kested declaration 01.jpg

Retired Navy patternmaker and former shop teacher Charlie Kested was 71, in 2000, when he first fired up his scroll saw to start work on this project. He just finished. In the intervening decade, Kersted has survived and recovered from a stroke that left him without feeling in one hand.

Quite apart from all the human interest angles on Charlie himself—senior citizen, veteran, patriot, teacher, craftsman, stroke survivor—the piece itself seems a truly remarkable artifact. Each word is meticulously cut from dark walnut, right down to the last flourish and detail of John Hancock’s paraph, and affixed to a light-colored baltic birch “page.” Hopefully there’ll be some nice higher-resolution photos available online soon. [via Boing Boing]