Wood is a medium that has always fascinated me, even as a youngster growing up in Pittsburgh, PA. Primarily I’m a self-taught woodworker. The foundation for my woodworking education started with my father, learning the basics of woodworking while watching his projects take form has been a lifetime influence.
Over the years my woodworking experiences and skills progressed, and with the purchase of my first house, I started to acquire tools of my own and made furniture and other items of necessities. The more I worked with wood, the more I fell in love with it. To me, there is nothing more satisfying than finding a discarded piece of wood and turning it into something beautiful which has taught me to pay close attention to the grain patterns, beautiful figuring and warmth of wood. I predominantly work with hardwoods grown in Pennsylvania, especially cherry, figured maple, walnut and sycamore. From rough wood and early sketches, up until the final finish, my hands are literally on every step of the process. The materials, design and production are wholly owned and managed by me, allowing for complete creative control and artistic ingenuity. My work takes a lot of inspiration from the wood itself – big rough slabs full of rich colors, which always seem to have something to say about the design.
My Dad gave me a lathe several years ago and I started turning bowls, increasing my woodworking experiences. I immediately fell in love with the tactile feel of the sharp tool carving away the wood. I ended up with so many bowls that I started giving them to friends and family which eventually led me to selling my work to the public. My work is now available through several gallery, shops and online. This progression has been a great learning process and along the way it has allowed me to meet new collectors and enthusiasts of my woodworking.
My work can be found in the shop at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts in Shadyside, PA, The Bottlebrush Gallery in Harmony, PA and The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh in Mt. Lebanon, PA. For several years I participated in Arbor Aid, a benefit exposition for Tree Pittsburgh. Several of my bowls were chosen to be in the Best of Arbor Aid at the Future Tenant gallery in Pittsburgh. I have also participated in the reGenerations project with the Homewood Cemetery where we transformed some of the cemetery’s trees into works of art.
Check out my house renovation blog at http://oldleechburgrenovation.wordpress.com/