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Charly Haley, Published February 23 2013

Couple at a home show near home for first time

FARGO – Among the demonstrations, conversations, crowds and colorful displays at the Fargodome on Saturday, Bill Wald sat quietly at his booth.

It was the 71-year-old woodworker’s first showing at the annual Red River Valley Home and Garden Show.

Wald and his wife, Grace, have been making various wood products for 35 years at Wald Works in Harwood.

Wald’s booth at the Home and Garden Show offered several large storage trunks and small jewelry boxes, all handcrafted from wood.

There was also a lap desk available, an example of the first wood product Wald ever made, he said.

More than 35 years ago, a friend of Wald’s wife asked him to make her a lap desk because she knew he was handy with woodworking.

He told her he’d make two if the friend would paint flowers on the second desk in a technique called rosemaling, a skill she possessed.

After making those first desks, other people Wald knew asked him to make things, and Wald’s wife decided to learn rosemaling so she could paint her husband’s products.

Now, the Walds are “on the road for five months of the year,” showing their products, he said.

“We leave on Monday for Columbia, S.C.,” Wald said, “and then we’ll do the East Coast.”

They usually show on the East Coast in March and April, and on the West Coast from October to December. They don’t do many local shows, Wald said, because they prefer indoor shows.

Wald and his wife have changed their product line over the years, he said.

They used to make more household and office items, like bread boxes, pencil boxes and the lap desks. Now, they mostly make trunks and jewelry boxes. Wald’s wife also does less rosemaling these days because it’s time consuming, he said.

The Home and Garden Show continues today at the Fargodome, with nearly 330 vendors.

For more information on Wald Works, visit www.waldworks.com, and for more information on the Home and Garden Show, visit www.hbafm.com.

If you go

What: Red River Valley Home and Garden Show

When: Today, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Fargodome

Admission: $8, free for ages 14 and younger. Two-for-one admission 3 to 5 p.m.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Charly Haley at (701) 235-7311