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Comfort birds to be featured in Holiday issue of Woodcarving magazine

By Staff | Nov 8, 2011

Frank Foust's comfort birds from Muncy will be featured in the upcoming issue of Woodcarving Illustrated which will be out in newsstands Nov. 22.

MUNCY – Last summer the Luminary featured the works of local wood carving artist, Frank Foust who is best known for his “Comfort Birds” that he carves by hand and gives to those who are suffering from an illness, depression or the loss of a loved one. At first he would give them away, but now he makes them for churches and sells them to missions. So far he has raised over $5,000 for missions through American Baptist Churches. He has made over 1200 comfort birds since he started 15 years ago.

Working with 40 different kinds of hardwoods, mostly grown in Pennsylvania, his birds have traveled all over the world from Korea, to Scotland, Ireland, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica and even Russia. And now Foust’s Comfort Birds are going to be featured in the Holiday 2011 issue of Woodcarving Illustrated. The magazine is the premier publication devoted to the art and hobby of woodcarving. The issue will be available on newsstands on November 22.

Foust was excited to hear that his birds will appear in the publication. “A writer from Montgomery, Alabama found the article in The Luminary last August,” said Foust. Fox Chapel Publishing contacted him shortly afterwards to do an article about his birds in Woodcarving Illustrated. “I sent Ms. Ryan, the author, some photos of my work and we e-mailed back and forth,” he said. They wanted to publish the pattern so that the “legacy of woodcarvers can continue to carve them and these birds will be everlasting.”

In the magazine article, detailed illustrations are given on how Foust carves the project from start to finish.

“Smooth lines and a polished finish make these little birds a joy to hold,” he is quoted. Using colored photographs, the article shows how Foust cuts away the excess wood, roughs out the bird, finishes shaping the bird, sands the bird and applies the polyurethane finish.

The birds have been given to cancer patients, nursing homes and hospitals, and more than $1,000 was raised for a Haitian earthquake relief fund. Frank makes about six birds a week, and it takes him nearly two hours to complete each one.

“A minister from North Carolina just ordered 3 birds, and another lady from Mt. Pleasant ordered one from the internet,” Foust said who never keeps any of the money he gets from the sale of the birds.

Titled “A Bird In Hand” Frank’s story can be viewed at www.WoodcarvingIlustrated.com, or call 800-457-9112 to order a copy from Fox Chapel Publishing, a company known for publishing high quality patterns and how-to projects for those who find joy in working with their hands.