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Published June 06, 2012, 10:16 PM

Retired Moorhead teacher taking wood carving hobby to the next level

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - A retired Moorhead man has taken an art form to the next level. What started as a hobby in his 20's has now turned into a passion. It all started with ice and now bass and butter nut wood is the star player.

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - A retired Moorhead man has taken an art form to the next level. What started as a hobby in his 20's has now turned into a passion. It all started with Ice and now Bass and Butter Nut Wood is the star player.

You can find most retired men on the golf course, or by a lake fishing, but not 76 year-old Maynard Hemmah. You'll find him in his Man Cave, a wood carving shop, where he isn't alone.

Maynard Hemmah - Moorhead: “These are my friends up in through here, you know, it is like you get a hug when you come in here.”

Over the years this passionate woodcarver has turned blocks of wood like this, into colorful, creative characters like this one. All it takes, drawing a sketch, chipping away wood for a few hours, followed by a paint session, which he also does himself, these works of art come to life.

Maynard Hemmah: “Oh, I think characters are my favorite, each of these little things here that make people smile.”

In Hemmah's collection there are several serious pieces. He is even working on a full nativity scene, but he says you can't have a collection without a little humor.

Maynard Hemmah: “Bruised up in his face, he's got the ball stuck in his mouth, and the net is over his head and that type of thing, I think he must of said something wrong to his opponent.”

Unfortunately, you won't find any of these fun, silly, beautiful pieces on any store shelf or along any street fair. Hemmah says he gets more pleasure by giving them away.

Maynard Hemmah: I’d rather give them away and enjoy the relationship with the people you know, you make friends.

As this retired culinary teacher continues in his passion, chipping away block after block, once he is done with this little guy he will already be thinking of the next friend to create.

Hemmah says the fireplace comes in handy when mistakes are made.

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