Guest Artist, Jeff Strickler

Jeff Stricker, carving wood

I make objects from wood.  A simple statement filled with with opportunity.

Wood is wonderful . . . an organic tissue – a life lived. Every piece carries a unique story written in varying colors, grain patterns, stresses, defects and even decay. It is my joy to help tell that story, and create an object that is beautiful to see and engaging to hold. Almost all of my material is “rescued”—urban trees at the end of their life, or casualties of a storm or a landscaping redesign. It is deeply satisfying to work with a piece from a mature tree, possibly decades old, and pay homage to its history.

Most of my pieces start on a lathe, mounting a block of wood and cutting away just enough to create a pleasing form and expose the inner beauty of the tree.The spinning wood and concentration involved are totally engrossing and extremely satisfying. Once the turning is complete, I often enhance the form with a combination of power and hand tools (carving gouges, rasps, rotary burrs) or by adding color, surface texture, and metal or other media. Finally, a finish is applied, both to enhance and protect the piece.

The result is a truly unique gift from nature. Beautiful to look at, and to hold. The warmth variations of color, silky smoothness of the surface, and the play of light reflected in the figured grain all combine in a wonderful visual and tactile experience. I hope you enjoy.