Shaker Woods Shakerwoods Festival Columbiana, Ohio
Shaker Woods Shakerwoods Festival Columbiana, Ohio Shaker Woods Shakerwoods Festival Columbiana, Ohio Shaker Woods Shakerwoods Festival Columbiana, Ohio

Shaker Woods ~ Festival Articles: Archive


RICK & DEBRA KELCH - EZ VANE

My name is Debra Kelch and I have always been intrigued with designing and creating objects with wood and metal. While working for Steelcase Office Furniture in the 1980s, I had an opportunity to serve a four-year apprenticeship in Fixture and Machine, completing a minimum of 8,000 hours of work in the skilled trade field while taking college classes. A Machine Builder works with extremely tight tolerances and precision, operating different machines (including drills, mills, welders and surface grinders) reading blueprints and schematics, and plumbing for pneumatics (air) and hydraulics.

For the next 16 years, I built everything from single purpose machines to a 400-foot long automated system, which used a blank sheet of steel to produce a welded and finished desk top. I am still the only female in Michigan to hold a Journeyman’s card as a Fixture and Machine Builder and I am certified by the U.S. Department of Labor.

I love the creative process of drawing or designing and then bringing it to life, whether it is a machine or a piece of art, and have been creating and selling metal art at craft shows since 1994. In January of 2000, I left my job to pursue the weathervanes full-time and later the same year my husband, Rick, joined me.

I have been intrigued by the history of weathervanes simply for the fact that they date back more than 2,000 years. By creating our own beautiful and whimsical steel weathervanes, I believe we are participating in history. Rick and I enjoy creating weathervanes and consider them moveable art. We build our weathervanes with the highest quality in mind. We hand weld all the components. Our finish is a three-step process, which includes having our parts zinc-plated for better adhesion and durability. Then we bake on two different types of powder coating for beauty and to prevent rust and fading. This finish is designed to last for years. After we powder coat our windcups (anemometers), we use a reamer for an extreme precision hole that we can press a sealed ball bearing into, allowing the windcups to turn with the gentlest breeze. We have always designed our weathervanes to be interchangeable. Once you have a complete weathervane, you can purchase different tops to change for the different seasons or just a different look.

It always brings a smile when people find out that I am actually the creator of our weathervanes and that I actually taught my husband how to weld and not the other way around.

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Shaker Woods Shakerwoods Festival Columbiana, Ohio

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