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After more than 20 years, Uniontown woodworker 'still learning' his craft

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Kebin Holbert is the February Artist of the Month. His woodworking items will be displayed through the end of February 2013 in the Law Library of the Fayette County Courthouse in Uniontown. MARILYN FORBES I FOR THE TRIBUNE-REVIEW

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The art of woodworking takes patience and craftsmanship, and Kebin Holbert of Uniontown has spent more than 20 years honing his craft.

Holbert is the February Artist of the Month. His work is being featured in the Law Library of the Fayette County Courthouse in Uniontown.

Exhibit director and assistant librarian Barbara Pasqua said that she approached Holbert asking him if he knew of any artists that she could approach about the exhhbit, not realizing that he did woodworking.

“I mentioned to Kebin if he knew of any artists and he said that he worked with wood,” Pasqua said, adding that she wanted him to display some of his finished pieces as she had not featured a woodworker recently. “I try to find something different every month.”

Holbert, who is employed in the IT department at the courthouse, started his hobby several years ago and enjoys the time that he can find to work with the wood.

“I started in the mid '80s” Holbert said. “I wanted to make a secretary desk for my son so I thought I'd give it a try.”

Holbert completed the desk, which started him on the path to his new hobby.

The son of a carpenter, Holbert's natural talent is apparent in the detailing and crafted finished product that he creates.

Working with different wood grains, Holbert frequently opts for a finished product completed with clear coat, choosing to steer clear of stains.

“I enjoy working with cherry and walnut, oak and maple,” Holbert said. “I work mainly with the domestic woods that can be purchased locally.”

Setting up a woodworking area on his property, Holbert said that he has collected an impressive array of tools over the years and plans to continue his hobby.

“It's just something that I really enjoy doing,” Holbert said, adding that he hopes to one day have more time to devote to his craft that he presently only spends a few hours each week perfecting. “I just wish that I had more time. I'm still learning, and I think that I will continue to learn for a long time.”

Making items to be given as gifts or taking orders from friends and family members, Holbert has created several swings, steps, corner pieces, desks and cribs.

“The crib that I made has already been used for three grandchildren already,” Holbert said. “I hope to see it passed down from generation to generation. That is what something like this is all about. Creating something that will be used in my family for many years to come.”

Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.

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