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Husband and Wife in Morrill Build Business on ‘Whimsey’ 

A husband-and-wife team in Morrill are taking their business to the next level. They’ve been making painted woodcarvings together as a hobby for the past 30 years. But when Rose Kern was laid off from her job last year, their folk art hobby came in handy.”I just picked up a paintbrush one day and just started helping him with some painting. And it just blossomed into a team,” Rose says.From a simple beginning, to a growing business. At the home of Rose Kern and Chip Slimak, it’s the tale of the whales.”When you look at a board, you see a board, but when I look at a board I see all the grain twisting to it,” Chip says. “The whale is there and I just have to get to it. To do my part of the job to let it go.”The couple is now focusing on their painted woodcarving business, ‘Mere Whimsey,’ after Rose lost her job at Moss Inc. in Belfast last year.”When I was laid off, we decided to pursue just doing the whale carvings because that’s what Chip really liked to do,” Rose says.”A craftsman, he always has a job. Because they always have their hands. Or as long as they have their hands, anyhow, they can find something to do,” Chip says.Chip, a woodcarver since childhood, says it’s the flowing lines and beauty of each whale he loves– and the natural touches that make them unique.”There is a flow to it. You can’t go against it. It always has to be in the direction the wood wants to go,” Chip says, of carving.The couple says they hope the pieces are as educational as they are beautiful. They donate part of their proceeds to whale conservation efforts. They also recently started a web site to reach more customers.”We know we’re not going to get rich doing this and we don’t want to. That’s not our plan,” Rose says. “It’s kind of like a hobby, but it’s a hobby that can also afford us to make a living.”Rose is keeping a part-time job outside the home to help with insurance. But they say it’s been rewarding to watch their own business grow, after it started as a moment of mere whimsy thirty years ago.”I think the best part about doing this work is that it freed us up to enjoy our lives,” Rose says.To find them online, visit: www.merewhimsey.com/wood-carved-whales/