By Heidi Glaus
ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Mike Simpson's home is anything but peaceful, thanks to his passion for wood carving.
"First time I did it I said, 'yeah this is what I was meant to do,'" Simpson said.
For several years, however, it was more of a hobby than a profession.
"This is something I do for fun with my spare time, I'd like to display on Veteran's Day," Simpson said.
That is, until contractors started calling looking for a one-of-a-kind mantel or hand-carved crown molding.
"I made the door," he said.
Each piece requires a plethora of tools, several steps and of course patience.
"It's very labor intensive and that's why a lot of people don't do it nowadays," Simpson said.
They are works of art which is why he started applying to art fairs a few years ago.
"I had applied to these shows and what I was doing wasn't up to par," Simpson said.
Not the art, but the way he was presenting it so someone introduced him to the Saint Louis Art Fair's Emerging Artist Program.
"They go through everything from watching how someone packs their booth to applying to a show," explains Cindy Lerick, Executive Director of the Saint Louis Art Fair.
Not only did he learn how to work with customers and how to price his pieces he got invited to this year's show. So he's been busy banging out new pieces
"This is one piece of wood," Simpson says as he spins the piece.
Some that might be hard to part with, but somehow he'll find a way.
"The money makes it a lot easier," Simpson jokes.
You can check out Simpson's work this weekend at the Saint Louis Art Fair in Clayton. There's no admission fee. To learn more about the fair or about the emerging artist program check out the related link.