Ivan Eden has been working with wood as a hobby for more than six decades. Pieces like the tables pictured are particularly tricky as each different colored piece is a different piece of wood glued together. 


As Anamosa held their annual citywide garage sales, Ivan Eden sat in his garage with an assortment of bowls, candle sticks, tables and other handmade wooden items.

“Before I can start more projects, I’ve got to make some room,” Eden said.

Eden has been wood-working as a hobby since the age of 10, a habit he picked up from his father, and one he’s enjoyed ever since.

“It keeps me out of mischief in retirement,” he said, having previously worked as a Jones County deputy and operated the former Standard Oil Station in town.

Now 78, Eden’s hands aren’t as steady as they used to be, having been diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s disease.

“I have good days and bad,” he said. “When I’m having a good day, I can go out there and work. When I’m having a real bad day, (I) stay away from anything sharp.”

When working, Eden will work with just about any type of wood, but he prefers working with walnut if he can get his hands on it.

“It’s hard. It takes a good finish. You can work it down real thin,” he said.

Anything can become a possible project for Eden, even some more oddly-shaped pieces, which generally become part of his candle holder collection. Some holders Eden’s not even sure what type of wood they’re made out of, just that they’re old.  

His projects range from simple bowls to a table made of 146 different pieces of wood glued together, whatever strikes his fancy at a given time. The table project took him a month to complete by itself, and the length of a given project can vary based on difficulty.

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