Meet Paul Flessner.
Living in the Pacific Northwest would predispose you to getting along with trees, but Paul Flessner takes the relationship further than many of us. As an artist working in wood turning, he invites the trees indoors as objects of extraordinary beauty. His creations are lessons in letting the material speak for itself. The color, line, shape, and volume of his pieces are absolutely as unique as fingerprints.
“I make all of my pieces from native northwest trees which consist mainly of western red cedar, fir and maple. I also use madrone, walnut, redwood, elm or any of the other west coast trees as available”. Paul “shops” for his art supplies differently than many artists: “Most of my wood is “rescued” from refuse or firewood piles and then provided second life in the forms I create”. He never takes a live tree for use in his work. In fact, wood continues to move and express itself as it dries and as weather and climate interact with it. This living quality makes wood a fascinating material that sets itself apart in the art world.
Paul makes each piece by hand in his Sammamish workshop, and the photos above give you a sense of how dramatically the material changes from start to finish. While machines help part of the process, there is a great deal of skill and specialized tool use and careful hand work needed to achieve the finished product. He designs and crafts each piece to highlight the best of what nature provides. Paul is the Wood Whisperer.
See Paul and his beautiful work at the upcoming Sammamish Arts Fair, Oct 13th
and 14th. Details and images can be found at http://sammamishartsfair.wordpress.com/