Hundreds of hours poured into handmade GBC awards

“I always wanted to be a woodworker,” said Guy Goode as he carved away at what was once a 12-foot long 4×4 piece of douglas-fir lumber. The wood was already to the point where it was extremely obvious what it was, a 24”-long miniature classic ski.

Woodworker Guy Goode uses a spokeshave to perfect one of the miniature skis that will be awarded to Great Bear Chase winners. All of the awards are hand made.

Woodworker Guy Goode uses a spokeshave to perfect one of the miniature skis that will be awarded to Great Bear Chase winners. All of the awards are hand made.

Goode worked for General Motors in Flint for more than 40 years as a die maker. It’s a skill he’s proud of, and something he was obviously good at, considering he still has all 10 fingers.

“A stamping plant is a dangerous place to work,” he said. “Having all 10 fingers fully intact is either a sign you were good at your job, or extremely lucky.”

He wouldn’t admit to which one described himself, but looking around his shop at the 30-plus mini skis that were at various stages of completion, it was pretty obvious. The man has talent when it comes to creating things with his hands.

“My hands seem to have a brain of their own,” he said. “They know how to do this kind of thing, and it comes from a lot of use.”

Goode and fellow woodworker Roland McKinstry are the artists behind the mini skis that are awarded to champions in the classic skiing races. Each one of these awards is handmade, a job that has been going on for months already.

One ski that's nearly completed sits next to several others at various stages of completion.

One ski that’s nearly completed sits next to several others at various stages of completion.

“I’d say we’ll put in a couple hundred hours into this all together,” said Goode. “We started right after the holidays, and we’ve still got a ways to go.”

Each piece is carved down and finished to showcase the fine wood it comes from.

“The color of this wood is beautiful,” he said.

In total Goode and McKinstry will make 38 miniature ski awards. It’s one of several unique awards for the winners of Great Bear Chase events. Freestyle skiers earn a unique copper plate, and all winners receive medals to remember the race.

Register for the 2013 Great Bear Chase today and save $10 over day-of registration. Who knows, maybe one of these beautifully carved pieces could be yours.