Lynn Barnickol’s interest in wood began when he was in the 7th grade but it took decades for him to immerse himself in the creation of a wide array of handcrafted wooden treasures.
“I loved the feel of wood and my dad bought me a saw around this time,” said Barnickol, who also loved shop class.
He and his wife, Gail, both graduated from Jefferson City High School. After a three year stint in the army, he received his degree in Wood Science from Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, Co. In 1977, he began working in Field Forestry for the Department of Conservation. He retired in 2010 but still serves as the executive director of the Missouri Consulting Foresters Association.
With much more time on his hands, he began woodworking part time through the name Actually Wood. He started out making cutting boards like the one he’s working on in his shop at his home in Wardsville. He mixes hardwoods like walnut, cherry, oak, ash and sycamore and then glues them together and round the edges.
“Women love round edges,” he said.
“This is the heart wood, the center of the tree that’s used to hold it up but no longer produces sap,” he said. “The sap is part of the groin area where the moisture and nutrients live.”
Barnickol makes a variety of kitchen utensils including spatulas, rolling pins, pizza peels and rack pullers for taking bread out of the oven.
He also began making products for fiber arts, such as a Kniddy Noddy, a Drop Spindle and knitting needles when his wife took up fiber arts. He also built a loom for his wife and is making her another one so she can make tapestries.
A former teacher who has sewn all of her life, Gail began needle felting and also dies wool using plants from the yard, including acorns, walnuts, bark, leaves and osage orange and marigold. She simmers them on the back of her house, where they have a landscaped area that overlooks a lake.
Both of them show their work, including at the recent Fiber Retreat at Lincoln University’s Carver Farm. They also have a booth at the Art Bazaar and Gail’s company, TurnUp Green, is on Etsy.
Photography by Anthony Roderman and Julie Smith