Page 6 - SEPT2022
P. 6

Page 6 NEWFOUNDLAKELIFE.COM September 2022
By DoNNa RhoDes
 Uncle Steve- More Than Just a Musician
  While his legal name is Steve Furbish, this Bridgewater res- ident is perhaps better known in central New Hampshire as Uncle Steve, leader of the pop- ular Uncle Steve Band, but what many may not know is not only does he have a talent for singing and playing rhythm guitar and keyboards in his band, he also creates beautiful art with birch bark.
“I didn’t even know he had talents like this until he started doing it,” said his wife, Lil Fur-
bish. Bridgewater resident Steve Furbish, aka “Uncle Steve” of the Uncle
Photos By Donna Rhodes
This turtle swimming among some aquatic plants with tiny fish is just one sample of the great artwork created by Steve “Uncle Steve” Furbish of Bridgewater.
It was a walk one day that first inspired Uncle Steve to test his talents when he spotted a piece of birch bark on the ground. “It looked exactly like the head of a bear,” he recalled.
Picking it up, he took it home, mounted it on a black back- ground, and framed it. From there, he was able to hang it on a wall inside the former Mill Fudge Factory and was aston- ished when someone wanted to purchase it for their home.
“I couldn’t believe someone would buy something like that, but it got me started,” he said.
Since then, Uncle Steve has honed his skills, using Exacto
Steve Band, is not only a talented musician but a talented artist as well, creating classic folk art from birch bark.
knives and other tools to sculpt pieces of birch bark into de- signs he creates at his home. Elaborate crosses, turtles, flocks of flying geese, and more are the result of his many hours of labor. Each piece is set on a black background and framed with either recycled wooden frames or frames he makes him- self to highlight the subject.
As he pours his heart and soul into his art, Uncle Steve said he’s really not sure how long it takes to make any one piece because he typically has a few that he’s working on at one
time, some taking longer than others. For instance, one cre- ation had hundreds of small bits of bark that made up the final work of art, while others are not as complicated.
“I use all types of bark- white, grey, yellow- they all have differ- ent shades to them, so whichever part of a picture I’m working on will depend on what piece of bark I use,” Furbish said. “It’s usually a couple of hours to fin- ish one, but it depends on how detailed I want them to be.”
Since birch trees are very susceptible to disease, he never
peels the bark off any of the live trees that exist in local forests, nor does he suggest anyone ever do that either. Instead, he looks for old cut logs and blowdowns from which he can safely harvest the bark. Recently his eye was on some fallen birch trees across the Newfound River that would suit his artistic needs, but those were a bit out of reach. Encouraging him to keep his artwork going, though, are his “Birch Bark An- gels,” who love his work so much that they gather whatever birch bark they find on the ground while out walking, then bring it to him to encourage his artistry. “I come home sometimes and find bags of bark on our door- step. It’s awesome! They are my angels,” Uncle Steve said.
He has drawn fans of all ages when he shows his art at local art and craft events. One young boy fell in love with a “Sonic” birch bark creation on display in Holderness, returning time and again to his booth to admire it. Then, realizing his family might not be able to afford the piece, Steve dropped the price and sent one happy little man home that day. “The smile on his face was worth it,” he said.
Last winter, some of his work was on display in the Bristol Town Offices, but by posting many of his creations on Face-
book and his Rustigraphics web- site, Uncle Steve has found that his talents have an even further reach. Through social media, people from all across the coun- try have purchased his artwork, most notably being a beautiful birch bark depiction of a cross, which he has since been asked to remake for other interested buy- ers. His nostalgic Volkswagen Beetle and a Volkswagen bus are other popular creations that many ask him to recreate, along with a few of his fun Sasquatch depictions.
And if you want to know if it was made by Uncle Steve or someone else who may now do birch bark art, look for a small shining star found somewhere in each piece.“That’s my signature mark on all my work,” Uncle Steve said.
For more information on his artistic talents, visit him on Face- book at rustigraphics.furbish, email him at rustigraphics@outlook. com or give Uncle Steve a call at 603-744-9691. Those also interested in where his musical talents with The Uncle Steve Band or as Uncle Steve in a solo performance can be heard this summer, check out their sched- ule on lesteveband.
 Life & Est
er Law
 Assisting Families with
Edward H. Adamsky, Esq.
Aging and Disability issues since 1992.
Assisting Families with
Life & Estate Planning: Wills, Powers of Attorney, Health Care Aging and Disability issues since 1992.
Directives (Proxies), Trusts
Life & Estate Planning: Wills, Powers of Attorney, Health Care
Elder Law (Long Term Care Planning): Medicaid Planning,
Directives (Proxies), Trusts
Irrevocable Trusts, Life-Estate Deeds
Elder Law (Long Term Care Planning): Medicaid Planning, Irrevocable Special Needs and Disability Law: Special Needs Trusts,
Trusts, Life-Estate Deeds
Supplemental Needs Trusts, First and Third-party Trusts
Special Needs and Disability Law: Special Needs Trusts, Supplemental Needs Estate Settlement and Trust Management: Probate
Trusts, First and Third-party Trusts
Estate Settlement and Trust Management: Probate
Offices in Tyngsboro, Mass.
Offices in Tyngsboro, Mass.
and Ashland, NH
and Ashland, NH

   4   5   6   7   8