After more than 30 years of working with wood, I continue to marvel at the beauty and individuality in each raw piece of wood I use. While exploring subjects from realistic animals and birds to human faces to chip carved items I understand how techniques from one style of carving can be applied to another style. My preferred carving woods are native Minnesota butternut and basswood
Developing an interest in woodturning created a new creative outlet. I often use wood reclaimed from local sources for my turning projects. It is very gratifying to expose the grain hidden in the wood and transform something that would have been discarded or burned into something useful and pleasing to the eye. My favorite turning woods are native Minnesota maple, walnut, and cherry.
Woodcarving and woodturning have changed how I view and relate to things in everyday life. I now observe and perceive things instead of just “seeing” them. I look for the individual aspects of a person’s face or the individual differences in an animal or bird species that make them unique. I look for forms, shapes, and proportions in objects to help me determine what makes them pleasing to the eye.
As I create a new piece, I enjoy seeing the beauty of the wood emerge and how the light plays off each surface to enhance the object as it gets down to its final form. I find that my carving and turning sessions are a great way to turn 15 minutes into 3 hours. Working with wood provides me with a certain Zen that I find in no other activity.