Cody Harstad in his shop

Cody Harstad of Hillsboro arranges a wood pumpkin figure that he carved in his backyard shop. Harstad hopes to start a woodcarving club in Hillsboro in the near future.

Cody Harstad doesn’t describe himself as an artistic person.

The Hillsboro man’s siblings can draw and paint, he says, but he admits he never had a knack for those skills.

That hasn’t stopped the 36-year-old state trooper from whittling away colorful knickknacks in his backyard shed.

Now, Harstad is hoping to start a hobbyist club for the area’s woodcarvers and enthusiasts.

Harstad Christmas trees

Harstad carved an assortment of figurines, such as these Christmas trees and snowman, from basswood using a variety of knives.

“This is something I never realized I’d enjoy as much as I do,” he said Wednesday in his small shop. “But it’s a lot of the same principles of art, with proportions and symmetry.”

Weeks and months of quarantining at home due to COVID-19 have led to a surge in new hobbyist woodworkers in the area, Harstad said.

That’s how he got his start.

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