In America we have the National Football League (NFL), the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB), and the National Hockey League (NHL). If there could be a National Carving League (NCL), this woodworker would set the top statistics to be one of the most valuable players (MVP) in carving. Walter Croft’s abilities are like that of the Jim Thorpe of football, Hank Aaron of baseball, Michael Jordan of basketball, and the Wayne Gretzky of hockey.
Above, Walter holds a replicated Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics size 15 basketball shoe.
Walter Croft’s talent comes from, what he calls a “God given gift“, and from his mother, who was a phenomenal clay sculpturist. All of his woodworking capabilities are self-taught. He started out in construction, building houses, custom kitchens and cabinets, followed by working in retail, and finally sharing his woodworking knowledge at Woodcraft in Providence, Rhode Island during the past eight years.
The baseball caps, basketballs, footballs, helmets, and shirts are made of basswood, the baseballs are made from holly. The basketball, footballs, baseballs and bats are regulation weight, just like the real mccoys.
Even the wooden shoes are weighted the same as real shoes and come with wooden shoe laces.
Walter has a special made tool to transform the wood on the shoes to look like leather grain material. Wooden cleats are attached with wooden screws to complete the professional look.
The football facemask is created by steam bending green wood with form fixtures to shape them. All threads, seams, and details to be colored are woodburned first, stopping any bleeding of color beyond the desired area:
Walter borrowed the original Tedy Bruschi (#54) helmet of the New England Patriots, and duplicated it in wood. Walter also made a woodcarved football and gave it to Bruschi. Bruschi played for the Patriots starting every game in his rookie season as a pass rush specialist in 1996, then an outside linebacker in 1999, and finally a defensive captain in 2002 until his retirement in 2009.
The fabric detail of the carved shirt is on the inside and the outside, and all of the artwork is hand drawn and painted by Walter.
3-D Hollow carved game jersey’s of the Boston Celtics (below) and the New England Patriots (above),
Listen in on our conversation with Walter…
Here a few other items Walter has carved,
You don’t have to be a sports fan to appreciate Walter’s talent. If you are in the Rhode Island area, stop in and meet Walter at the Woodcraft store. This is something you must see in person to appreciate, you won’t believe your eyes!
Thanks Walter, it doesn’t get any better than this!