A Craftsman In The Making
Born in California and raised in Oregon and Washington, Stiverson has lived all up and down the west coast. He enjoyed living in Des Moines, IA as well, but found the winters there a little too cold for his liking. After 10 years spent as a Harley Davidson mechanic there, that long and winding road led him right here to Silver Dollar City. "My parents had already retired to the Ozarks, so we decided to join them," George said.
The Silver Dollar City Years
Classes at Des Moines’ Living History Farms had piqued Stiverson’s interest in Blacksmithing, but Silver Dollar City didn’t have an opening in 1988. Instead, he began an apprenticeship with John Carter at Silver Dollar City’s Hillside Cut Glass shop. After completing the 3 year apprentice program, he continued to develop his skills and progressed to Senior Craftsman, and finally gained the distinction of Master Craftsman.
He can cut any design, given enough surface area. His favorite creations, however, are the large scale heirloom designs that require intricate cutting, such as animals and ships. Stiverson enjoys the interest guests show in the craft, and the variety of people he meets while demonstrating, and especially his regular customers. One guest in particular gives candy dishes engraved with names and dates to friends and family members celebrating weddings and anniversaries. "She must know a lot of people because she comes in several times a year and always places a big order. She and her family are our guests, and also our friends," George said.
If you watch George long enough, he may just share one of his interesting stories with you. And if you ask how he gets the letters off the wheel, he’ll likely answer, "Oh, I just wait until they come around."