A Dwight retired carpenter and a craft artist have combined forces to create wig stands for cancer patients.
They are part of a network of wood turners and other artisans who donate the wig stands to the Susan Komen Foundation in Peoria. Cancer patients often lose their hair during the treatment for the disease.
The foundation serves people from Interstate 80 south to Springfield and across the state from Indiana tothe Iowa border, according to retired engineer Terry Quiram of Roanoke, who creates the wood parts for the wood turners to put together.
The stands are a community project of the Central Illinois Wood Turners, a group of which Dave Razunas of rural Dwight is a member.
Razunas turns the wood for the pedestal and glues them together for Brooke Baker of Dwight to decorate and paint.
Quiram said there are about 20 members around Illinois who create the wig stands.
The stands are free to all cancer patients.
Wood used includes just about every kind of wood you can imagine, including pine, poplar, birch, and cedar.
“Hard woods are best with less sanding,” Quiram explained.
The wood turners have two sources of wood, companies that use wood in manufacturing and formerly burned the scrap. Now the scrap is given to the wood turners for the wig stands.
Some of the scraps are up to eight feet long, which Quiram cuts down into stands, posts, and tops.
He creates the kits, brings them to club meetings in Peoria, and members take the kits home to finish the wood stands.
Baker said she does the stands in her spare time while doing other craft projects, when she is not caring for her two children. She described herself as a “Jane of all trades.”
She said she finds doing the wig stands relaxing.
“You are kind of like — you’re not going to need this but you are aware of others who will need it.”
On her Facebook page, with pictures of the painted wig stands, she said she has “linked up with a group who turns these beautiful wood wig stands for local cancer patients. I am enjoying the process and hoping to keep these in the mix while I continue my work in my studio.”
Each stand takes an hour or so to put together without paint, Razunas said.
Baker’s painting could take longer. Baker is signing her stands as the artist.
After painting, the wig stands mustbe sealed with polyurethane coating so that they will withstand use and the paint will be permanent. Razunas seals them after Baker returns the painted stands.
The two artisans met at the Franklin Corner store in Dwight, owned and operated by Mary Boma.
In the 11 months since the club began making the wig stands, they have given away 172, Quiram said.
Razunas said they can always use help, donating time or cash, paint, whatever.
For further information, go online to the wood turners web site: centralillinoiswoodturners.com