There has been lots happening in the shop lately, and I wanted to report on a couple projects that I felt particularly good about.
The Flying Crane Reliquary is a box that will contain the client’s loved one’s cremains. I feel privileged to be able to do work that holds such personal significance.
These days my sidekick in the shop is a vizsla dog named Zak. A recent commission combined my love of this amazing breed, with my passion for woodworking and marquetry in particular.
The Vizsla Club of America held its annual show in Del Mar, CA this year, and I made trophies for the winners in a variety of categories. Below is a photo of one of the winners displaying her awards, and below that, the winner of the agility trial.
I was invited to show new work at Anne & Mark’s Art Party, along with my colleagues in Santa Cruz Woodworkers. It is described as an occasional and irrational art fest, and the opening gala is September 24. The theme is taken from Alice in Wonderland, so what better place to unveil my new White Rabbit Music Stand!
Anne & Mark’s Art Party takes place September 24 through October 1 at the Santa Clara Fairgrounds. Check their website for more info. Hope to see you there.
The Santa Cruz Woodworkers are exhibiting members’ work May 6 – 28 at R. Blitzer Gallery in Santa Cruz, CA. The 9-member organization is a collaboration of professionals, dedicated to fostering appreciation for locally produced, one-of-a-kind, handmade woodwork.
I will be showing a music stand, a bed, and several other new works. My colleagues will be showing newly created furniture, decorative turned wood, and musical string instruments. We have also invited woodblock artists Andrea Rich and Aaron Johnson to display woodblock prints and the carved wood blocks used to create them.
The R. Blitzer Gallery is located at 2801 Mission Street in Santa Cruz, telephone 831-458-1217. An Opening Night reception will be held on May 6, from 5 to 9pm. Hope to see you there!
ElegantArtisan.com Announces a New Exhibiting Artist — Matthew Werner!
The next time you find yourself staring at a clock, why not make it a really satisfying experience — one that will have you marveling at the workmanship and beauty inherent in a timepiece with the ability to, not only reveal the time, but also mesmerize.
That’s just the kind of experience you will enjoy with one look at Santa Cruz artist Matthew Werner’s originally-designed, handcrafted clocks. Matthew uses an inlay technique called marquetry, which is the assembly of thin slices of wood to form an image. Performing all the work himself, Matthew uses veneers from naturally-colored woods.
Realistic effects are achieved by dipping the inlay pieces in hot sand to scorch them, resulting in shadows and visual depth.
The art of marquetry is a technique dating back 3,000 years to Egypt. This skill requires incredible attention to detail and mass amounts of time. It’s an art which isn’t widely practiced today. Although Matthew acknowledges that marquetry can be produced using computers and lasers, what’s lacking in those pieces is human craftmanship, which inbues each piece with otherwise missing elements, such as finesse and flair.
Matthew says, “My goal is to apply the technique with integrity and artistry, to add beauty to the objects I make without being overstated.”
In addition to creating one-of-a-kind clocks, Matthew’s focus encompasses furniture fabrication. He employs the same aptitude and discernment to his furniture pieces, each of which is a work of art.
“My inspiration comes from the natural world — what I think of as the ‘unbuilt’ world. I have a great appreciation for Japanese design aesthetics, especially the way natural elements are brought into the built world. I also recognize that the forms I work with are rooted in the cultural traditions of Europe. My location on the Pacific Rim provides an opportunity to balance influences from east and west, resulting in a body of New World originals that acknowledge both sources.”