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Grand Haven Resident Bruce Buckley Creates Wood Figures for Methodist Church Bazaar | Arts & Culture

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Grand Haven Resident Bruce Buckley Creates Wood Figures for Methodist Church Bazaar
Grand Haven Resident Bruce Buckley Creates Wood Figures for Methodist Church Bazaar

GRAND HAVEN, Mich., Oct. 31, 2011 - Grand Haven resident Bruce Buckley has been working hard - and using his talents in wood crafting - to prepare for this weekend's key holiday fundraiser, the "Holly Berry Bazaar," at United Methodist Church of the Dunes.

Buckley, a wood door specialist, has made unique, one-of-a-kind wooden snowmen for the church bazaar.

Each figure is made entirely out of cherry wood.  None of the figures are alike due to the way the wood was cut plus the decorations applied to the finished products by the United Methodist Women's group members.  They collaborated with Buckley to make these collectibles unique. 

The process Buckley used to make the cherry wood carvings was:

  • Hand cutting the cherry wood;
  • Leveling off the bases of each figure;
  • Letting the wood dry for a week's time;
  • Collecting sticks to use as "arms" for each figure;
  • Drilling holes in the cherry wood and affixing the "stick figure" arms

Once Buckley completed the wood working aspect of developing each figure and putting together the shapes, the United Methodist women took over.

"The UMW members gave each of Bruce's wooden snowmen a special personality," said Bonnie Buckley, UMW member at the Church of the Dunes and Bruce Buckley's wife.

U-M Women created hand-sewn or hand-knitted scarves, ties and, in some cases, clothing to dress each snowman and snowwoman figurine. 

One person crafted netting around the figure to create a ballerina.  Another adorned a figure that holds a candy cane in its hand.  One snowwoman has pink fabric and pink sequins on it.  One has been fashioned into an ice skater, complete with skates in toe.  Another figure has a blue hat with a bluebird in hand.  Still another is made to resemble a "grandfather snowman" with a denim blue jean shirt and tie.  

Various materials used to hand decorate each figure include:  cotton, felt, netting, tulle, denim, silk, papier mache, buttons and more.

The handmade "snowpersons" are only a few of dozens of hand-crafted functional and collectible items that will be available this Friday, November 4 and Saturday, November 5 at the United Methodist Church of the Dunes, 717 Sheldon Road, Grand Haven.  All proceeds from the bazaar will benefit local and national charities.

Hours of the UMC-Dunes "Holly Berry Bazaar" are:

  • Friday, November 4, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 5, from 9 a.m. to noon.

A special "Holly Berry Lunch" will be served on Friday, November 4, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  The lunch consists of stir-fried chicken salad with pine nuts, croissants, dessert and a beverage for $8 per person. 

A "Holly Berry Dinner" will also be served on Friday, November 4 from 5 to 7 p.m.  Dinner consists of ham balls, scalloped potatoes, cole slaw, rolls, dessert and a beverage for $8 per person. 

On Saturday, November 5, there will be a specialty "Holly Berry Coffee Shop" available from 9 a.m. to noon.

Anyone interested in receiving further information should contact the United Methodist Church of the Dunes at:  616/842-7980.

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