Arts In April Artist Spotlight: Dave Breakiron
Artist: Dave Breakiron, Senior Superintendent
Media/Work: Woodwork/carving, pencil & pen drawings and cigar box guitars
Time on exhibited projects: 40 hours on the Rockin’ Harley, a couple hours each on the drawings and small carvings, and 6 to 8 hours on a cigar box guitar.
What inspires you? My passion for motorcycles led me to want to build one for my grandson. I saw one made by the Amish at a bike convention in Arkansas, which was single dimensioned painted with the details. I took a few pictures and I thought I could take it to the next level. I updated it with the saddle bags 19 years later for my great grandson.
The wood carving came from being a Scout leader. The truck and car were done while helping Cub Scouts build Pinewood Derby cars for competition. The bears and indian were done with my Boy Scouts at summer camp when the crafts instructor from Bear, Delaware, told our boys that there was a bear inside the block of wood and all they had to do was remove all the wood around it.
Being a longtime fan of the “Blues” I’ve read several books on Delta Blues musicians and I learned some of the old timers had started making music on primitive homemade instruments made from wooden cigar boxes, broom handles, and screen wire. I read additional stories on the history of cigar boxes on the internet along with pictures of them. I thought, “I can make one of them.” So I built one. I was surprised that it was actually easy to play, had a distinct sound, and was fun to build. Over the last couple years I’ve built 41 of them. Some were donated for charity raffles and fund raising events, some I sold to people who had to have one, and I have made numerous boxes as gifts or my guitar playing friends. I’m currently working on several necks for the next ones made from salvaged maple wood demoed on an office renovation project.