This lamp Terry Sabotta holds is among the many pieces of art he has produced since he started carving deer and moose antlers. Many are on display at Baier-Kamp Consignment on Dodge Center's Main Street.
Photo by Tara Lindquist
By Tara Lindquist
After a car accident left Terry Sabotta disabled in 1999, he turned to his love of art as an outlet; what he didn't expect was for it to turn into a new career.
When a friend saw a pair of carved moose antlers at Outdoorsman Head Quarters, in International Falls, she asked Sabotta if he could do something like that for her, so he did. From then on he began using moose and deer antlers as his "canvas".
"I've always been into art, I've done it all from painting to sculpting but it's been carving that I have truly loved." To date he's made thousands of carvings out of the antlers and has begun making lamps out of deer antlers as well. Sabotta has been commissioned to do many moose antler carvings, he has also donated a lot of his work to benefit auctions and fundraisers. "I think the reason I've stayed with carving antlers and the reason they've been so popular is because they're unique, it's not an art that you see everyday."
In the spring of 2012, Sabotta's workshop in International Falls burned down. He lost all of his antlers and his tools. "That shop was my home," he explained. "I spent more time out there than I did in the house." Sabotta said he would often times get up at 3 a.m. and start work for the day because he couldn't sleep, he had too many ideas running through his head so he'd have to get up and carve.
Sabotta recently relocated to Dodge Center and is now working and selling his antler lamps at Baier-Kamp Consignment on Main Street.
"I don't have family left in International Falls, so my cousin, who owns the building asked me move down here," he said. "We've been working on getting the apartment upstairs remodeled." He is looking for a solid wood door to carve, but is still itching to get back to carving antlers.
When his workshop burned down, he lost the last of his antlers that he had been saving, along with projects he was working on. "They're not easy to find around here," he said of the moose antlers. "I'm always looking for antlers, moose and deer antlers," he explained.
Read the rest of the story in the Star Herald print edition.