"I fell in love with it all over again," he said.
Botkin's Facebook friends weren't the only ones to contribute to the project.
Halfway through, Botkin had yet to identify what he would use for talons. He took the piece to his grandfather, Edward Botkin of Nitro.
Edward, an artist himself, had put Nik on a creative path in life.
The elder Botkin would hold his grandson on his lap as the youngster doodled. The grandfather then would turn the doodles into a sketch.
His grandfather had a helpful idea for the hawk.
"He asked what I was going to do for the feet," Nik said.
When he said he wasn't sure, Edward got out Nik's grandmother Mida's antique nut picks. He had eight, a number that worked perfectly for the talons.
Nik's grandmother died about two years ago, and although he was reluctant to use her antiques in the piece, he and his grandfather eventually concluded that would be Mida's contribution to the project.
"She was always fascinated with our art," Nik said.
Botkin used 1,025 pieces of silverware for the hawk - some donated and others picked up at secondhand stores.
The only non-kitchen items in the bird are two ball bearings used for the eyes.
"I cleared out all the secondhand silverware in every thrift store from Marmet to Huntington," he said with a laugh.
"If anyone is looking for secondhand silverware in the area, they probably aren't going to be able to find it."
Although Botkin has finished the Saber Hawk, people might spot him in local thrift stores picking up more flatware. He wants to make more animals to go with the hawk and eventually pitch a show that displays them all.
His next project might be a small mammal such as a rabbit, he said.
"My ultimate goal is to make a life-sized mountain lion."
He has ordered animal anatomy books to begin his research.
He wanted to start with the hawk because of what it represented, he said.
"When I started, I was thinking about freedom a lot," Botkin said. "That's what the hawk represents."
The hawk is for sale, but Botkin didn't want to quote a price. Anyone interested in following his work can do so by "liking" his studio's Facebook page - Apartment Earth.