All of the wood I use is local, mostly Birch for this work. Most of the bowls & plates you see here are made by turning on a small electric lathe. This is followed up by hand carving the outsides of the bowls to create textures of flutes, facets, quilts, lines & shadows.
Spoons are completely handcarved, starting with a Froe or Axe & then Slyod & Crooked knives.
These are meant to be used. Working bowls, cups & spoons. They are a pleasure to eat & drink from & for some reason even a joy to wash. From popcorn to chili to ice cream.
My first exploration of wood bowls & spoons was with Bill Coperthwaite, on his remote & off-grid homestead in Maine. I stayed with Bill for about a week where we shared time working and learning together. Later, I learned to make wood bowls on a foot powered lathe called a spring pole lathe. Studying one-on-one with Jared Dahl in Wisconsin, I learned to turn bowls, forge tools & build lathes used for this work. I also learned a whole new way of carving spoons with Jared. Following this, I traveled back home to Alaska & built my own lathe. In this tradition, it's common to leave the marks made by the tools, it's a nice record of the process.
At this point I feel like I'm blending many of the old techniques I used on the foot powered lathe + hand carved surfaces but with the efficiency of an electric lathe. Many of the forms & textures are drawn from my experience as a potter, making vessels from clay.
I also work on other traditional & non-traditional projects like large hand carved bowls, wooden spoons, shrink pots & other related work.
If you like seeing this kind of work follow me on instagram—it's updated most frequently. Link at bottom.
Working with clay & making pottery is an important part of my art & craft work. I make primarily functional pots for people to use. As a material, clay is amazing & wonderful to work with as it can take on so many shapes & forms. Clay can look & feel so lively. I like to make & use robust pots & often leave the marks of the makers hands & tools.
I've been lucky enough to visit & learn from many potters, my first real pots were made learning from Jacob Bera, Chugiak, Alaska. Most recently I was able to study extensively with Peter Brondz who has been making pots in Bird Creek, Alaska since the 1980's. I also lived a potter’s fairy-tail of a day, working with Warren Mackenzie & Dick Cooter in Warren’s workshop.
Clay work here is mostly wheel thrown pottery. I learned using standard electric potter's wheels & also have built & use a Karatsu inspired kickwheel.
I have a gas fired kiln. It has a rich history of making pots in Alaska, longer than the span of my lifetime. It’s called the Bliss-Dragon, a nod to Kris Bliss.
When I can, I like to use wood to fire the pots. This is an imitate process full of labor, community & love.
If you like seeing this kind of work follow my instagram—it's updated most frequently. Find the link below.