Local craftsman continues woodwork
Mack Howington, of Lepanto, has long been known for his beautiful woodwork. He displayed his craftsmanship at the War Eagle show for 21 years and sold his works at the Pink Palace Fair and the Osceola Methodist Church Fair for several years.
A member of the Arkansas Craft Guild for over 15 years, Howington has now limited his exhibitions to one a year, the Arkansas Craft Guild's Christmas Showcase, which was held Dec. 6-8 at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.
Some of Howington's most interesting crafts are the banks and tables he has crafted from old Post Office boxes. Howington bought all of the old mailboxes from the Post Offices in Lepanto, Manila and Tuckerman. With the combination mailboxes, he makes small banks with a slot in top for children to use to save their money.
"I've sold several of these in the Little Rock area here. And I've fixed two that people had broken in the houses and smashed the kids' banks and the kids were just heartbroken. But they didn't bust the door, they just busted the box. So I would make them a new box and put the same door on it," said Howington. He uses the larger mailboxes as drawers in beautiful walnut end tables. The mailboxes still have the keys and the drawers lock.
Howington also had a large wooden bowl for sale that he had carved from one solid piece of bass wood. "My brother in Louisiana gave me the wood over 30 years ago. He got it from the Chicago Mill and Lumber Company from Vicksburg, Miss. It was about 16 inches wide, six inches thick and 12 feet long," said Howington. From that piece of wood, he has made three bowls.
Howington also sells bird houses, cutting boards, shelled pecans, soot logs and wind chimes at the show. His wind chimes, which he makes from copper pipe, are tuned to a single musical chord. He uses a formula to determine how long or short each chime needs to be to move it up the scale or down the scale.
Woodworking is only one of Howington's many hobbies; he is also an avid bird-watcher.