Bluffton Man Finds Artistry in Retirement

By Eric Olson

June 18, 2010 Updated Jul 24, 2008 at 9:05 AM EST

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter)--

Jerry: I have to have something to do. Yep, that's all I do it for and I enjoy doing it.
JERRY HOOK'S LIKE THOUSANDS OF OTHER WEEKEND WOODWORKERS, GROWN MEN USUALLY, OFTEN RETIRED, WHO DISCOVER IN LEISURE THEIR LIFE'S TRUE CALLING. JERRY DISCOVERED HIS 12 YEARS AGO AFTER RETIRING FROM A CAREER AS AN ENGINEER.
Jerry: Shapes are everything. Some shapes are bad, I got some bad shapes, and I got some good shapes.
THESE DAYS MOST OF JERRY'S SHAPES ARE GOOD, VERY GOOD…CURVASCIOUS VESSELS OF INTERLOCKING EXOTIC WOODS. CLASSIC FORMS, OFTEN ADORNED WITH A NATIVE AMERICAN MOTIF…THE COLORS OF THE WOODS COMPLIMENTING AND HIGHLIGHTING EACH OTHER. SOME PIECES ARE SMALL..OTHERS ARE VERY LARGE, EVEN SPECTACULAR. AND OTHERS ARE JUST FOR FUN, LIKE THIS CONTINUOUS RIBBON OF WOOD. AND ALL ARE JUST AS BEAUTIFUL INSIDE AS OUT. MUCH OF JERRY HOOK'S GENIUS IS SIMPLY THE RESULT OF TEDIOUS, REPETITIVE WORK.
Jerry: For instance if I want a pattern like this pattern I start clear back here with one piece then I lay four of them then glue them together and I square 'em here then I put my angle on 'em.
ONCE ALL THE PIECES ARE GLUED TOGETHER INTO BOXY SHAPES LIKE THIS JERRY MOUNTS THEM ON THE LATHE AND ROUNDS THEM OUT. THIS IS A LATTICE WOOD LAMP, WITH MATCHING LATTICE SHADE. JERRY'S FROM A LONG LINE OF WOODWORKERS, HIS GREAT GRANDFATHER WAS A COFFIN MAKER AND FURNITURE MAKER FROM THE OLD COUNTRY. JERRY'S DAD TAUGHT HIM TO USE A LATHE. NUMEROUS UNCLES AND OTHER RELATIVES MADE THEIR LIVLIHOODS WITH WOOD. THE CALLING WAS ALWAYS IN JERRY'S BLOOD. HE JUST HAD TO RETIRE TO HEAR IT. AND IN RETIREMENT THIS WORK SUSTAINS HIM…KEEPS HIS MIND AND EYE AND HANDS ACTIVE, ADDING YEARS HE SUSPECTS, AS WELL AS QUALITY, TO HIS LIFE. AND JERRY KNOWS WHAT HE'D LIKE PEOPLE TO THINK OF HIS WORK WHEN THEY ADMIRE IT MANY YEARS FROM NOW..
Jerry: That the guy knew what he was doing and he had fun doing it. 'So how much longer you gonna be doing this?' 'Till I'm not able to. Yep, 'till I die I guess.
ERIC OLSON REPORTING OUT IN YOUR COUNTRY.>




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