Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Melodies in WOOD
 by Divya Agrawal

Artists forge a deep bond with the materials they work with. These materials often inspire and shape their Art. 
For Greg Klassen, today's featured artist, wood is the chosen medium. Using reclaimed wood, Greg creates furniture that can be called a 'labor of love'.

The "River Collection" featuring tables with hand cut glass was my first introduction to this very imaginative, in love with nature, artist's work. And I haven't stopped looking at these meandering water bodies since.. 

What can be more beautiful than incorporating discarded natural materials to create functional and highly aesthetic objects? 

All the wood used to make furniture is sourced from within a 30-mile radius of Greg's studio in Lynden, Washington. Working on one piece at a time, he works with a combination of hand and machine techniques to smooth, mold and polish slabs of wood. Natural disruptions in the wood surface are bridged with blue color hand cut glass.

"My inspiration comes from the beautiful Pacific Northwest and the trees that grow here. No two trees are the same just as no two pieces are that I make from them....
It’s important to me that the “fingerprints” of the craftsman are on each piece I make. I try to marry the natural beauty of the wood with the skilled craftsmanship of the maker. When the two come together, a piece can really sing!" Greg Klassen

The natural edges, grain and rings in the wood, all remind one of the beauty in Nature, and, it's enormity... I will forever cherish the moment I stood next to a section of a redwood trunk, taller than me, at the Ontario Science Centre in Canada. Trying to count the number of rings on that piece of nature I felt so humbled, and, young ;)

With the natural features of wood visible, each piece created by Greg Klassen is as unique as the tree that the wood came from.

The plain wood tables and other items are equally stunning for their design and detailing, and, of course the look.

"...My pieces are handmade, in the truest sense of the word.  I make one piece at a time and give it my full attention, starting with a tree and ending up with functional art.  I love the idea of taking a discarded tree and giving it new life.  I think the natural world is beautiful, and I love what I do."  

I love the idea of having 'rivers in wood' up on a wall (as above - sculpture). The chopping board and note block below are also noteworthy for their raw simplicity.

Greg Klassen's work is evocative and simple, yet grand, for it celebrates Nature the way it is.  
A pointer to acknowledge and treasure the beauty surrounding us and to minimize and reuse!

All images: Copyright Greg Klassen

Text & creative layout copyrights: On the Design Boat   
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