Henry County Arts and Crafts Guild Show

Swiss wood carver Landert
never has to leave the farm

He taught himself how to carve wood;
will appear at Henry County Guild show

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

(September 2010) – It’s a very long way from Switzerland to Kentucky, but for Hans Landert, retirement in the Bluegrass state is as good as being in the majestic Swiss Alps. Taking up the hobby of wood carving has kept him busy and produced an outlet for his creative side.

Hans Landert

Photos by Helen McKinney

Woodcarver Hans Landert is
originally from Switzerland and
will show his wood carvings
(below) at the upcoming art
show in New Castle, Ky.

Hans Landert artwork

Business brought Landert to the United States in 1980 – first to Ohio, then Louisville, and finally Henry County. Living on 80 acres on Mt. Olivet Road near the Oldham and Henry County line, Landert can usually find plenty of wood to satisfy his craving for carving.
Any piece of wood that he “finds and can carve something out of it,” is fuel for Landert’s imagination. For his creations, he uses “everything from the farm,” he said.
Landert, 72, recently joined the Henry County Arts and Crafts Guild to better showcase his woodworking skills. He was already acquainted with a few members, such as his neighbor Neal Morris who crafts wood-turned bowls and other decorative items.
Wood carving is a hobby for Landert, who taught himself the basic skills. “I did some in high school in Switzerland, then I stopped for a time,” he said. “After retiring, I started carving again.”
He retired four years ago from C.A. Garner Veneer Inc., where he was a manager for 18 years. “I worked my whole life in the business world with machines,” said Landert. With carving “I can be creative.”
Landert is one of many artists who will be exhibiting their work from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 11 at the 11th annual Henry County Arts and Crafts Guild Show. The event will be held at the Henry County Fairgrounds on Hwy. 421 in New Castle.
“We have a wide variety of things people do,” said Guild president Malissa Beatty. “We have over 40 members, many of them husband and wife teams. A lot of the time they will join together and help each other out.”
Many different types of media are represented in the Guild. One member even writes music, said Beatty. The exhibit will showcase jewelry, painted gourds, wooden toys, oil paintings, furniture, fiber artists, dolls, candles, needlework, leatherwork and iron-wrought items.
“Hans’ work is beautiful,” Beatty said. “I own a few pieces of his work.”
Landert said he likes to see the texture of the wood and the lines of a finished piece. On his carving of dancing ladies, the soft, flowing lines of the ladies make them lifelike. His carvings range in size from four inches to 20 inches.
He first must use a chainsaw and axe to cut the wood into blocks from which to begin his creations. He then uses a coping saw, chisels, gouges, knives and scraper to bring the wood to life. After finishing it with a scraper and sandpaper, Landert preserves it with penetrating oil and wax so it will last a very long time.
Only artists who craft high quality items like Landert are juried into the Guild. “We won’t accept artwork unless it’s very good work,” said Beatty. Prospective members must bring their work to a meeting where members will view and vote on it. Once the votes are tallied, those who apply are usually accepted. “We’ve never turned anyone down yet.”
Most of the Guild members are from Henry, Shelby, Oldham and Jefferson counties. The Guild does have members from Wisconsin and Michigan who have joined because they have roots or family members in Henry County. The Henry County Extension Office was instrumental in beginning the Guild.
The Henry County Arts and Crafts Guild meets the third Thursday of every month at the Extension Office.

• For more information on the Henry County Arts and Crafts Guild Show, contact Malissa Beatty at (502) 743-5497 or Sharon Silvers at (502) 845-4560.

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