May 2024 Ken Wise worked as a carpenter for years in mid-coast Maine and in 1990 he took a carving class with Wayne Robins. It was Ken’s first deviation from the straight lines and square corners of carpentry, and he quickly became enamored with carving. “You start with materials, remove what you don’t need, and make the most of what you have left.”

Soon after, Ken joined the craft fair circuit and began passing along his carving knowledge as an educator. “The craft fairs and the classes really help me connect with people. Students from spoon carving classes throughout the years always stop by my fair booth and talk about how they continued or their favorite spoon that they have made.” Craft fairs helped Ken get started in the craft world, but he credits CFC for his entry into the world of fine craft.

Ken visited CFC in 2011 and Peter Korn, CFC Founder, offered to give him a tour. “Peter interacted with students as if their craft was a discussion, and I knew that this was a community I wanted to be a part of. The people at CFC really know their stuff and are willing to share it.” Ken has taken a variety of community classes and workshops, but considers his time in the Turning Intensive with Beth Ireland in 2013, as another pivotal moment in his career.

During the Turning Intensive, Ken learned many different skills and upon completion, he was ready to launch his craft into a year-round business. Ken continues to teach classes, including turning classes at CFC. He spends January and February roughing out 200 green bowls that he finishes turning in the summer. He also carves about 300 spoons a year. “I can only do all of this because of my wife and our partnership. She has helped me further my business by helping with the website and supporting me through the ups and downs of being an independent craftsperson.”

In 2020, Ken joined 23 local artists in starting the Lemont Block Artist Collective in Brunswick, ME, where he sells his bowls, spoons, and canoe paddles. This endeavor fully replaces the craft fair circuit allowing him more time to focus on wildlife carving.