By Howard Meyerson
SYLVAN LAKE, MI — Bob Batchik has long been hooked on fish and fishing: bluegills, trout, bass, pike and perch. He isn’t fussy. He likes them all – particularly if he has a carving knife in hand.
An avid fly angler and suburban Detroit graphic designer, Batchik has carved out a niche and built a business creating colorful, sometimes super-sized, fish carvings that become bold adornments for client’s gardens, fences, cottages and cabins. A larger than life steelhead he carved in 2012, hangs over the door of Huey Lewis’s California music studio. The popular musician found Batchik’s work on the Internet and commissioned him to create the fish.
“I like the old way of doing things,” notes Batchik, 55, who grew up near Pontiac and later attended Northern Michigan University where he got a fine arts degree. “I put down the (electric) Dremel tool years ago and decided to be a hand-tool guy. Each tool leaves unique marks on wood. I stopped sanding things smooth so, if you get close enough, you can see it was hand-carved.”
Batchik, lives in Sylvan Lake with his wife, Mary. He carves 25 to 30 fish every year, working in his garage woodshop. Some are highly detailed, custom creations. His website (sunfishwoodworks.com/) shows his carvings and creative furniture designs. They include fish rocking chairs and a glass-topped table with a massive carved wooden earthworm base, and benches and chairs to match. Continue reading