Courtland man turns hobby into sideline

Published 11:28 am Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bill Vick, owner of Red Barn Crafts in Courtland, hangs up freshly-painted Christmas ornaments to dry. DALE LIESCH/TIDEWATER NEWS

COURTLAND—Retired teacher and Southampton County sewage plant operator Bill Vick has turned a lifelong hobby into a second career.

The 76 year-old Courtland man has been interested in woodworking for more than 60 years, but started selling his work at craft shows in 1985.

“I’ve always loved it,” he said.

The owner of Red Barn Crafts, Vick worked as a gym teacher and coach at Southampton High School until 1976. He spent his spare time in the school’s woodshop.

From the workshop in his backyard, Vick makes bowls and rolling pins with a lathe and uses a scroll saw to carve intricate designs for Christmas ornaments, which he dries on a small clothesline.

He also creates artwork using the scroll saw.

“It’s almost like a sewing machine,” Vick said. “You have to drill holes in every piece you cut out.”

Vick said he spends about 8 to 10 hours a day in his shop and goes to about four shows a year; the first will be at the armory in Suffolk at 2761 Godwin Blvd. on Saturday, Oct. 20.

“I’ve also done shows in Franklin and in the past I’ve participated in Heritage Day in Courtland,” she said. “I hope to sell it all. I can’t eat it and I don’t have a fireplace.”

Vick can be reached at 653-2892.