At a house in Sevierville, art imitates life.

Walter Weiss lived there for decades then duplicated it on a smaller scale. Even his dog Katie is a miniature wood version in this model he carved over the course of a month.

"I had to go out several times to make sure I was doing it right because that front end is recessed and the tall ceilings and everything it was a challenge," he explained.

Walter Weiss made that replica house in the workshop of his real house. It's one of thousands of pieces.

"I get a little carried away. I've got to have discipline.Several nights it was 3:00 in the morning and I caught myself still working. I thought oh my God we've got to get some sleep," he said.

His former screened-in porch now features windows and is his man cave filled with hand carved wood items.

"It's a replica of the farm I was born on in Indiana," he said about a model h made out of wood. One building features a sliding wood door. "It has a little slot in there and I used two push pins in the top of the door and that's how they slide just like the regular door in the building that's still up there."

He was a farmer in Indiana for 30 years.

"We were coming down here on vacation every year and I go to know some of the craft people out there on Glades. And I thought that's what I would like to do," he said.

So when he was in his 50s Walter Weiss started a wood carving business in Gatlinburg. It was a second career that lasted two decades before he retired.

"Once I put out the word I would be retiring and I put a sign up, closing after the first of the year. Boy they just bought me out right and left I couldn't make it fast enough," he said.

He still has some of the carved wood from his Gatlinburg shop.

"Some of these I just didn't want to ever sell. Like that mule there, I like that," he said.

He remembers something he carved on a whim that he didn't expect to sell.

"I did make a cow that looked more dead than alive. All humped over the only thin for the eyeballs was an X," he said. "This veterinarian he looked at that and he walked out and he came back in and said I've got to buy that. That is the sickest looking cow I ever seen in my life and I'm a veterinarian for cattle."

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