Kenneth Folster graduated from State University of New York at Oswego in 1950 with a degree in industrial arts education, then he devoted 18 years to teaching industrial arts and 21 years as a high school assistant principal.
He carved his first Santa in 1988. His wife was a Santa collector and he carved it for her as a surprise Christmas gift. Everyone was impressed with it so he continued to carve more. He has carved hundreds of Santas as well as other traditional woodcarvings. One of his carvings, an eagle, was on the 1999 White House Christmas tree and shown in Early American Life in the 2000 Christmas issue.
Folster has always admired Windsor chairs, and when he retired in 1989 he pursued that interest along with his carving. Relying on books about the craft and his woodworking teaching experience, he taught himself how to make the chairs. He enjoys the challenge of working with hand tools, producing chairs and woodcarvings entirely by hand, with marks of hand tool work characteristic of antiques.
Kenneth Folster has been selected for the Directory of Traditional American Crafts in the Windsor Furniture category in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2007. He has been selected in the Holiday category in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2001 and in the Woodcarving category in 2002.
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