Jim Kettenhoven has found a creative way to merge holiday trees with decorative scenery of all genres. His fishing line Christmas trees are hand-crafted and are a truly unique work of art.
"The idea for fishing line Christmas trees came from a friend, who gave one to my wife, Phyllis, and I. He showed us how to make them," Jim said.
The trees can be crafted in various sizes, with the most common size being 12 inches high by 12 inches wide.
Each display begins with a circular wooden base with a rod in the center extending to the desired height. Around the edge of the base, 127 nails are pounded in, while one nail is fixed to the top of the rod in the center. Kettenhoven then weaves 254 strands of monofilament fishing line around the nails from top to bottom.
A strand of lights protrudes through the wooden base, adding a unique and colorful effect. The fishing line acts almost like a fiber optic display, as colors radiate from the lights through the fishing line. Felt is used to decorate the base, and ceramic figurines of wildlife, holiday, or other decorative items can be used to help add detail to the display.
Garland is woven around the rod and the outside of the base to give more of a "tree" effect. A star is affixed to the top of the tree to complete the ensemble.
Kettenhoven uses a variety of colors of fishing line, as different colors paired with different strands of light create unique effects.
"I pick up fishing line as often as I need to. I can use yellow, orange, blue, clear or any other color," Jim said. "I can make them with any color scheme. I have many different colors of felt for the base, and I can use a variety of ceramic items to complete the scene."
Kettenhoven said he purchases the ceramic figures wherever he can find them. Building a tree to house the ceramic items takes about a day and a half, depending on the size and complexity of the scene being created.
"It's a fun hobby-I like doing it," Kettenhoven stated. "I made one for a family reunion a while back, and the family liked it, so I kept going. I make nativity trees, nature scenes, or other holiday variations. I can also make them to order, and I have a few completed trees that are available for sale as well. I can make them in just about any size. Most of them have been 12 inches, but the biggest one I've made so far is 20 inches."
For more information, call 715-823-4278.
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