HILLVIEW - Michael Hibbs took his canes and was able to win at the 2012 Kentucky State Fair.
The Hillview resident earned a Best in Show and a blue ribbon in the Canes and Walking Sticks competition for his hand-carved work.
Hibbs entered two canes in various competitions, the other piece receiving Honorable Mention in the General Woodcarving division.
The Best in Show piece featured an oak-based piece with various designs, primarily a twist but also featuring a basket weave. Hibbs also designed the burl wood handle.
"I always carved the twisted sticks," Hibbs said, referring to the spiral design on the canes. "I added the basket weave just to add some different designs. It's hard to come up with new designs, but next year I'll come up with something."
Hibbs' other cane, called Kentucky Chainsaw, is designed to resemble a hand saw, complete with a hand saw handle. He got the handle design from an old Disston saw in his garage.
"I wanted to get the same design on the handle that they used," he said. "That's when I learned that the design is only on one side. I think it's maybe to tell which way the teeth go, for left or right-handed."
The Kentucky Chainsaw cane was also fitted with a hand-carved wooden link chain, to tie in with the name and the theme. The cane also features chip carving and a carved name, both something new for Hibbs,
Hibbs has entered the State Fair competitions for three years, earning two Best of Shows.
Retired from Ford, Hibbs attends monthly meetings of the Falls City Wood Carvers Guild in Louisville. The 40-member organization meets every fourth Tuesday.
"I joined the club to learn how to make handles," he said. "They do eagle-head handles, and all kinds of carvings. They create birds that you swear are gonna fly away."
Hibbs participated with the organization in donating 26 eagle-head canes presented to Fort Knox soldiers in a Canes for Veterans program a few years ago.
Currently Hibbs is working on a Celtic abstract piece, as well as a flamingo out of basswood.
"My wife said I'm eat up with it," Hibbs said of his hobby.
Hibbs also won numerous awards in the 2012 Bullitt County Fair for many of his pieces.
Next year Hibbs plans to enter another cane and a carved piece in the religious category at the 2013 State Fair.
"Competition is what it's all about," he said.
Anyone interested in further information on the Falls City Wood Carvers Guild can contact Hibbs at 957-2403.