Logansport man carves out reputation as scroll saw artist
LOGANSPORT — When it comes to scroll sawing like a master, patience is one key ingredient. Other necessary traits are the ability to pay attention to detail and intense concentration. Richard Meyers has all those traits — his intricate, finely detailed scroll saw masterpieces are the proof.
Meyers, a Ford City native, joined the Navy in 1958 and retired in 1977, making his new home in San Diego. Sometime in the mid-1980s, Meyers said he traveled to Branson, Mo. There, he saw several scroll saw artists demonstrating their craft. After watching them for a while, he realized that he could learn to do some of the same finely detailed work they were doing. Before leaving Branson, he bought his first scroll saw, a 16-inch Delta.
When he returned to his home in San Diego, he began experimenting with his new saw. He also discovered a scroll saw club, the Sea Side Scrollers, and promptly joined.
As his experience and skills grew, he began tackling larger and more intricate projects. One his largest was a 7½-foot grandfather clock made in five sections.
He and his wife Nancy had visited Armstrong County several times to see family members, and eight years ago, the couple decided to move back to his hometown area. Nancy Meyers, a native Californian, fell in love with the area and said she is proud to call Pennsylvania home.
After settling in, Meyers discovered another scroll saw group, the Blazin' Blades, and both he and his wife became members.
“I don't do any sawing,” Nancy Meyers said, “but I enjoy going to the meetings with Richard and interacting with the group members. I take care of the house, and Richard spends time in his shop.”
Almost needless to say, spending a lot of time doing something he loves is important to Meyers. He often spends up to six hours a day in his spacious shop, formerly a two-car garage, making toys, small signs and assorted knickknacks.
“I make a lot of toys,” Meyers said, “but I don't sell any. I give them away. When Nancy and I go to a restaurant, I always ask the waitress if she has any small children or grandchildren, nieces or nephews. Invariably they do, so I give them a toy for each child. Members of our club, Blazin' Blades, make a lot of toys during the holidays and give a lot of them to Toys for Tots.
“There's something magical about wood toys, no batteries or electricity, no keyboards. Kids are fascinated by them. They love them.”
Meyers also makes small signs, some with intricate, detailed lettering only a quarter-inch high. One sign says: “Aspire to inspire before you expire.” Another more humorous sign reads: “You can tell a lot about a woman by her hands. If they're around your throat, she's upset.”
Meyers also made a spire mantle clock, which he displayed at this year's Dayton Fair. The clock won him a blue ribbon.
The Blazin' Blades club meets at 9 a.m. the first Saturday of the month at King's Restaurant in Sarver. The club has about 35 members, and new members are always welcome.
Tom Mitchell is a Leader Times correspondent.