Antolik stopped making axe heads last year to address some health issues. Once he was ready to paint again, orders flooded in, he said.
He enjoys the creative process in painting the axe heads, and he enjoys the fact few, if any, other artists do what he does. But Antolik also enjoys one more thing.
"I enjoy all the contact with people," Antolik said
Since Antolik works on more than one axe head at a time, he finds it difficult to estimate how long it takes to paint one.
"I basically can only do one step at a time," Antolik said. "When I finish one, I lay it down and then look at it the next day. I keep redoing it until I'm happy with it."
For custom orders, Antolik asks for a "good hard copy" of the firefighter's badge "because every one of the Maltese crosses is different; everyone has a different logo." But firefighters do appreciate them.
"It's a nice gift for them," Antolik said.