Maine-ly Sticks and Stumps Now Open for Business

Artist Jon LeClair poses with a carving he completed in a live tree. LeClair is now offering his carving skills to the public with an assortment of stumps, walking sticks, and custom live-tree accommodations. (Facebook photo)

By Natalie Scott

 

Jon LeClair started his business, Maine-ly Sticks and Stumps, in June of this year. Although his journey just began as a business man, he fell in love with woodcarving as a young boy when one of his classmate’s grandfather donated a carving for a science camp fundraiser. It snowballed from there.

“I have been carving since 1998. It started just by an accidental meeting with Butch Dahl, a retired Army LT Colonel. I was working on a project - it was a plain trunk that needed some help. Butch said, ‘You should put a wood carving on it.’  I said I didn't know how. He said, ‘Come over and I will show you.’”

LeClair carves everything from walking sticks to “Camp Keepers”, as some would call them. The walking sticks are so popular they can be found around the world, from Alaska to Korea. LeClair was active in the Army for 21 years and did some carving along the way, even in Afghanistan where sticks are hard to find. He says most Camp Keepers are bought to put in buyers’ camps. “Most people name them, say they talk to them at times. I say, ‘Let me know if they start talking back!’”

Each carving takes around 10 hours to complete. Each piece of wood must be seasoned for a couple of years before the carving process even begins. Stumps may be basic and unadorned, or accessories, such as, glasses, pipes, and hats may be added for an additional fee. LeClair has also been known to do commission work on live trees at local camps.

Maine-ly Sticks and Stumps can be found in the Pine Tree Store in Grand Lake Stream, Rachel Ashley Jewelers in Calais, Expressions in Machias and The Simple Things and Sweets in Old Town. Although LeClair’s work has been sold around the globe, he has other plans for it as well. “I have a goal to have my carvings available in each of the 16 counties in Maine.” Maine-ly Sticks and Stumps can also be found on Facebook. 

Some of the many personalities LeClair has created from locally-acquired stumps. (Facebook photo)