By Jessie Wagoner
When you step into The Ark, located at 301 S. Main in McPherson, you never know what treasures you may find. Recently, Ron and Cindy Stricklin with Ron’s Original Crafts began selling their creations at The Ark and have received a warm welcome from shoppers.
The Stricklins’ booth, number eight, is just to the left as shoppers enter The Ark. The booth is filled with wooden crafts, all created by the duo. Ron Stricklin purchased a Hawk scroll saw 30 years ago and began making items for friends and family. Though he enjoyed it and found it was a good way to keep his reflexes sharp, he got out of the habit of doing woodwork.
About five years ago, motivated by the purchase of new saws, Ron Stricklin jumped back into woodworking. His hand-eye coordination was still strong, and his wife kept him fully stocked with patterns to try. Cindy Stricklin regularly finds new patterns online for the couple to try and has even designed quite a few patterns of her own.
“A lot of the items are designed by my lovely wife—my much better half,” Ron Stricklin said. “Cindy can design and make a pattern for nearly anything.”
Small items are the couple’s speciality, though they do make larger planters and lighthouses on occasion. Holiday decorations, sports-themed items and crosses are all popular among shoppers.
“I do all of the sawing and most of the rough sanding,” Ron Stricklin said. “Cindy usually does the finish sanding and nearly all of the finish work and painting. She is skilled and more of a perfectionist than I have ever been.”
The couple had a full slate of craft shows lined up for this year, but COVID-19 has led to their cancelation. Currently, their items are available in Sterling at Time Travel, in Great Bend at the UPS store and The Ark in McPherson. The couple also maintains a page on Facebook under Ron’s Original Crafts.
“We will be bringing a lot of Christmas items to The Ark and will have them displayed before Ben’s three-day open house on Nov. 6 through 8,” Ron Stricklin said. “There will be lighted nativity sets, lighted trees and more. Unique band saw boxes and hundreds of decorations and ornaments.”
The Ark is is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
“Cindy and I would like to invite all your readers to stop and look at our wares,” Ron Stricklin said. “Pretty sure you will see something that will make you smile or wonder ‘how did they make that.’” If you buy something from us, that is great. If we bring a smile to your face or a good memory, that is just as good.”