Kevin Riddle, a traditional mountain craftsperson, will be demonstrating early American pioneer woodworking during the Roanoke Log Home Show to be held at the Roanoke Civic Center February 15th through 17th.
Operating as “The Appalachian Craftsman”, Riddle is one of very few individuals still using traditional style hand tools to make furniture and farm tools as was made by early American pioneers. Starting with a freshly cut White Oak log, Riddle can split and fashion it into items needed by the pioneers such as benches, ox yokes, and pitchforks.
Riddle is a native craftsman, having been raised in the Allegheny Mountains of Southwest Virginia. He has no formal training as an artisan. “I learned it the old way”, stated Riddle, “much of it was passed down to me through my family, and the rest I taught myself.”
Riddle decided to become a full time professional about 20 years ago to help preserve this nearly lost art. He also gives programs, related to heritage crafts and early American culture, for libraries, conference groups, and school SOL curricula.
He will be at the show this year, with his Shaving Horse (a combination of workbench and vise) and drawknife, to demonstrate how one can make many useful items with only hand tools. “These rustic farm tools and furniture are authentic, and naturally go with a log home,” said Riddle.
Riddle is also a coppersmith and makes large hand-hammered copper apple butter kettles. He will be showing some of his copper wares as well.
“The Log Home Shows” is an annual event at the Roanoke Civic Center and is the only show scheduled for this area to feature log homes and related products.
Riddle can be contacted at [email protected]