Home as Self

28th Annual Juried Woodworking Exhibition

June 2, 2022 – August 28, 2022

In 1994, the Annual Juried Woodworking Exhibition at the Wharton Esherick Museum began as an opportunity to encourage new, creative, and imaginative works in wood. Encouraged to think like Esherick, over the years professional woodworkers, artists, designers, hobbyists, and craftspeople have submitted hundreds of pieces reflecting each year’s theme. For the 28th year of the exhibition, WEM invited applicants to share innovative works of art, craft, and design to represent a self-portrait. Each submission had to include wood in some way, but could take a different approach to what it means to make a self-portrait, just as Esherick’s “self-portraits” took on many diverse forms. The selected works are featured below alongside information about each artist; they are also available for purchase in our exhibition shop, along with a publication that can be downloaded for free or purchased in a print edition.

The finalists for Home as Self were selected by jurors Fabio J. Fernández and Keunho Peter Park, along with Emily Zilber, WEM’s Director of Curatorial Affairs and Strategic Partnerships. Fabio J. Fernández is an artist, arts advocate, educator, and arts administrator, and the Director of Greenwich House Pottery in New York City. He is the former Executive Director of the Society of Arts + Crafts in Boston and served as the Exhibitions Director at the Society and as Associate Curator at Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Fernández has planned and executed national exhibitions that presented fresh explorations into the conceptual, technical, and material approaches of contemporary makers. Keunho Peter Park’s artistic work centers around functional objects, furniture, musical instruments, and sculpture. Park holds a BFA in painting from Kookmin University in his home country of South Korea, and an MFA in Woodworking and Furniture Design from the Rochester Institute of Technology.  Park won the Wharton Esherick Museum Excellence in Wood Award at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show in 2015 and served as a Windgate resident artist at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He currently teaches woodworking and furniture making at the University of the Arts and has taught workshops

First Place: Virginia Blanchard

Virginia Blanchard, Like The Virgin, 2022. Mahogany and Rye Straw, 67 1/2 x 26 1/2 x 1 1/2 inches

I lost my father rather unexpectedly in November of 2021. Amidst the grief and regret and the memories, I also experienced a shattering loss of self-confidence that came as a real surprise to me. It turns out that when the person walking around on this earth with the most absurdly over-inflated opinion of you goes, some of that positive energy goes with them. At the time he died I was in the early stages of prototyping some electrified, straw marquetry vanity mirrors. I saw the “self-portrait” prompt from the Esherick museum as aspirational rather than literal. I thought I might be able to give myself a bit of a boost in fortitude if looking in a mirror essentially turned me into an iconic image of history’s most venerated woman. It sort of works, and it’s probably not too far off from how Dad saw me.

Virginia Blanchard is a designer/maker of custom commissioned furniture and smaller batch goods. Her influences are primarily from late 19th through early 20th century European decorative arts, as well as abstracted natural forms. She primarily works with wood, straw, and reed, with a focus on marquetry and inlay. Virginia grew up in Pelham, New York.  After earning her B.A. in Russian from New York University, she went to study woodworking at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine. She now lives in Mid-Coast Maine, designing and building furniture out of her 1848 ship captain’s home which she will be lovingly restoring for the rest of her natural life. Virginia shares her home with two excellent shelter mutts who are no help at all.

Purchase Work

Second Place: Katie Hudnall

Katie Hudnall, CHAIRchair, 2019. Wood, hardware, and string, 31 x 26 x 30 inches.

CHAIRchair is a piece about self-reflection, I made it at a moment when I was reexamining who I am and who I want to be. On its surface the movement of the tiny chair coming out of the drawer in the full-scale one is silly, and sweet, but I was thinking about what it meant to spend time with myself alone.

My artistic practice is motivated by a curiosity of overlooked objects, places, and materials and a desire to share that curiosity with others. I find a deep sense of connection and intimacy in my interactions with the objects around me, and in their capacity to connect me to a past or future version of myself and other people. Lifetimes of use are evidenced in the scratched, burnished surfaces of bits of wood or metal, a pencil sharpened to nothing serves as a reminder of each line it has ever drawn, and the hand(s) that have drawn them. I feel called as an artist to help others find this connection. Playfulness and wonder are inherent and essential parts of my work. The woodworking techniques I employ are just as likely borrowed from barn construction as fine furniture, and I blend these with illustrations to construct cabinets, boxes and drawers which draw inspiration from the displays of natural history museums, Rube Goldberg machines, and cabinets of curiosities.

