After breakfast and a few morning chores, Dick Lamphier finds the truck keys and points his silver Ford pickup in the direction of his woodworking studio a few blocks away in Elk Rapids. Upon entering, you see just how busy he is. Lathes, vices, clamps, saws, a drill press, mallets and custom crafted wooden boxes filled with delicate hand tools along with wood in all shapes and sizes, unintentionally decorate the interior of this cedar shake cottage-like garage. On his wall, measuring six feet tall and five feet wide and about six to eight inches thick is his current artistic pursuit. As you study the detail, it seems even bigger.
In the late winter of 2004, Lamphier accepted an offer from Harbor Beach, Michigan to design and carve a large wooden panel of the towns lighthouse and its adjacent pier and shoreline. When completed, the approximately 250-pound rendition will be displayed in Harbor Beach Community Hospital. It will include the names of donors to the medical communities, the many programs and the hospital itself.
It all began with a web posting on Michigan Wood Carvers Association in January 2004. I hesitated and didnt reply right away. Lamphier admits. Then, a few weeks past and I sent them my portfolio. In the end, I was selected out of about four other interested carvers.