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David Warther Carvings & Gift Shop, Sugarcreek

Categories: Specialty Museums, Museums
Inspirock Rating:
4.9/5 based on 60+ reviews on the web
David Warther Carvings & Gift Shop is the newest attraction to open in Ohio’s Amish country and by all accounts it is the most unique and fascinating of the things to see in the area. The carving exhibit features the artwork of David Warther, a nationally recognized maritime artist.

Located between Walnut Creek and Sugarcreek on State Route 39, the exhibit of intricate carvings opened May 4th in a new 10,000 square foot facility.

The carvings created by Warther depict the “History of the Ship” from 1st Dynasty Egypt, 3000 B.C. to the present day, and collectively form an artistic and highly educational exhibit. With over 80 major works in the collection, David carves daily in his on-sight workshop to add to this unique and amazing display.

Carving from antique ivory and ebony wood, Warther’s exacting works are made primarily with hand held jeweler’s saws and extreme miniature files along with many hand tools he has fashioned from tool steels. Visitors are especially intrigued by the rigging on the sailing ships. David has perfected a special method whereby the antique ivory rigging is hand worked to seven thousandths of an inch in diameter before being applied to the ship. David developed this hand filing and sanding method for making “ivory threads” at the age of 13. He demonstrates this technique, and other carving methods, from his workshop on a daily basis.

David is a 5th generation carver of Swiss heritage and has lived his life in this area. His passion for ships and for carving is very real as visitors attest when seeing his works and meeting with him at the exhibit.

The exhibit consists of 5 spacious rooms dedicated to different eras of ship building. The medieval room with its Viking ships and others is a favorite among visitors. The maritime themed art project began when Warther was 17 and continues to this day. The exhibit is operated by a locally governed non-profit organization chartered with preserving and displaying this unique collection of artwork that has been entrusted to its care.

The DWC is not only a fine art exhibit but is home to the DWC Gift Shop which has become an attraction in itself and can be visited separately. The gift shop features many unique items made by Amish furniture and craft artisans as well as pottery, glassware, jewelry and other items.

David Warther Carvings is an enjoyable place to visit for every member of the family, any season of the year. The hilltop portico and clock tower pavilion just outside the main exhibit building provide exceptional views and photo options of neighboring Amish farms. Additional information, hours and directions can be found at
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  • We visited David's carvings back in 1994 and loved it. We visited his display again today and he has completed more than 40 more ships over the past 22 years. The price is very reasonable and the expe...  read more »
  • David Warther is the great grandson of Earnest "Mooney" Warther. These ivory carvings are amazing. Even the lines are made out of ivory. David is there most days and will show how to make the lines wh...  read more »
  • Years ago we met David in a studio closer to the Warther Museum. This new location has been open for three years. It consists of several rooms with very detailed ivory carved historic ships. His atten...  read more »
  • My parents, son, wife, and I visited on Monday, August 15, 2016. This place is amazing! David Warther is an amazing artist who is carving the history of ships from antique ivory. He receives no pay for his work. His museum is supported by volunteers, donations, and sales in his gift shop. The museum is laid out in a way that is very easily accessible for the elderly and for people with disabilities. I cannot emphasize enough how amazing and beautiful David Warther's work is, and I recommend it most highly as a "must see" place for anyone near to, or travelling through, Ohio's Amish country.
  • This was amazing to see the ivory carvings of ships
  • Phenomenal ! While visiting beautiful Ohio Amish country, stop by this beautiful museum. You will likely meet David Warther, the artist, who will give you a tour of some of the most amazing miniature carved ship models that span world history and geography. They are all carved by hand using approved sources, from rare ebony and ivory. Cannot recommend too highly.
  • Must see collection of miniature ships
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