Lighthearted in their approach, these pieces beg for interaction with the audience, and are, like many craft objects, as much about the relationship between the user and the object as they are about the relationship between the object and its maker. The works act as a bridge between us – the audience, the object, and me. Richly painted surfaces adorn my cabinet forms, which rise up like creatures balancing on precarious legs. Doors and drawers open to expose intimate spaces, unlock kinetic movements elsewhere on the piece, or present moments of quiet reflection. Though often mimicking the visual language of display cases, the pieces sometimes remain empty, instead opening to reveal carved eyes looking outward, reversing the relationship between viewer and cabinet. Some contain everyday objects, pocket-sized and suddenly venerated, celebrated – hundreds of acorns, pencils sharpened to the eraser, a single, antique, toggle bolt. Occasionally the pieces act as intermediaries – wooden creatures inviting their users to engage with strangers. The works are intimate, vulnerable and often fragile. Their initial playful or lighthearted components quietly make space for viewers to reexamine what Craft is, and to reevaluate the world around them, allowing wonder to give way to introspection. I ask my pieces to engage and delight viewers on an intuitive, visceral level, while simultaneously questioning our assumptions about how and where we assign value, about the role of Craft in our lives. These are ambassadors, offering friendly, creaky handshakes and space for reflection.

Katie Hudnall received her BFA in Sculpture from the Corcoran College of Art & Design and her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in Furniture Design/Woodworking. Her work has been included in many publications and exhibitions including Crafting A Continuum: Rethinking Contemporary Craft and Making A Seat at the Table: Women Transform Woodworking. Hudnall lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where she runs the Woodworking and Furniture Program at the University of Madison, Wisconsin. When she’s not teaching she spends her time making tools for problems both real and imagined.

Third Place & Viewer’s Choice Winner: Amy Forsyth

Amy Forsyth, Eye See You, 2021, Recycled mahogany, plywood, basswood, paint, ink, 24 x 15 x 6 inches.

I’d been doing a lot of blind contour drawings, in which you do not look at the paper, but only at the subject you are drawing. I’d been trying to get more and more detail in the observation, and the drawings were getting crazier and crazier. And in recent years, I’ve had to start wearing glasses, after many years of perfect vision. It occurred to me that a blind contour drawing of myself, looking for my glasses, (as you do) would be the perfect image for the front of an eyeglasses cabinet. The handle is a three-dimensional, carved, self portrait of my ear, and once you open the cabinet, there are 24 cubbies to store eyeglasses, each with a different drawing of a pair of eyes. The cabinet is made of reused mahogany, plywood, and basswood, drawn and painted with acrylic paint, milk paint, and ink.

Amy Forsyth is a furniture designer and maker who has studied studio furniture with many luminaries in the field. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States, and in both 2016 and 2019 she was awarded a prestigious Windgate International Turning Exchange Residency at the Center for Art in Wood in Philadelphia. In addition to designing and building furniture, she has published numerous articles in journals including American Craft, Woodwork, and The Craft Factor, among others.

Forsyth trained as an architect at Penn State and Princeton University. She currently teaches at Lehigh University and has also taught at Penn State and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She has attended workshops on furniture design and construction and joined The Furniture Society’s board of trustees. She has edited their newsletter, “Furniture Matters,” for several years and served on their editorial advisory board, where she worked on several publications including the monograph Furniture Studio: The Heart of the Functional Arts and Tradition in Contemporary Furniture.

Juried Selections

Learn More & Purchase Available Works

Click on the tabs below to learn more about each artist and purchase available works from the 28th Annual Juried Woodworking Exhibition.

Virginia Blanchard, Like The Virgin, 2022. Mahogany and Rye Straw, 67 1/2 x 26 1/2 x 1 1/2 inches.

Purchase Like The Virgin: $7,500

    


Artist Statement:

I lost my father rather unexpectedly in November of 2021. Amidst the grief and regret and the memories, I also experienced a shattering loss of self-confidence that came as a real surprise to me. It turns out that when the person walking around on this earth with the most absurdly over-inflated opinion of you goes, some of that positive energy goes with them.

At the time he died I was in the early stages of prototyping some electrified, straw marquetry vanity mirrors. I saw the “self-portrait” prompt from the Esherick museum as aspirational rather than literal. I thought I might be able to give myself a bit of a boost in fortitude if looking in a mirror essentially turned me into an iconic image of history’s most venerated woman. It sort of works, and it’s probably not too far off from how Dad saw me.


Virginia Blanchard is a designer/maker of custom commissioned furniture and smaller batch goods. Her influences are primarily from late 19th through early 20th century European decorative arts, as well as abstracted natural forms. She primarily works with wood, straw, and reed, with a focus on marquetry and inlay.

Virginia grew up in Pelham, New York.  After earning her B.A. in Russian from New York University, she went to study woodworking at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine. She now lives in Mid-Coast Maine, designing and building furniture out of her 1848 ship captain’s home which she will be lovingly restoring for the rest of her natural life. Virginia shares her home with two excellent shelter mutts who are no help at all.

virginiablanchardfurniture.com  | Instagram: @vgbfurniture

Katie Hudnall, CHAIRchair, 2019. Wood, hardware and string, 31 x 26 x 30 inches.

