Tag Archives: woodworker

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Jarrod Dahl

Turning end grain cups in my workshop at a Japanese-style lathe. woodspirithandcraft.com

Turning end grain cups in my workshop at a Japanese-style lathe. woodspirithandcraft.com

I am Jarrod Dahl, a craftsperson, teacher, and writer from Northern Wisconsin. I have been working with wood since 1996. Although I got my start designing and building traditional timber framed homes I slowly moved from the building trades to traditional craft. Today my time is split teaching handcraft and designing and making a wide variety of ‘domestic craft objects’. Currently my focus is on woodenware.

Wooden cups with urushi lacquer finish. Woodspirithandcraft.com

Wooden cups with urushi lacquer finish inspired by my research/study trips to Japan these last 2 years. woodspirithandcraft.com

I work together with my wife and one assistant to create high quality handmade goods. I specialize in turning freshly harvested wood, known as green wood, into cups, handled mugs, bowls, plates, and lidded boxes and I carve a wide variety of utensils.

Spoon carving.

Carving a wooden spoon with a Swedish craft knife.

Spoon design possibilities are endless.

Spoon design possibilities are endless. woodspirithandcraft.com

I am one of the few professional woodturners in the world (no joke) whose specialty is using a foot-powered spring pole lathe. I also use both a Japanese-style and a Western-style electric lathe. I am extremely intrigued by the the textures each of these machines leave on the objects I make. Because of this I also forge my own tools—quite uncommon in the Western wood turning world.

Giving a pole lathe turning demonstration in Borås, Sweden a region famous for 400 years of wood turning.

Giving a pole lathe turning demonstration in Borås, Sweden a region famous for 400 years of wood turning.

Wooden coffee mugs turned from one piece of wood.

Wooden coffee mugs turned from one piece of wood, design inspired by wooden Viking cup shards found in York. woodspirithandcraft.com

I’m inspired by what I understand as wood culture, most of which is from the recent past or even further. It isn’t thought about much, but woodenware was the main tableware for thousands of years in much of the forested lands around the globe. I’ve traveled to places like Sweden and Japan to further my understanding and also to inform my designs. I’ve studied thousands of lidded boxes, bowls and cups in museum archives in Sweden. In Japan where woodenware is very much common place even today, I studied with woodturners, designers, and lacquer artists again to inform my design aesthetics and also to learn how I might be able to bring more appreciation to wooden objects in our modern times.

Tableware

Tableware. woodspirithandcraft.com

Woodenware can be very elegant and beautiful. My designs are conservative and change very slowly through making many pieces in the same style.

Lámhóg is a traditional Irish drinking cup turned from one piece of wood on a reciprocating foot powered pole lathe.

Lámhóg is a traditional Irish drinking cup turned from one piece of wood on a reciprocating foot powered pole lathe. woodspirithandcraft.com

The majority of the wood I use is harvested and milled by myself and my assistant, from trees within miles of my home. I am lucky to be in touch with the whole journey of my product from tree to finished design.

Future wooden items will be made from this backyard Maple tree that came down across the alley from our house.

Future wooden items will be made from this backyard Maple tree that came down across the alley from our house.

A wooden lidded box finished with milk paint and linseed oil.

A wooden lidded box finished with milk paint and linseed oil. woodspirithandcraft.com

I believe that beauty is an important part of daily life and that the handmade wooden object has a part to play in it.

My website is www.woodspirithandcraft.com
Blog: https://www.woodspirithandcraft.com/blog
instagram: @jarrod__dahl and @woodspirithandcraft
Youtube channel: Jarrod Dahl’s Youtube

 


Jarrod Dahl is one of 44 artists included in the 4th annual The Cup, The Mug exhibition on the second floor at Main Street Arts, a national juried exhibition of drinking vessels. Work from the exhibition can be previewed and purchased through the gallery’s online shop. The Cup, The Mug runs through December 14, 2019.

 

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Patrick Kana

For as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to the idea of making things with my hands. I started as a child in my father’s basement workshop making carefully assembled model boats and planes, and over the last 15 years continued to gravitate toward working with wood as my primary creative practice.

Patrick Kana working in his studio

Patrick Kana working in his studio

I grew up on the coastal eastern shore of Maryland as a son of two marine biologists, and these influences remain at the forefront of my experimental woodworking today. I am currently the studio technician and visiting faculty for the Art and Architecture Department at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY, and have my independent business and studio: Kana Studios.

Finished texture and form exploring biological specimens.

Finished texture and form exploring biological specimens.

My work ranges in appearance and context, from fine client-based commissioned furniture to sculptural and carved objects that are grounded in my curiosity of the natural world. All of my work is experimental on some degree, by testing and exploring what certain specimens of wood can provide, how form integrates with the material, and how surface texture and color can enhance the gesture of the piece.

Development of Geneva Chair, 2012.  Mock-up before final production.

Development of Geneva Chair, 2012. Mock-up before final production.

The collection of work currently on view at Main Street Arts is more about showing the spectrum of my work rather than honing in on one central theme. The Geneva Chairs were my first long-term design and research project in 2012 that yielded a user-friendly and intriguing product for the masses, while keeping the material use and construction process efficient in my workshop. These are designed to be made in multiples, which contrasts well to the inherently one-of-a-kind carved wall vessel, Nascent, a piece that is designed and made using one specific piece of wood.

Organic development of Nascent.  Arranging free-form parts until I am drawn to a pleasing composition.

Organic development of “Nascent”, arranging free-form parts until I am drawn to a pleasing composition.

"Nascent" by Patrick Kana

“Nascent” by Patrick Kana

As my work has progressed over the last 5 years, I have found more intrigue in curves and contours of surfaces, as seen in the reed-like curves on the back of my Palea Chair, where multiple laminated slats combine to generate a contoured, gestured, and most importantly comfortable back to the chair.

Sketch developments of Palea Chair.

Sketch developments of Palea Chair.

Sketch refinement of Palea Chair.

Sketch refinement of Palea Chair.

Mock-up development of Palea Chair.

Mock-up development of Palea Chair.

"Palea Chair" by Patrick Kana

“Palea Chair” by Patrick Kana

My outlook on making is one that is central to understanding material. I want to learn the deep characteristics of wood—it is a seductive material in its natural state, tempting to simply sand and leave smooth, but I challenge myself to look at the raw material with a curiosity of what is within, or what it wants to become. I believe that through a range of working methods, we gain a more thorough understanding of medium, and in return we become stronger designers and artists.


Patrick Kana is one of eight gallery artists represented by Main Street Arts. He is featured in the exhibition CULTIVATE which runs April 7 through May 18, 2018. More information about Patrick and his work can be found on our website. View more pieces by Patrick Kana on the gallery’s Artsy page.