You’ll ‘Go Nuts’ When You See an Upstate Man’s Whimsical Acorn Art
Jody Hildreth is a full-time librarian at Sauquoit Valley Elementary School which sits about 90 miles northwest of the immediate Capital Region. In his free time, Hildreth enjoys traveling but during Covid, he didn't get to do all that much. Instead, he started making these incredible acorn figures and photographing them in natural settings.
Last March, Hildreth started posting a new image each day to his Acorn Whimsy Facebook page, and people started going well, nuts over them, including Hildreth himself. What started off as a hobby has taken over his life. "I will spend a few hours in the evening carving, gluing, and creating the acorn figures and their props," he explained.
How does he decide what acorn arrangement he wants to do next?
"Many times I will get into a theme...I was inspired by the Olympics, and so Acorn Whimsy participated in many different events from track and field, gymnastics, and many more," the eccentric artist explains.
"My latest venture has focused around a knight and his attempts to battle a fire-breathing dragon...and yes, I actually used fire in some of my shots!"
How long does each one take to make?
"That’s hard to say," he confesses. "But, the actual people can take a few hours to make. The most complex thing I have made was a motorcycle which took approximately 20 hours to complete."
What's your favorite one?
"That’s very hard to say...but a few do stand out," he says. "Acorn Man on the toilet is one that always makes me smile. I love posing him in places with beautiful scenery like National Parks."
What's the deal with the Naked Cowboy?
"One of my favorite memories was photographing my Naked Acorn in Times Square. While setting up, the inspiration for this figure walked by, The Naked Cowboy. He was excited to take pictures with his mini-me and posted a video of me to his Instagram account."
Do you sell them?
"Unfortunately," Hildreth explains, "I don’t sell the actual figures. They take too long to make and are also prone to deteriorating since they are made of natural items."