Please welcome A Life Sustained sponsor Carlski's Woodworks!
Carl handcrafts wooden treasures for the home. In his words:
My name is Carl. I live in southwestern New Hampshire with my wife of 17 years, our three beautiful (and energetic!) daughters, two dogs, a cat, a shifting assortment of chickens, and occasionally sheep. In my spare time, I’m a woodturner.
Tell us about your journey towards becoming an artist.
There are several artists in my family, and while I wasn’t that great at drawing, painting, etc., I kept feeling the desire to create things. I've always been drawn to working with wood, and a couple years ago I took a weekend woodturning class, just for giggles. That night, I hardly slept, my mind instead racing with thoughts of all the neat stuff I could do. Having finally found an outlet for those creative impulses, I bought a lathe of my own as soon as I could. After gaining some practice (making LOTS of rather fancy kindling wood in the process), I opened up my Etsy shop.
What inspires you?
Most of what I make is practical – bowls, platters, etc. I like the idea of making something that’s useful, but functions as art when you’re not using it. I also like the challenge of making something out of wood that others don’t find useful; many of my pieces were crafted from scrap wood someone was looking to get rid of, or the occasional log from the cordwood we would have otherwise burned in our woodstove.
What do you enjoy most about working with wood?
Wood has such a wide range of colors and textures that it’s beautiful all on its own. My favorite woods are those that have figured grain – curly maple with its tiger-stripe patterns, the swirls in burls, or even the streaks in straight-grained wood. I especially like wood that has some sort of figuring – knots, burls, curly grain, even the occasional insect holes – that make for unique pieces. I prefer simple designs that allow the natural beauty of the wood speak for itself.
Tell us about your favorite piece in your shop and describe your process in designing and making it.
I recently made a plate that features three different types of wood – cherry, curly maple, and black walnut. I tried it out just to challenge myself and try something a little more difficult, but I like the idea of using the contrasting textures and colors from the different woods. Most of my designs are pretty vague – often, they don’t progress much beyond a quick sketch on a piece of scrap paper – but I spent some time laying out the pattern and making painstakingly precise cuts. I don’t pat myself on the back very often, but I was pretty pleased with the result.
Carl is generously offering to one lucky A Life Sustained reader a hand-turned tea light!
To enter the random drawing to win, just leave a comment on this post. Comments will be close in the evening of April 7 and a winner will be announced shortly thereafter.
And the lucky winner is...
Thank you, Carlski's Woodworks!