Diane Belcher is a self-taught wood carver who credits the artistry of antique chocolate molds as her inspiration. In about 2012 she decided to give the form of wood carving a try, and she hasn’t looked back since.
All of her designs are original, and she claims to have learned something from each piece she has carved. People she knows often inspire the faces that she gives to the Santas and gnomes she crafts.
Belcher handles all aspects of her work—not only carving but the painting and finishing of each piece. She uses basswood or pine and a variety of knives for her carvings. Each piece evolves as it is being carved and develops its own personality. When she paints each figure by hand, she uses subdued colors in acrylic paint, then gives each an antique finish. She completes each figure with a small carved star.
Belcher has been involved in some kind of art or craft work for most of her life. While majoring in biology at Bridgewater State College, she also pursued a minor in art. She later earned a Masters degree in early childhood education and taught elementary school for 20 years.
Today Belcher resides in Halifax, Massachusetts, with her husband, Larry. They have two married sons and four grandchildren. For many years they have collected antiques together and enjoy “the hunt” in both New England and Pennsylvania.
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