Slide show by Jon Binzen, Writeup by Ben Strano
In the world of green woodworking, Dave Fisher is a rock star. As a bowl carver, Dave has taken what many think of as a rustic form and added a refinement that few thought was possible. Recently, videographer Jeff Roos and I spent two days filming Dave in his tiny shop. Watching Dave start with a scraggly, raw log and turn it into a beautiful bowl adorned with delicate carvings was as close to real-life magic as I’m likely to experience. On the eight-hour drive home while contemplating what I had just witnessed, I turned to Jeff and told him that I thought I was going to sell my tablesaw.
Almost every night since then I’ve taken a hatchet to a piece of firewood, hoping some of Dave’s green-woodworking mojo had wandered across the room over those two days.
Dave is a legend around his hometown of Greenville, Pa., but it isn’t for his bowl carving. In a small town like Greenville, either you or your child had Dave as a high school history teacher. At the sandwich shop or the hardware store, it’s hard to go more than a few minutes without someone stopping to say hello to Dave. One morning at breakfast, someone in the booth behind us waved Dave down and said “I saw you were in a magazine, I didn’t know you were a woodworker.” There was a legend in their midst and they didn’t know it, although it’s possible they didn’t care.
Not surprisingly, Peter Follansbee said it best on his blog:
“If life were a horror movie, we’d find out at the end that Dave is actually Satan. He just is too nice, too helpful, patient, talented – to be for real. So I keep thinking there must be a shoe to drop in the end. But, this ain’t no movie. Dave is actually just the best there is. His bowl carving is head and shoulders above any others I know of today; certainly in this country.”