BOSTON (CBS) — They are one of a kind works of art: birdhouses, handmade by Bob Casey, of Rockland, who is 81-years-old now. It’s something he’s been doing for nearly 30 years. But Bob is going to call it quits soon, and that means his artwork is in high demand.
“This is my hobby. This is my life. If I didn’t have this I probably would be underground 6 feet by now. This keeps me alive,” he explains. Bob is picking through scrap wood he’ll use to create intricate, colorful birdhouses you won’t find anywhere else. “These are unique. That’s why I call myself, “Unique Birdhouses.”
He started when he retired in 1990 with a little push from his wife. “I started making them because one day my wife told me I’m underfoot, and said, go out and make some toys, something like you did for the children and we’ll go to craft shows,” Bob remembers. The rest is 30 years of birdhouse history.
Through it all, Bob has never bought a stick of wood. At first, he used wood he salvaged. After people heard about his work, they would drop off scraps. “People are so kind and they know I work with recycled wood and I come out and find a pile, and it gives me a day’s work,” he says.
Bob started selling his work a few years ago because he ran out of space to store it. But Bob says it’s a hobby, not a business. “It keeps me happy, it gives me something to wake up in the morning to do, and it makes my day,” he says.
Bob plans to stop building after this year. “I have to stop because I have diabetes, and it’s running into my thighs,” he says. That means he can’t stand for long. Even so, he hopes to stockpile his birdhouses to sell next summer. “I still have this year, I haven’t quit yet, and I’m going to go like a bee,” he says.
Bob charges just $5 an hour for his work. So if a birdhouse took him 5 hours to make, the cost is just $25.