Finding relaxation and comfort in the items he creates through his scroll saw art, Wallins Creek resident Donald Honeycutt is a master woodcrafter winning several awards for his work.
“I cut out baskets, faces, wall hangings, art, sculptures — anything you can do with a scroll saw,” said 52-year-old Honeycutt. “I’ve had three heart attacks and had to retire. This gives me something to do with my time. It’s more of a hobby than anything else. It’s something I really enjoy doing.”
Beginning his art approximately 15 years ago, Honeycutt said he has no formal training with the scroll saw. He said one day he “just found he had a talent for woodcrafting.”
A former truck driver, both locally and long-distance, Honeycutt said he began that career at the age of 21 and worked in that area until he retired.
“My constant companion is my little dog, Lilly Ann, who is a 6-year-old registered chihuahua I rescued years ago,” said Honeycutt. “Every time I turn my saw on she just sits right behind me and watches me as I work. The noise doesn’t bother her at all — she has gotten used to it through the years.”
Winning blue ribbons for his work at the annual Harlan County Shriners’ Horse Show and Pine Mountain Settlement School events, Honeycutt also won the Master of Craftsmanship at the 2005 Festival of the Mountain Masters and an Honorable Mention award in 2011. Recently, he was nominated to be inducted into the National Hall of Fame for Mountain Artisans.
“I’m so excited about this nomination. I really didn’t think I was that good. But, my work does my talking for me,” said Honeycutt. “I’ve just never been one to brag on myself. Every time I turn my saw on I learn something new. I think when you quit learning then you might as well throw the dirt in your face.”
One particular piece of work Honeycutt completed is a wall hanging of the Crucifixion of Jesus. He said it has 600 cuts in it and took him about 22 hours of “just cutting.”
“Some of my pieces, such as crosses which have the Ten Commandments and John 3:16 carved in it, from beginning to end took me 25 hours to complete,” said Honeycutt. “Some of my smaller pieces such as Christmas ornaments only take about one to two hours to finish. It just depends on the complexity of the item.”
A sentimental piece he completed was a wall hanging of 9-11, which depicts the twin towers and the destruction that followed.
“That piece just came out of my mind and took me two weeks to get it just right,” said Honeycutt. “I’ve designed a lot of pieces myself. I had two wood carved photos of John Wayne I did, which hung at Ken and Paul’s Steakhouse before Ken Moody left. I’ve got works of art in London, England, Canada and at least 43 states in the United States. For a little backwoods country boy from Harlan County that’s pretty good.”
Honeycutt said both his father, Rev. Don Honeycutt (deceased), and his grandfather, Hagan Honeycutt (deceased), were carpenters and he feels that talent was passed on to him.
“I hope to continue doing this as long as I can,” said Honeycutt. “I turned 10 bowls from a 200-year-old oak tree, which stood on my great-grandfather’s land which I now live on. I gave one to each of my family members as a memento to our legacy.”
To contact Honeycutt, you may call 606-664-3271.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510, ext. 115, email@example.com