Kevin Henderson was born in Pittsburg, Kansas and attended area public schools including Baxter Springs and Pittsburg High School. He served in the U.S. Army which took him to Germany and gave him the opportunity to see first-hand many beautiful old buildings and their furnishing across Europe. He loved the carvings, the great strengths and styles of joinery and the solid feeling of the old world objects.
Kevin returned from the military and worked as a machinist and as a mechanic for quite a few years. The chemicals that are necessary in mechanic work combined with constant exposure to gas fumes and oil began to take a toll on his health. He began to retrain himself in 2002.
He read every book available and watched any television show he could find that explained how to work with wood using the old methods. These even include finishes that are used to obtain many different looks and shades from the wood. Kevin built garden benches and lawn chairs. Never being quite satisfied, many friends and family members benefited with pieces he felt he could not sell. Each piece is still being used and enjoyed.
Kevin had always admired the well-built antique furniture he saw and was astounded at the number of years some of them had retained their beauty, strength and decorative value while being used and abused daily. He had the desire to build things better and sturdier than the flimsy and somewhat homely furniture that was available. He has particularly enjoyed making blanket chests. Their utilitarian value as much as their beauty makes them a treasured item in many homes. They also provide a canvas for his metal work such as hinges and lockwork that he forges himself.
According to Kevin, “Working with wood is a pleasure. If I do not muck up my part it will usually be attractive because of the beauty of the wood. The old hand tools I use make pleasant sounds and the fragrance of the wood as it is worked is heavenly. When I worked with machines I watched the clock, now I lose track of blocks of time because I enjoy what I am doing,” he smiled.
Photo of the Artist