Dick Schnacke, a retired engineer whose interest in toys used by families for centuries started the Mountain Craft Shop in 1963. In 2002, my wife and I took over the business and continue to make hardwood toys, puzzles and tricks based on history and folklore. We are in constant search of toys made and used generations ago. I cut the logs into boards and fashion them into toys! From a tree to a toy!
I have been a beekeeper since the early 1970’s. This vocation taught me much about nature, in particular trees and their attributes. In May of 2002, my wife Ellie and I purchased the Mountain Craft Shop, a nationally known but local Wetzel County wood craft shop. This launched my new career in woodworking. My education and experience in tree species fit in well with my new career. I specialize in historical and American folk toys, for example: marble trees, “whimmydiddles”, spindle tops and “flipperdingers”! I am now an experienced woodworker fashioning toys and furniture from local hardwoods. I use a wood lathe for most of my work. The toys, bowls and furniture plus our honey products are all available at our “Honey House” 8 miles east of WV Rt2 at Proctor, WV.
I am self taught through reading, mentoring with other woodworkers and experience. I am a juried artist at Tamarack, The Best of West Virginia and a long-standing member of the WV Artists Guild.