Washougal Woodworker

Larry Saari creates and sells ornaments

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Larry and Cheryl Saari enjoyed participating in the Holiday Marketplace bazaar at Washougal High School, Nov. 15. They sold Christmas ornaments and other wood art that Larry created by hand with a scroll saw.

A retired Camas-Washougal Fire Department captain is enjoying a hobby that brings joy to his friends, family and new acquaintances.

Larry Saari, 58, found out about scroll saw work more than 10 years ago from a longtime family friend, Frank Knighton, of Fern Prairie.

Knighton is a retired volunteer firefighter with East County Fire and Rescue.

Fretwork is a type of wood cutting with a scroll saw.

“It is a stress relief, to be able to go into the shop, listen to music and cut the wood,” Saari said.

His wife, Cheryl, purchased a scroll saw for $50 at a garage sale.

For the past seven years, Saari has been learning how to scroll saw and making items for family members and friends. He has also been creating woodwork that features images of ribbons, doves and the word, Hope, to benefit the East Clark County Relay for Life, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

Saari does that, in remembrance of his dad, who died of throat cancer.

Other beneficiaries of Saari’s art include organizations that seek cures for cystic fibrosis and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Proceeds from the sale of his other woodworking art are used to purchase supplies and pay space rental fees at bazaars.

“I like the smiles that my projects bring to the faces of customers, friends and family,” Saari said. “I like the artistry and challenge of different, advanced patterns.”

He has been selling his projects to the public for three years.

One of Saari’s more complicated pieces include a cheetah. It took 12 to 15 hours to create.

“It was a pattern I wanted to try,” he said.

Saari continues to learn more about scroll saw work at seminars, and he meets artists at woodworking events.

This year, his ornaments include more than 100 different patterns. The more popular images include sports, wildlife, fish and cancer survivor designs.

Saari accepts special requests.

“I hope I can do this for a long time,” he said.

For more information, contact him at 607-8226 or or visit