“The feel and beauty of finely crafted wood – the refreshing smell of your wood shop – the absorbing joy of cutting and joining – these are the reasons you love woodworking.” – Jack Neff, author of ‘Make Your Woodworking Pay for Itself’
Neff’s statement probably sums up the feelings of most woodworkers if they enjoy their hobby or business ventures. The hands-on creating of something from raw wood brings a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.
Sherman Cox is a woodworker and carver. He lives in Glendale where he and his wife, Lora Lee, raised their children. As a child, Sherman learned the craft of carving wood from his mother, Eva Cox, and his grandfather, Edgar Cox, who were both very talented in the art. His mentors used simple tools and that, mingled with a natural talent, was evident as the young boy tried his hand and started his career by carving wooden knives, which most boys would find interesting.
Now in later years, Cox has his own wood shop complete with all kinds of tools including certain inventive tools that he has created and made from scratch. From using hand planes in the past, which is hard and time consuming work, Sherman now has a power plane that he uses regularly, saving him much preparation time.
As a Father, Sherman made a wooden rocking horse for his oldest son, James. Then his art seemed to spiral as grand kids came along and realized that Grandpa loved to make things for them. He said: “I love the look on the kids’ faces as they enjoy the handmade gifts that I have made for them.” Some of the gifts include jewelry boxes, monster trucks, rocking chairs, some smaller hand held carvings, and some real prize replicas of old vehicles. More than a few of Sherman’s many carvings are also enjoyed by neighbors and friends, the lucky beneficiaries of his talents and loving heart.
About three years ago was a turning point in his newly found determination to hone in on his carving skills. Amazingly, he can look at a picture, make a pattern and judge the sizing of his project (a gift in itself!), and come up with amazing results.
Sherman has found that old graying cottonwood is readily accessible and also very soft and easy to carve. He suggests to beginners: ” Just pick up a piece of wood and a knife and carve away; chip away what does not need to be there until you find what you are making and take pride in a job well done.”
Matt Rogers is another local wood carver who learned some tricks of the trade while he was in Boy Scouts where Sherman was the leader. He learned from a seasoned carver and now Matt sells his carvings to help supplement his income.
Well-known woodworker and author, Aimé Ontario Fraser, sums it up best in her own words: “Woodworking matters. Being a wood worker is more than just a pastime or hobby – being a woodworker means that you know the satisfaction and pride that comes from using your hands and mind to build beautiful, functional objects in the process as the outcome amid the speed and chaos of the modern world, woodworking gives us a place to slow down, pay attention and the time to do things right.” This statement from Fraser also describes the sentiments of Glendale’s own woodworker and carver.
Aside from carving, he is known for helping anyone in need. Whatever he and his wife can do for others, they are right there at the head of the line. Thanks to Sherman for all he contributes to a grateful community!