LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A Lake Charles woodworker is gaining recognition for the way he turns local landmarks into birdhouses. Like a lot of retirees, Ron Stear found a hobby. But it kind of came by accident. He's always liked working with wood, but a renovation project moved him to another level.
"We did some remodeling in the living room and I ended up with some plywood and I didn't know what to do with it," said Stear. I built a birdhouse. I got started there. This is what happens when a hobby gets out of hand."
Ron designs all of his projects on computer, then builds them by hand. All of his bird houses range from the traditional wood design to one that includes Spanish tile..
"This is a little Spanish style home that my daughter requested he make for her. She had given me some Spanish tile from some other houses. So I broke it up and made a chimney.I added a fireplace and firewood."
He recently donated this replica of Central School to the Arts and Humanities Council. With intricate brick work and signage, it's gotten rave reviews. Ron says It's not a bird house though, it's actually a little library. When you take a look at some of Ron's work, it's amazing to see the detail.
He has a replica of a lighthouse was ordered by a man who wanted to present it to his wife.
"It turns out that he and his wife had climbed this light house in St. Augustine Florida and he proposed to her at the top of the light house. I made it for him and I think it came out pretty good."
Then there's the oil platform grooms cake holder, requested by an oil company executive.
"So I designed this platform.with the derrick to hold a large chocolate cake so it fit right down inside of it."
From fire houses to parking meters to surf shops, Ron's works are sure to get people talking. The birdhouses will be on display this Friday evening during the Art Council's Art Walk in downtown Lake Charles. His work will be inside the Blue Dog Cafe on Ryan St. For more information on the Art Walk, click here.