Meet Your Neighbor: Marc McCabe, Woodworker & A Happy “Picnicker”

Customer Amy Putnam Poses with Woodworker Marc McCabe at the Picnic

By Carol McCracken (Post # 563)

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Yesterday was perfrect for the 3rd annual Picnic (Arts & Musical Festival) on the grounds of Lincoln Park in downtown Portland. Young familes and the older crowd moved from booth to booth under bright blue skies admiring a myriad of hand-mades appropriate for gift giving or better yet for keeping.

One happy picnicker, among many, was Marc McCabe, a 28 year old resident of the Greater Munjoy Hill area. McCabe, a woodworker, offered a variety of wooden spoons and cutting boards from under his white tent. Every spoon was different, there were no two alike; all made from a variety of woods he has found in the woods. It takes McCabe about 1 to 3 hours to hand-craft each spoon. He begins with a chunk of wood on which he draws circles of different sizes in a bunch of places. This produces a good symmetry that would otherwise be difficult to produce. From there he uses a band saw and them moves on to a series of Stanley tools. Then comes lots of sanding and applying the finish coat – three times. He says: “It’s great to take a chunk of wood and turn it into a work of beauty.”

This is the first show McCabe’s ever been in and he plans on returning next year. It’s a hobby and he plans on keeping it that way. His items are fairly priced. “I need to get new prescription glasses and an eye exam. I have more than enough for that now,” he said grinning. Originally from Ohio, McCabe studied eco-tourism there. He found a job online at the Chewonki Foundation, Wiscasset, where he worked in the boatshop for five years. A friend there taught him to make the wooden spoons and he’s been making them ever since. McCabe works for Thompson Johnson Woodworks, based on Peaks Island.

Diane Toepfer, one of the organizers of the Picnic and owner of the popular Ferdinand shop on the Hill, said this was the best Picnic yet. 101 vendors participated and 100 had to be turned away. Toepfer said the Picnic is getting more competitive every year. She was already talking about where the Picnic could be expanded in Lincoln Park to accommodate more vendors next year. The group is making plans for the holiday counterpart.