Norman Vogel will be the Guest of the Month at the Wednesday, July 5, meeting of the Cumberland Artisans for Creative Expression (CACE) and will present a 15-minute Meet-the-Artist segment beginning at 10 a.m. at Crossville City Hall. Guests are welcome.

Precision, accuracy, exactness. Those words describe the manner and the artistry of Vogel, from the carefully preserved bones of the snapping turtle he found dead in his yard to his table-saw marquetry hand-crafted items. Actually Vogel has been working with wood since his boyhood, beginning with bird houses and always having a shop table in every residence where he has lived. He progressed from those birdhouses, to clocks, to furniture, to jewelry boxes and has shared his love for woodworking with his three sons. This interview took place at a cherry table made by one of those sons.

During this recent chapter of his work, Vogel was inspired to create via table saw marquetry. This particular interest came from three influences: 1) an artist friend needed recessed lids on the boxes that he was making for her, 2) he saw a wooden trivet which had belonged to his wife's mother, and 3) he was intrigued by the triangle-diamond shapes of a woven bag purchased in Afghanistan. He began using his table saw to make perfectly shaped 90-degree and 45-degree cuts and positioning the pieces into intricate patterns. His various woods of cedar, cherry, poplar, walnut, oak, maple, and sassafras, are all from the Cumberland Plateau and come kiln-dried from the Robert Walker Sawmill in Monterey, TN.

Vogel's precise nature was also a part of his career. He earned his doctoral degree in vertebrate zoology and taught pre-med students at Washington Jefferson College in Washington Pennsylvania for 29 years. (Thus recently cleaning and mounting the bones of a turtle was an enjoyable project.) Upon retirement, he built a house for himself and his wife, Margaret, in Pennsylvania and worked on Habitat for Humanity houses. After moving to Uplands Village in Pleasant Hill, Vogel was one of the founders of the Cumberland County chapters.

Vogel's wooden boxes and trivets are on display and for sale at The Rainbow, 765 Woodland Circle, off Peavine Road beside the Shell station near Fairfield Glade. A large rainbow sign marks the location. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by appointment, 456-7748.

Cumberland Artisans for Creative Expression (CACE, pronounced KAY-see) is a not-for-profit organization created to promote and encourage the varied artistic and creative individuals and groups within Cumberland County. Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. at Crossville City Hall. For more information about CACE, contact President Sharron Eckert, 277-5425.

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