Upon opening, I find the wood of many trees uninteresting, very little grain pattern, pale white to tan in color, especially young healthy trees. As trees age, they are stressed by natures many challenges, mostly insect and weather related. Humans add extra trials with transplanting trees into new environments, whacking off limbs that grow to block the winter sun, failing to provide adequate food, or our expensive water. An internal life map develops as the tree struggles on, wood darkens, scars grow, covering over wounds. Add to this the natural darkening of wood as the tree ages, temperature swings and heavy winds causing internal cracks, and now global warming. All these challenges leave their marks, stamped inside the tree and clearly seen as I open them.
Most makers cast these hunks aside, labeled as firewood. Some of us see only heroic survivors with lots of "beauty marks." We open them, exposing their insides, and reunite them with the humans that were once inspired by their youthful perfection. I love working hero logs, partnering with nature, the master artist. Jan
Tortoise: Steady and slow, enduring, protection, a lifetime of thoughtfulness given to each measured step.
1st Place DESIGN IN WOOD 2018
Waves and Sand Series
Reflective of gentle waves and sandy shores.
A master of the fine art of wood turning, in this series Jan deftly incorporates the soothing sense of water and sand into his pieces, capturing a feeling of movement in the waves and soft foam washing upon the shores. From the richly detailed elements of a piece of carved driftwood to the hand-tooled sea foam, each piece is exquisitely turned and carved from one piece of wood.
The Camphor wood bowl (shown here) was recently accepted and exhibited alongside the works of several internationally acclaimed wood-turners, at the 31st International Woodturning Symposium at the Kansas City Convention Center, held on June 22-25, 2017, hosted by The American Association of Woodturners (AAW)
Character of the Wood
Identifying that particular branch of the wood that contains within it the most interesting grain and unique characteristics is a skill Jan has honed and nurtured over the years. Most craftsmen would discard the wood Jan uses, considering it too flawed, but as you see the “flaws” add unique beauty and interest to the piece. The outcome is not always predictable because he follows the lead of the wood, allowing rather than forcing the design.
The prices range from $400 - $850 depending on complexity.
In 2015 Jan was urged to enter a few pieces in the San Diego County Fair. It was no surprise to those of us who know his work that he was awarded second place for the Agave flower (turned and carved from one piece of wood) pictured in this row. He continues to exhibit at the Fair and to date he has been awarded five cash prizes.
Prices range from $500 – $1,100
[In Jan's voice] It is only on rare occasion that I accept a commission or plan a project. I like to allow the form to emerge as it will, rather than force the wood into my idea of correctness. Urns are the exception. I consider it a privilege to be asked to share in a grieving family’s experience. I try to talk with them, getting a sense of their needs while sharing my thoughts on wood. Frequently, we talk about the deceased so that I can hold him in my thoughts as I work. Then, putting aside what shape to make, I watch as the form emerges from the wood.
Urns are created by special order. Prices range from $750 – $1,500