Lloyd W. Smith of Farmington sits on one of the benches he has made. This one has a scene with two bears fishing along a river. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

Lloyd W. Smith has made a series of cross-stitch pieces featuring native Americans. The framed pieces now hang behind his couch. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

FARMINGTON — When 75-year-old Lloyd W. Smith was 10 or 12 years old he made his first bookcase. His home now features the furniture and objects he has made out of wood over his lifetime so far, as well as several framed cross-stitch creations.

Smith, who was born and raised in Farmington and graduated from Farmington High School in 1963, became interested in making items out of wood as a child. That interest in wood carried into adulthood, as a logger and trucker. He is mostly retired now because the Androscoggin Mill in Jay is not taking wood to process into pulp to make paper. “I did everything from stump to the mill,” he says.

One of the most difficult cross-stitch pieces he has done is of a mother tiger and cub, stitched mostly in white and black. It hangs in his dining room. “It was awful easy to lose my place mostly because of the colors,” Smith says.

How did you get interested in working with wood? My father was a finish carpenter, so there was always some tools in the shop and some wood around. I just got interested in wood

Lloyd W. Smith made this wooden 8-inch-by 8-inch bowl by continuing to cut rings from box elder wood and then gluing the pieces of wood together. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

and started making something when I was 10 or 12. My son, Matt, has the first bookcase I made. I’ve always been interested. I don’t really know why, maybe because my father was interested. It’s fun.

Are you one of those people who can look at a piece of wood and know exactly what it will be? I don’t know if I know what it can be. I know if it is pretty and I know when its a nice piece of wood. I just see that it has good color and good character. I don’t know what I would make out of it but I know it would make something pretty.

What is the hardest project you have done? The hardest thing I made was a three-legged, corner table. It took me quite a long time to cut the curve on it because it is a quarter-circle table top. You give me a set of plans and I will figure it out. I am not good at figuring out formulas, but give me a little bit of time and I can make it work.

Do you have any favorite pieces you have created? I have got quite a few pieces I am fond of. One of them is the first bench I made

Lloyd W. Smith says this cross-stitch artwork was difficult for him to do because it was easy to lose his place, given most of the color scheme is in black and white. Donna M. Perry’Sun Journal

several years ago. It has a bear scene on the back rest. I cut it out with a scroll saw. The bench is made out of cherry and poplar. I have also made a memorial bench and one with two bucks fighting on it. I gave the one with the bucks on it to my

grandson, Tim, for a Christmas present.

What do you find the easiest wood to work with? My base wood is cherry.

I also heard you do cross-stitch. How and why did you get into it? My wife, Linda, did cross-stitch. She showed me a little bit about how to do it. I have just done it ever since. It is the same as wood; it is very satisfying to see something come out looking good. I like working with my hands. I had a leg up on stitching because I stitched for five or six years at (G. H.) Bass (& Co. shoe factory).

What are some of your favorite cross-stitch artwork? One of my favorite cross-stitch pieces is a deer scene. It looks like the deer are going to jump right out at you. I did these while I was still working, whenever I had time. Another favorite is of a little child in a cowboy suit standing by a horse. Another one is black-capped chickadees on pine branches. It is kind of addicting to me.

Do you sell your work or is it just for yourself and family? I sell some of it as a hobbyist. I will consider making someone something. You give me an idea and I will consider, if I can come up with a design, if it is something I can come up with.


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