Karen Sparks - Wood Sculptor
Karen refers to her wood sculptures as "Visions in Wood." When she looks at a piece of wood - whether a fallen butternut limb or bleached driftwood - she sees what is "in there" that wants to be brought out! It may be an angel in old chestnut, a proud stag's head, a river otter. In any case, her pieces have a very real presence and sense of soul. Any one is a lifetime treasure that evokes the creatures of the mountains, the unseen spiritual realm around us, and the tough, prevailing sweetness of mountain women. (More photos)
Jeremy Harris - Woodworker
Jeremy Harris' meticulously crafted boxes are a pleasure to see and to hold. His work incorporates interesting wood such as lacewood and zebrawood as well as the more traditional woods such as maple, walnut, cherry and oak. Whether used to store precious personal items or for more utilitarian use at home or office, one of Jeremy Harris' boxes stands as a small work of art in iteself. Jeremy states that "With every box finished, there is a wish that goes with it...that someone will enjoy it for many years to come." (More photos)
Eddie Fletcher - Rustic Furniture, Spoons
Working in his remote West Virginia woodshop, Eddie has taken wooden spoon-making to an art form. His pieces are small sculptures in themselves, revealing the inner beauty of trees that grow on mountainsides - like service berry, maple, beechnut, and birch. At the other end of the scale, Eddie builds masterpieces of reclaimed, antique wood. A fine example is the Gallery's wormy chestnut bed from a 150 year old mountain barn that finally fell in heavy snow. The bed represents a collaboration between Eddie and his friend, Karen Sparks (also represented by the Gallery) who carved vigilant angels on each massive post of the headboard. (More photos)
Tom Sternal - Sculptural Furniture Artist/Artisan
Tom Sternal's woodshop is the old chestnut gymnasium building behind the school which he and his wife, artist Martha Enzmann, bought and have transformed into home in the North Carolina mountains. He is a man of strength and energy, milling and handling the trees for his (often huge) slab tables himself.
Tom's sculptural pieces, including tables, benches, burl vessels, carved sinks, and chairs, reflect his extensive career in sculpture and woodcarving. Tom's credits include over 100 monumental outdoor sculptures installed in public parks or areas throughout the U.S. and numerous awards.
From the artist's statement:
"My method of working is based on a preference for using solid materials, few elements and minimal manipulation, preserving the naturalness of each piece. l use only indigenous wood materials which have been retrieved from fallen trees." (More photos)
Ron Shifflett - Woodworker
When he is not in his woodshop in Warm Springs, VA, Ron Shifflett might be busy putting the final touches on an authentic log cabin that he is reconstructing on the side of a mountain for a client. His wood furniture ranges from "elegantly rustic" chairs and settees using woods such as antique chestnut to fine cabinetry in an array of beautiful woods. His chestnut and walnut umbrella stands, small benches, and butler's trays are surely collector's items as are the wood trays he has designed for the Homestead Preserve as a gift to each new owner. (More photos)
Dave Glendinning - Woodworker
Dave brings his fine arts background as a sculptor to his woodworking and cabinetmaking in Highland County, VA. He relates not only to the material and the process of woodworking, but to the very way a piece will stand in space. Whether a kitchen island, a shaker-style cupboard, or a bread cooling rack, his very functional work is a piece of art. Dave's work reflects his high expectations of himself as a fine artisan. He doesn't compromise with himself, and because of his care, his fine, clean work has the pure presence of something very special indeed! (More photos)
William Leffingwell - Cabinet Maker
Following two previous "lives" -- as an aerospace engineer and a commercial fisherman -- Bill Leffingwell has discovered his most rewarding career as a builder of traditional furniture. Using Appalachian hardwoods such as walnut, cherry, maple and hickory, Bill's primary goal is to design and create furniture and accessories for the home that are both functional and beautiful.
Out of his workshop come cabinets, benches, tables, and commissioned pieces. Whether it's picking out wood at a local sawmill or designing and creating the piece itself, this Richwood, WV cabinet maker's love of wood shines through the process and the finished products. (More Photos)
David Seitz - Woodworker
Though his career as an artist has taken him all over the U.S., David Seitz has always called the Appalachian Mountains close to Boone, NC, "home." His career in woodworking has ranged from home building to cabinetmaking and fine furniture. His love of fine woodwork has led him to specialize in highly figured and burl woods. With his mountain-reared sense of "waste not," most of his wood is salvaged from burn piles, neighbors' back lots, and from friends in the lumber business.
It is David's hope that owning one of his works will bring you joy - as it has brought him in his creation. His burl vessels truly steal the eye!
John Melius, Wood Turner
As the son of a carpenter, Virginia-born John Melius was always interested in wood and found he had a special knack for turning it. He has studied with turner Alan Hollar in Crossmore, NC. and with Roger Jacobs. Now living on Lake Norman near Charlotte, NC, his shop has a fine view of the lake.
John enjoys working with different types of wood and says that wood turners (himself included) often like wood that most people would kick out of the way looking for firewood! He takes great pleasure in the "gnarly stuff," taking it and creating a piece of art out of it. Many times he cuts his own wood, cures and refines it. His turnings have great character, especially the burl pieces with bark inclusions. The Gallery is fortunate to have a number of Melius' bowls, boxes, and vessels, turned to beautifully reveal the distinctive markings and characteristics of a wide variety of interesting woods.