Port Townsend School of Woodworking
Preserving the Tradition


The Second Life of Trees - Northwest Fine Woodworking

The Second Life of Trees
opens May 2011 

Seattle, WA
March 22nd, 2011-

Northwest Fine Woodworking presents The Second Life of Trees, a showcase of sculptural woodwork, studio furniture, and wearable wood fashion.

Wood has been resourced and restructured by humankind for as long as there has been a humankind. No other material can claim such an elemental relationship with our species. Northwest Fine Woodworking wishes to honor the gentle giants who give their lives for our higher purposes in The Second Life of Trees which opens May 5th, 2011 in conjunction with First Thursday Artwalk in Pioneer Square. The show will feature 14 new studio furniture designs from Northwest Fine Woodworking members as well as wood vessels, sculpture and wearable fashion from our regions acclaimed artisans.

Noteworthy studio furniture pieces in The Second Life of Trees showcase:

A low tansu made from a salvaged, "murdered" Oregon walnut tree. According to Bainbridge Island artist Robert Spangler, "it looked like the tree had been shot and also stabbed by some kid who nailed steps into it to climb up". An extruded beam typically used in commercial construction is repurposed into a distinctive base for Hank Holzer's Akira Coffee Table with a cantilevered elm burl top. Natural planks and spalted maple highlight the inevitable exposure to elements all trees endure in Rich Soborowicz' "Live Edge Credenza". Furniture maker and master wood carver John Thoe makes use of the leftovers with "Table Scraps" - carved wood spoons and other vessels.

Wood turning - making bowls and vessels - has a long history of practice and Jerry Kermode has influenced a whole new generation of lathe-work enthusiasts in his 40 years of perfecting the craft. Using reclaimed clear cut forest stumps from 150+ year old redwood trees, Jerry's wood vessels draw attention to the relationship man has with his natural surroundings, including the harsh reality of our forest management history.

Jo Marsh treks the trails of our regional forests in search of treasure where others would find only debris. Her driftwood sculpture designs convey ghost images of ancient natural spirits. Voids within the gnarled, whorled wood are moved to the foreground of each design after many months of cautious scraping, carving and buffing to reveal the magnificently grained soul within. Jo sees her work as a collaborative, "kismet-induced", endeavor with nature.

Mathew Curry's multidimensional wall hangings and free-standing sculptures utilize found objects and natural treasures to convey ideas personal to the artist. By playing with texture, light, material and meaning Curry's works engage visually and prompt greater exploration by touch.

Who would have thought...high fashion constructed of exotic wood? The Bustier de Bois by renowned marquetry artist Paul Schurch is an exciting move for the Santa Barbara-based furniture maker. The outfit is made with Zebrawood veneer with the lining, skirt and ties made from Silk-Hemp cloth and fasteners in brass and recycled Rosewood. The shoes are altered wedges, clad in Zebrawood veneer, secured by a handmade bead of brass and wood. Surprisingly flexible and comfortable, the dress bends easily for putting on and taking off. Bustier de Bois will be on display only for the month of May at Northwest Fine Woodworking before heading to Del Mar, CA for another exhibition.

Holzer Akira Coffee Table
Akira Coffee Table by Hank Holzer
made from extruded bean and elm

Equinox by Mathew Curry
"Equinox" by Mathew Curry
Jo Marsh in the shop
driftwood artist, Jo Marsh
Northwest Fine Woodworking is a cooperative gallery owned by Northwest-based studio furniture artisans. Serving a national clientele this beloved wood gallery opened its doors in 1980 and is one of the largest and longest running organizations of its kind in North America.

For more information contact Gallery Director, Sharon Ricci at 206-625-0542 or director@nwfinewoodworking.com