Dr. John Diehl, Professor Emeritus of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, retired in 2014. Since his retirement Dr. Diehl submitted the following:
Teaching: I designed a course in basic woodcarving for one credit. To my knowledge at the time, it was the only for credit course in the US. It was part of the offerings in Leisure Skills in Parks, Recreation and Tourism. I offered the course for 5 years before giving it to another wood carving colleague. Of course, there were students who signed up because they thought it would be an easy A. These students generally dropped out after the first class period.
Exhibitions: My carvings have been on display and offered for sale for over 20 years. I had 19 carvings on display in the Southern Living Showcase Home at the Botanical Gardens, was invited to participate in one of the top 100 craft shows in the US, and have had several 1st, 2nd or 3rd place awards at carving show competitions as well as consideration for best of show awards. In 2004, I started using a wood lathe to turn bowls and other items. I learned this skill in High School Shop Class. Since then I have offered these items along with carvings. I have sold carvings and bowls all over the US and six foreign countries.
Currently, I have offerings at the Blue Springs Gallery in Cashiers, NC, The Frame Shop in Seneca and at my home shop. I was asked by Clemson University’s Development and Alumni Relations Division to make thank you gifts for the highest-level donors to the recent Will to Lead campaign that raised more than $1 billion. Clemson University commissioned me to redesign and make a set of new ceremonial maces for each administrative unit on campus and a new university mace. I frequently design and make items for departments, the university as well as individuals. A notable example of individual gifts was a bowl for T. Boone Pickens, utilizing wood from the Andrew Pickens home place – Hopewell. Other items I have been making for Clemson are a Keepsake box for donors who become Cornerstone Partners for Athletics and a base for the glass flame that is given to donors who become Cornerstone Partners for Academics. In addition, I was instrumental in launching the process for using Clemson wood to make ring boxes for students who buy Clemson class rings. John also has pieces on display at the Emeritus College Gallery.
For all CU projects, I use wood from trees removed from the campus because of damage from disease, construction projects or old age and that are in danger of falling apart. I work closely with campus planners and the arborists to secure wood in good shape to use in making these projects.
Volunteer Work: I have taught many wood carving workshops locally, and teach people interested in learning to use a wood lathe. As Deacon in charge of Missions at my church, I was given permission by our eldership, to offer wood carving classes overseas with the intent of giving indigenous ministers a means of 1) Making them less dependent on support from the US, 2) Serve as a local source of expertise in teaching woodcarving to others. I have conducted workshops in the Bahamas and Panama so far. This is a way for me to utilize and pass on the talents that God has given me to serve my neighbors.