Bob Taylor began carving when he was eight years old using a pocketknife his grandfather gave him. Around the age of 11, Bob met Mooney Warther, who set up his traveling woodcarving museum at the Bartholomew County Fair, and young Bob became enthralled with his display. This chance encounter encouraged Bob’s lifelong passion for carving. Once grown, he apprenticed as a patternmaker. From engineers’ drawings, he carved prototypes that manufacturers used to produce molds for making metal castings. While he carved professionally throughout his life, he also continued to whittle for his own enjoyment.
In the 1980s, he discovered the work of Rupert Kreider (1897-1983), an itinerant carver who occasionally worked as a farmhand in Bartholomew County. Though Bob never met Kreider, he was impressed by the landscapes Kreider cut into flat boards. By day Bob worked as a pattern maker, and at night he taught himself Kreider’s distinctive style. When Bob retired in 1999, he started using this pictorial-carving technique to create “memory carvings.” From church festivals to circus trains, he has carved meaningful scenes from his youth. His current creation shows Mooney Warther at the fairgrounds.
Bob Taylor has devoted his time to mastering his craft and sharing his talents. From teaching Boy Scouts to carve neckerchief slides to exhibiting his carvings at area woodcarving clubs, county fairs, and festivals, he enjoys sharing his talents, carvings and stories with others.