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Wood has a mysterious quality as a medium that fuels our curiosity as artists. Each piece is like opening a thriller novel where the plot is only revealed in the final pages. Solving these mysteries provides us pleasure and inspiration and is the driving force in our work.
The featured wood for this Virtual Craft Fair is Ash. Unfortunately, the Green Ash Borer will ultimately kill every Ash tree in the US. The reverence with which we treat the material hasn’t been altered in the 15 years we have been engaged in this pursuit, 11 of which as members of this Guild. In that time, some 2,000 folks have thought enough of our work to place it in their home or gift it affectionately to family members or dear friends. That knowledge sustains us in our efforts and we are most grateful.
Bill’s early days in his father’s workshop and Tina’s interest in decoy carving fueled their interest in wood as the medium for their endeavors. they both viewed wood as strong, solid, substantial, and lasting…all great qualities as a medium for artwork. Wood is warm and tactile; it yearns to be held, rubbed and touched.
Trees downed by storms, age, disease, or in the path of progress, provide us with an ample supply of raw material. Bill turns burls, natural edged bowls and platters; Tina creates surface embellishments by carving, piercing, burning and coloring designs on the turned pieces, moving the work from high quality craft into Art.
A piece of wood on the lathe is similar to a blank canvas for a painter. The various chisels and embellishment tools are the pigments and brushes. Unlike the painter or potter who may rework a flaw in their work, working with wood on the lathe is a one-way process. Disappointments or errors in form or technique are usually final; the piece is consigned to the "designer firewood pile."
Their work has been influenced by exposure to many mentors through their membership in numerous artistic associations over the past 16 years. They were granted membership in the Southern Highlands Craft Guild in 2009. Their work has been juried and received awards in numerous juried exhibitions; in 2012, they were recognized by the 15,000-member American Association of Woodturners, when a piece of their work was selected for the Associations' Annual National Exhibition. They have work in numerous Galleries throughout the southeastern US.
Since each finished piece is signed and photographed, they are gratified and sustained by the knowledge that over 2,000 folks thought enough of their artwork to put it on display in their home or give it to someone they love.