Steve Cunningham: Wood Animal Jigsaw Puzzles
Steve Cunningham was born and raised in New Orleans. Except for a train, skates,
and finally a bike, at age 12, all of Steve's toys were hand made by his Uncle
Walter, who was also an artist. As a child, Steve spent much of his time
watching as his uncle whittled, sanded and shaped each one. In time, he learned
to make them for himself.
At age 18, Steve was trained as a paratrooper and served in Vietnam where he
received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star among other metals. After returning to
the United States, he took up construction and remodelling. He met his wife,
Marsha, while remodelling a house across the street from where she also was
doing renovation work on an old home. Eventually they married, and finally began
to think about what they could do together after they retired.
When Steve's construction business slowed in the early 1990's, he and Marsha
watched a scroll saw demonstration at a fair and decided on the spot that it was
something he could use to develop another trade. He asked Marsha, who was an art
major in college, to draw dinosaurs for him to get started. She started with the
brontosaurus and horses she had drawn many times as a child, and then tried
They began going to small street shows and farmers markets. Every week folks
would ask for an animal that they didn't have, and would be told to come back
next week and it would be ready for them. They ended up adding it to their
collection, and so it grew and grew! However, everywhere they went someone would
say, "You belong at an art show. This is art!" But what's an art show,
the Cunningham’s wondered? After some research, they began to find a few and
now travel the country, displaying their collection.