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Thursday, April 7, 2016

The "Old World Craftsmanship" Story

It was an ordinary day.  A former student as well as a good friend, Mike Bovie, recently sent me an email telling me about his son and how successful he has been in college during his sophomore year.  His son, Evan, is a student at USC and has gotten into VR (virtual reality) film making, working for Create Marketing and client Sony Pictures.  He was involved with a VR experience for the release of the movie "The Walk" this past summer and fall as well as visiting Woodstock, NY during his recent spring break where he worked for VR Live in filming a new "heart throb" singer/song writer in the recording studio.  I retired from teaching before Evan entered Manheim Township High School where I taught, but I did have Mike for two years during his high school career, and I have no doubts that Evan will be as successful as his dad has become.  I can still remember the dozen t-shirts that Mike created as a senior for the band color guard.  
They were multi-colored and in perfect registration (lining up perfectly).  Quite a feat for a manual procedure.  It was at that time that I knew Mike was someone quite special.  A few years ago Mike opened Lancaster Stained Glass Designs which is known for special designs as well as stained glass restoration.  
The star of DIY network "Made with Pride" Mark Bowe.
Matter of fact, he is so good at what he does that he added to his email that he was appearing on the DIY Network's "Made with Pride" show.  He was one of four featured craftsman from Lancaster, PA who appeared with host Mark Bowe in the half-hour show on national television.  So, the "like father, like son" is truly meant for this pair.  Can't imagine how proud Susan, Mike's wife, must be of her husband and son.  
Alan Buhol working on the slate roof with Mark.
Well, I watched the show and found in it a remarkable display of craftsman- ship from my hometown of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  Show featured: (1) a slate roofer, Alan Buhol, who was installing a slate roof on the 1843 smoke house of Wheatland, the home of Pennsylvania's only U.S. President, James Buchanan; (2) a blacksmith, Dan Alexander, who showed Mark how to use a 1912 metal spinning lathe as well as make hand-made nails; (3) a cabinet, furniture and even coffin maker, Dave Barkby who helped Mark turn a bowl and; (4) Mike, who showed Mark the proper way to score and cut stained glass, use a "Fid" to place a piece of newly cut glass in place, and the proper method of soldering.  
Dan Alexander showing Mark how to make cut nails.
Throughout the half-hour show, the city of Lancaster was featured showing a covered bridge, rolling hills and farmland and telling that Lancaster was the capital of our nation for a day as well as being the oldest inland city in the country.  
Woodworker Dave Barkby prepares a piece of wood for Mark.
Great show featuring four great artists whose use of old world craftsman- ship was remark- able.  My congratulations for a great show, and especially to Mike for his performance on the show.  I couldn't be more proud of my former student than I was of Mike.  He, and his son, are a class act.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.  PS - My photos for this story were taken from the show and were taken from the TV screen.  I apologize for the quality of many of the photos.

Beginning of the segment with Mike Bovie, Stained Glass artist.
Stained Glass window by MIke that was featured.
Mike showing Mark how to use a Running Pliers. 
Mike and Mark using a Fid to place a piece of stained glass.
Soldering a piece of stained glass in place on a restoration job.
Mark pointing out the piece he helped to replace.

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