Henry County Holiday Extension Bazaar

Local woodturner Stivers
uses items he finds on the farm

He will join 30 other vendors
at this year’s holiday bazaar

NEW CASTLE, Ky. (November 2019) – Full-time farmer Steven Stivers of New Castle. Ky., has a passion for woodworking. After several attempts at producing a not-so-perfect bowl, Stivers finally got the hang of using a lathe and that was just the beginning of his beautiful artwork.

Photo provided

Pictured above are samples of Steven Stivers’ woodturning work.

“I have always been involved with woodworking for as long as I can remember,” said Stivers, 43. “I have always enjoyed making stuff. I only used a lathe a little in school. And that wasn’t much.”
Wanting a lathe for his shop, Stivers never really thought he would use it enough to justify the cost. “My wife surprised me one Christmas, and got me a lathe. I admit I set it up quickly, but it relatively went unused for about eight to nine months other than just playing around with it.”
Desiring to learn how to make a bowl, he started experimenting and turned out what he labeled, “nine or 10 ugly ones. I finally got  the hang of it and was able to turn out a couple of decent ones for Christmas presents. Before I knew it, I had 15 or 20 by the next June.”
This prompted his wife to encourage him to participate in an annual local event, the Henry County Harvest Showcase. “I was reluctant because I didn’t think anyone would want to buy my stuff,” he said. “But I agreed and added some of my cutting boards and it turned out to be a pretty good success.”
Stivers will also be participating in the 27th annual Henry County Extension Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, Nov. 9. The bazaar will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the 4-H Building at the Henry County Fairgrounds in New Castle.
Cathy Toole, Extension Agent for 4H & Youth Development, said there will be 30 vendors this year. “Many are returning vendors with seven new vendors.”
All items are handmade and great for gift giving. Included will be painted wooden crafts, jewelry, soy candles, appliquéd or embroidery items, soaps, jam, lotions, yarn, ornaments, purses, books, aprons, crocheted items, glassware, pottery, calligraphy cards, dog and cat themed items, paintings, primitive home décor, wooden toys, homemade pumpkin rolls, Christmas items, and wood turned, felted and leather items. The Henry County Homemakers Clubs will be selling assorted homemade soups, sandwiches and desserts for lunch.

Photo provided

Above are samples of Cindy Moore’s vintage inspired pieces.

Toole said Stivers “makes some really nice wood turned items – items from old tobacco sticks, and he is very creative.”
Stivers said that “90 percent of my wood comes off the farm. My biggest seller are rolling pins I make from tobacco sticks. They have been a big hit.”
A personal favorite of his is the bowls he turns from maple and walnut. “Any wood that is spalted I like because it has a unique pattern that will run throughout.”
He begins each piece with a basic idea of what he wants it to look like. “You’ll get into it and see a flaw or something and may have to take out more to remove and that will change design. Sometimes I can leave a flaw in for character.”
Strivers typically makes bowls for the shows he attends, in addition to wooden spoons, rolling pins, a variety of cutting boards, Christmas decorations and ornaments. He also builds furniture and cabinets, and does repairs.
In addition to farming the farm on which he grew up, Stivers said that making items for the shows keeps him busy. “I work full time, and with active kids, I find myself in my shop late at night and sometimes early morning. But I still love it.”
He found an outlet to sell his craft when he met the Henry County Arts & Craft Guild president, and she invited him to jury in. “The rest is history. I have picked up around seven shows a year along with the showcase. My name has spread some and I have been taking orders but primarily I just sell at shows.”
Cindy Moore is a fellow member of the Guild and an artist who will be participating in the bazaar as well. Moore labels herself an “old soul” since she loves “vintage everything – especially vintage lace, buttons and fabric.”
Moore said her mother-in-law “gave me her awesome collection of vintage lace and buttons. She shared the family history of each piece with such loving memories. I promised her I would keep the memories for her.”

Steven Stivers

She first made a “grandmother’s” wall hanging for herself, which included vintage lace, fabric and buttons from Moore and her husband’s grandmother’s and mother’s clothing. She entered the wall hanging in the state Homemakers cultural arts competition, and it won the champion ribbon. She made a similar item for her mother-in-law.
Next she began making vintage lace wrist cuffs for family members. She made so many she began to sell them. Then followed wearable items created from denim shirts and jeans.
Using one of her husband’s old denim shirts, she “made cuffs from the shirt cuff and a necklace from the collar. I also made a purse from the fabric and gave it to my daughter.”
“I absolutely love creating each item. The idea starts in my head and works out through my hands. Each item is unique and one-of-a-kind.”
Moore has sewn since age nine. “I give my sewing talent credit to my mother and 4-H. I won a lot of ribbons in 4-H many years ago.” She is also a member of the Country Ladies Homemaker Club, which supports the bazaar by serving lunch.
The bazaar “is a long standing event in the community and friends and family enjoy visiting while shopping and catching up with others,” Toole said. “They enjoy seeing new vendors as well as seeing what long time vendors have come up with that are new. It is a great way to buy local gifts for family and friends while and supporting local artists.”

• For more information contact the Extension office at
(502) 845-2811.

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