Four students from the Honors International Studies Program at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith filmed a documentary in late September chronicling a local woodworker as he crafted a bow from a stave of wood in less than a day.
The documentary, which will be shown on Nov. 23-24 at the Janet Huckabee Nature Center before being archived at the Hardwood Tree Museum, follows Duane Heidelberg as he takes a thin piece of bois d’arc wood and creates a long bow from it in a day-long process.
Heidelberg is a master woodworker, blacksmith, bladesmith, carver, and house wright. Dr. Dennis Siler of Van Buren, associate professor of English at UAFS and director of the Honors International Studies Program, said Heidelberg’s ability with different materials allows him to create anything “from timber-frame houses to Chippendale furniture.”
“He can start out with tools and trees and end up with a house and everything in it,” he said. “With the raw materials, he can even build the tools.”
The students filmed the documentary on Sept. 28, and its showing in late November will be part of an event featuring tree and woodworking-related demonstrations and activities, as well as hands-on activities for children and adults.
The documentary is one of many activities the students of the Honors International Studies Program are involved in this year, as part of a course curriculum that challenges students of high academic qualifications to become involved in both on campus and community events.
Siler said the documentary will be a “unique and enriching experience” for the honors students.
“Any honors program is, of course, focused on ideas and concepts, but a program like ours must also be directed towards people,” Siler said. “And learning to get out in the world, interact with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds, and then analyze and record those experiences is absolutely essential to what we are about.”
The crew filming the documentary included:
Harrison: Angela Gilbert.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Tu Hoang.
Mansfield: Kayla Bridges.
Springdale: Sarah Rosenkrans.
The Honors International Studies Program consists of a curriculum with international focus, travel study classes, service opportunities, independent study project options, and the opportunity for graduation with honors.
For more information about the documentary or the honors program, contact Siler by phone at 479-788-7537 or by email at email@example.com.