Some habits die off while others blossom. Take Al Werden, for instance, who traded in drinking for woodworking. Werden, 68, has his own shop in Southbury, Conn., now, according to Newstimes.com. The shop is filled with weird and wondrous creations, like handmade lampshades and lamps made out of pine to his birch hardwood Harley Davidson sign and coveted clocks. Werden spends 20 hours a week there, using his scroll saw to transform wood into detailed artwork. His hobby has not been lifelong. He stumbled upon woodworking 29 years ago while working for Olson Saw Co. At one time he was drinking heavily. When he started "playing around with a small company scroll saw" he was hooked.
"It (woodworking) helped me quit drinking. It was life-changing," Werden told Newstimes.com. "No one taught me how to woodwork, I taught myself."
With his wife Jeri-Ann, children and friends, Werden became the neighborhood go-to guy for wooden widgets. He doesn’t sell them, he gives them to family and friends for birthdays and holidays.
"One item I'm most proud of is a clock I gave to my daughter. I also kept one for myself," he said. The piece he's referring to is the 7-foot-plus grandfather clock equipped with lights and a dimmer switch. It took him two-and-a-half months to perfect it.
"To be able to take a plain piece of wood and to have something so beautiful come out of it is gratifying," he explained. "I am very proud of my clocks. I love the way they come out -- the finished product.
"When I'm in my shop, I'm in a different world. It's so relaxing. It gives me a high that alcohol used to give me. It's cheaper, too," Werden said.
Werden gets some of his inspiration from Creative Woodworks & Crafts magazine. His pieces of art range from a 5-inch giraffe to a small photo frame; from toys for the grandchildren, to dragon clocks.
Southbury resident Jean Harold has known Werden for 30 years. "When he sees the joy and pleasure on the face of someone he's just given one of his pieces to, it's all worth it for him," Harold said "He's a very thoughtful person and that shows in his work."
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It 'Wood' have been nice to see pictures of the items talked about in the article!
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