Since the early 70’s, Rob Peterson® has used many ABATRON products in his remodeling and building business, so needless to say Abatron was no stranger to him. In the early 1990’s he did scrimshaw, stating, “It’s the art that whalers have done for over 200 years.” He started in Nantucket, doing etchings on a whale’s tooth. Then, when his daughter was getting married in 2010 he started doing chainsaw carvings which quickly turned into a profitable hobby. Perhaps these varied skill sets were preparation for an intriguing piece yet to come!
It must have been fate when a physician hired Peterson to remodel a pool cabana shelter area in Louisville, KY. Upon arriving he noticed an amazing 10 foot tall totem pole and immediately fell in love with it. As this client moved, so did the totem pole. Unfortunately, it was anchored in the ground and incurred extensive insect and water damage to the lower area. In an effort to effectively preserve it, the owners, being familiar with Peterson’s passion for the piece, generously gave him the totem pole.
Although it was in horrible condition, words can’t express how thankful he was. Peterson said, “Pieces were missing, colors were washed out.” He saved every fallen piece and contacted the Alaska State Museum in an effort to personally restore the totem pole. Through sharing photographs, they determined it was western white cedar wood. He sanded, cleaned and diligently attempted to duplicate the original color. Peterson said, “It was like a jigsaw puzzle, the paw feet and part of the thigh were missing.” Being aware that Abatron’s WoodEpox® is a shrink-free epoxy wood filler that permanently bonds to most surfaces and is easy to carve, sand and paint, he used Abatron’s WoodEpox for the repairs. Peterson continued, “I used it as an adhesive and a filler,” adding, “I love how easy it is to work with.” This beautiful artistic piece is a fine example how versatile the product can be. After many weeks preserving this piece, it currently is prominently placed in Peterson’s living room. He certainly restored it with love!