ART, TOYS, AND CRAFTS
THE STORY OF FOLK ECHOES
Greetings, I am Kevin Seymore, and I would like to tell you about Folk Echoes and how it came to be. First, Folk Echoes is about my love for creating, which I date back to such kid projects as sand castles and posters for elementary school contests. But it is a love that really didn't come into sharper focus until 2005 when I started a self-taught journey into painting, first acrylic and then oil. Painting led me to start making frames. My first attempt since a childhood birdhouse to make something with wood came when I tried to make a simple picture frame for a painting I wished to give to a colleague and in the process discovered how much less forgiving wood was than oil paint. But it was the challenge of making something out of wood that inspired me to keep at it and try to make more and more complicated creations than that first not so simple rectangle.
Unlike my art studio, aka my kitchen table, I gained the opportunity with wood working to stand in a shop that my father and grandfather once tooled around in. They were often moved more by the challenge of repair than creation. But I still have the sense when I am in there that I am closer to them as I handle the tools they once used and walk around the work bench that many a project of theirs sat on over the years. As a son who misses them every day, it is nice to be in there creating where they once stood, where they once hunched over, where they too found creative ways to solve problems. They are my folk, and I am one of their echoes!
The rubber band boats that you will see on here were the first projects I started and completed after having graduated from picture framing. I grew up enjoying toy boats as a kid, though I don't think I ever had a rubber band boat. I somehow discovered the concept on-line and just let my imagination go with it. Having majored in history in college, I naturally gravitated to boats from America's past, such as the Civil War boats. I took about twenty of them to a crafts fair and discovered that kids can still get excited about something that doesn't require a microprocessor. I enjoy their excitement upon purchasing a new boat that they could power with a rubber band and their imaginations, but I soon discovered that it would help my business to create some items their parents might like as well.
Not just their parents, but also what I would like to have myself became my creative drive. Where my taste leans and where Folk Echoes leans is towards creations inspired by the rich traditions of American Folk Art and through it the natural world that I am most familiar with here in South Arkansas, along the Ouachita river.
I have expanded to making candle holders, duck mobiles, fish whirligigs, catfish wall art, duck sculptures, crow silhouettes, swivel head ducks, goose baskets, pull toy dogs, pull toy bream, woodpecker doorknockers, gators on a stick, and most recently, some wall art that I call modern bream. I am always looking for a way to combine the spirit of an animal I love with wood and some inspiration from America's rich history of folk art.
When you look around, you will see that I am still painting and have paintings to offer here on the site of landscapes and varied animals that fly over, swim in, and run through my part of the country. My first and longest love of my creative life will forever be the thrill of putting a brush to canvas!
Whether it is a painting or a craft object, I hope you will find something here that you would like to invite into your home or camp that will add to the spirit of your place. Or maybe you will find a toy that a kid in your life (by age or by heart) would enjoy. Like other craft makers, my overarching goal with Folk Echoes, in this age of the cheap plastic object, is to provide a lasting alternative made of wood, paint, and imagination, and always with skill and care. I pledge that nothing will leave my hands to your hands that is not the best I can make. Please enjoy looking around my site. I am happy that you've stopped by!