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Darrell Aldag

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Wood Surgeon, doing business as Country Primitive Carvings of Fredericksburg.

I am a senior citizen, in my mid 70’s, who has been working with wood all my life. Grew up in the mid-West learning the basics from my father, as much as I could. He would not let me use any power tools until I mastered the hand tool. I became very fond of using the hand tools.

Joined the Navy in the late 60’s.  Discharged in Norfolk and began a career working for the Navy Department as a civilian. Along the way I was able to continue my woodworking in what little spare time there was available.

 

Towards the end of that career, I was able to find more spare time and my hobby became a business. Starting with doll houses and doll furniture.

Moved to a new home where I found one of my neighbors to be heavily involved with buying and selling country primitive furniture and high-end decoys. All his purchases needed some level of repair. That quickly became my job. Repairing furniture soon turned into building furniture. I began tearing down old barns for the wood to build the furniture. Opened and antique store in Va Beach under the name of ReBarn, because of the repurposed barn wood. The physical demands, of the building operation, along with the decreased demand for country primitives caused me to look for other related interests.

I now live on a couple of acres on the outskirts of Fredericksburg. Became more seriously interested in carving and now enjoy carving at home. The storm downed trees provide more than enough carving material.

I initially became interested in carving “wood spirits”.  The short story of wood spirits goes:  every piece of every tree in the forest contains a sprit. By carving the sprits out of their confinement in the wood they will be forever grateful and provide every goodness to everyone that they see. That’s why they should be positioned in every corner of every room so they can see all that enter. Country primitive wood sprits are usually asymmetrical figures of every shape and size and in the loose form of people and animals.

As a result of my new connection with the Montross Art Gallery I am now carving many other figures.  All of which can be viewed at the Art Gallery.