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About Woodpecker Trading Company


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Woodpecker Trading Company originated during the summer of 1994 as an attempt to create a "persona" for my then and present hobby of historical reenactor/buckskinner. I was given the name "woodpecker" by fellow rendezvous enthusiasts as a result of my constant "pecking away at another woodcarving". Since that day, I've been using my God-given artistic talents to portray various aspects of the lives of our forefathers and the Native peoples who inhabited this great land we call America, via the medium of wood. I also carve the wildlife that were prevalent during the early days of our country's history.

My wife, Karen, and I are active enthusiasts of the time period of 1756-1806 and are constantly striving to accumulate the knowledge needed portray typical lifestyles of that particular time frame. We have been "rendezvousing" since late 1993, and now travel throughout Northern Iowa --Southern Minnesota each summer, as our vacation time permits, participating in some of the many rendezvous and historical reenactments that are scheduled each year.

As with most things and time...they evolve...Which was once an interest in the time frame of the early 1800's, we have evolved and matured with a greater understanding of that time period and have moved into a "new frontier" of an older time...that being the F&I period, the American revolution period and the Corps of Discovery, better known as the Lewis and Clark Expedition. In this timeline we continue to grow and strive for a perfection of sorts in our appearal and personas relative to this particular time.
(See"FAVORITE LINKS")



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I began woodcarving in early 1994, when I "caught the fever" at a beginners woodcarving class sponsored by the North Iowa Woodcarver's Guild in Titonka, Iowa. Since then, I've developed my own style of carving through self-help books, several seminars with renowned woodcarver and sculptor, Stu Martin of Goddard, Kansas, and of course, much practice time "under the knife".

The phenomenal artwork of Robert Griffing, renowned Eastern Woodlands painter, has inspired me on many of my carvings as I strive to realize and portray the character of the Eastern Woodlands people in wood.. It is truly a fascinating period in the history of our great United States that has been overlooked and not discovered mostly because of the lack of written and pictorial documentation for that time frame.


( See "GALLERY OF CARVINGS" & "CARVINGS FOR SALE")



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Woodpecker and Stu Martin
holding "Woodpecker-Designed" carvings
at the STU MARTIN SEMINAR Nov. 2002





Most of my carvings are crafted from basswood (American Linden) which is a plentiful native wood in my locality. I have tried butternut and red cedar and cottonwood bark also, but "bass" remains my favored medium...probably because of its dense grain and the ease to which it carves.

Other mediums in which I have "carved" include horn (scrimshaw),antler, and pipestone. Although I thoroughly enjoy each of these mediums, I have been limited in each of them, mainly because of the lack of availability of the raw materials.

At the present time, I feel I have found "my" nitch within the vast realms of the woodcarving experience, that being the Native American figure, namely the Eastern Woodlands Cultures of 18th Century America.

I hope that I might be able to share something with someone, somewhere, somehow, whether it might be through a carving or a demonstration or just small word of encouragement to someone who enjoys the art of woodcarving as much as I do.

"Look fer us if you happen upon a Rendezvous in our neck 'o the woods and I'll be more than happy to chew the fat with yous about carving or any other topic of recent history." We could even share interests using this wonder of technology, E-mail.


Bruce J. "Woodpecker" Meurer

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Mrs. Bruce J. "Woodpecker" Meurer
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click thumbnails for bigger pictures.





POST SCRIPT: After renewing (20 years later) my love for the BWCA (Boundary Waters Canoe Area) by taking a trip in the summer of 2001 with my sons....I have also become a student of the BWCA/Voyaguer fur trade period in the Great Lakes Area... (Check out my "OTHER LINKS")

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Copyright © 1998 Woodpecker Trading Company.
Bruce J. Meurer.
All Rights Reserved.