back down level. I could crawl under tight places that he couldn’t get to, much to my mother’s horror. By the time I was twelve, he had taught me to run the bulldozer to dig the foundations.

     My mother did not bother to teach me about cooking, but she made sure that I knew how to swing a hammer. At age three, she had me sitting out in the yard with a pine board, a handful of four-penny nails, and a hammer, pounding away. I still have her hammer.

     My Uncle Hershel taught me how to whittle, and gave me my first knife. I still have that knife, and I’m still whittling.

Carrying on my parent’s tradition of recycling, all of my wooden creations are made from recycled lumber and materials found in our forest or wood pile.My first career was as a cabinet maker in the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Jointers in Louisville, Ky. I later went into massage therapy instead, but always kept a woodshop at home, and find myself drawn back to it now.

Leather work came into my life about 30 years ago through my interest in shooting and teaching traditional instinctive archery.  When I found that there was not a selection of equipment meant to fit women and children. I decided to make my own. The next thing I know, I’m manufacturing items for my students too.

 

In the mountain culture of my youth, people preferred to speak in metaphor using story as a way to communicate, as a way to facilitate understanding and convey humor.  Each piece I make, whether it be of leather or wood, or both, has a story that started with the materials gathered and saved, sometimes for years, to be assembled into an object to serve some practical and/or magickal purpose.  

As I am a Wiccan Priestess, I also make magickal items specifically for ritual and pagan homes. For more information about my Priestess work click here: 

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