 


Artist Statement:

CHAIRchair is a piece about self-reflection, I made it at a moment when I was reexamining who I am and who I want to be. On its surface the movement of the tiny chair coming out of the drawer in the full-scale one is silly, and sweet, but I was thinking about what it meant to spend time with myself alone.

__

My artistic practice is motivated by a curiosity of overlooked objects, places, and materials and a desire to share that curiosity with others. I find a deep sense of connection and intimacy in my interactions with the objects around me, and in their capacity to connect me to a past or future version of myself and other people. Lifetimes of use are evidenced in the scratched, burnished surfaces of bits of wood or metal, a pencil sharpened to nothing serves as a reminder of each line it has ever drawn, and the hand(s) that

have drawn them. I feel called as an artist to help others find this connection. Playfulness and wonder are inherent and essential parts of my work. The woodworking techniques I employ are just as likely borrowed from barn construction as fine furniture, and I blend these with illustrations to construct cabinets, boxes and drawers which draw inspiration from the displays of natural history museums, Rube Goldberg machines, and cabinets of curiosities.

Lighthearted in their approach, these pieces beg for interaction with the audience, and are, like many craft objects, as much about the relationship between the user and the object as they are about the relationship between the object and its maker. The works act as a bridge between us – the audience, the object, and me.


Katie Hudnall received her BFA in Sculpture from the Corcoran College of Art & Design and her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in Furniture Design/Woodworking. 

Her work has been included in many publications and exhibitions including Crafting A Continuum: Rethinking Contemporary Craft and Making A Seat at the Table: Women Transform Woodworking.

Hudnall lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where she runs the Woodworking and Furniture Program at the University of Madison, Wisconsin. When she’s not teaching she spends her time making tools for problems both real and imagined.

katiehudnall.com | Instagram: @katiehudnall

Amy Forsyth, Eye See You, 2021. Recycled mahogany, plywood, basswood, paint and ink, 24 x 15 x 6 inches.

 


Artist Statement:

I’d been doing a lot of blind contour drawings, in which you do not look at the paper, but only at the subject you are drawing. I’d been trying to get more and more detail in the observation, and the drawings were getting crazier and crazier. And in recent years, I’ve had to start wearing glasses, after many years of perfect vision. It occurred to me that a blind contour drawing of myself, looking for my glasses, (as you do) would be the perfect image for the front of an eyeglasses cabinet. The handle is a three-dimensional, carved, self portrait of my ear, and once you open the cabinet, there are 24 cubbies to store eyeglasses, each with a different drawing of a pair of eyes. The cabinet is made of reused mahogany, plywood, and basswood, drawn and painted with acrylic paint, milk paint, and ink.


Amy Forsyth is a furniture designer and maker who has studied studio furniture with many luminaries in the field. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States, and in both 2016 and 2019 she was awarded a prestigious Windgate International Turning Exchange Residency at the Center for Art in Wood in Philadelphia. In addition to designing and building furniture, she has published numerous articles in journals including American Craft, Woodwork, and The Craft Factor, among others.

Forsyth trained as an architect at Penn State and Princeton University. She currently teaches at Lehigh University and has also taught at Penn State and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She has attended workshops on furniture design and construction and joined The Furniture Society’s board of trustees. She has edited their newsletter, “Furniture Matters,” for several years and served on their editorial advisory board, where she worked on several publications including the monograph Furniture Studio: The Heart of the Functional Arts and Tradition in Contemporary Furniture.

amyforsyth.com | Instagram: @fiddlinfasta

Terry Anderson, Little Octopus, 2019. Bronze and ebonized yew wood, 5 x 10 x 5 inches.

This piece is not for sale but, the artist is open to take commissions: www.tkandersonfineart.com

 : $7,500


Artist Statement:

Ever since my encounter with an octopus while snorkeling at the age of 16 I have felt a deep affinity for their ability to blend in while observing and processing the world around them. Cephalopods have appeared in much of my work in clay and drawing as I continue to learn about their amazing ability to change shape, color and texture to mimic their surroundings, while maintaining their integrity. I have struggled with balancing my personal need to be unobserved with my desire as an artist to be noticed and respected. that first encounter and the deep connection that I felt has never left me, and this sculpture is one way I have explored that feeling. Most of my recent work has been oil portraits of trees, also delving into my connection with the natural world. I have recently begun to move from the

surface to the interior of trees by working in wood. I was looking for a way to soften and ground the sculpture and wood seemed like the natural solution, as well as the natural progression for my work.


Terry Anderson is an artist based in Unionville, PA whose work crosses various media including wood, clay, metals, and painting. The focus of her work is rooted in her connection to the natural world and the forest. Her exploration of the trees leads her from the forest, through

the bark and leaves, and into the center, where she sees the shape of the wood and patterns in the grain reflecting the influences of the environment. Just as the octopus adapts, changes shape, and adorns itself with colors, her work is evolving as she explores the possibilities of wood as an expressive medium.

tkandersonfineart.com

Hayden Castagno, Unrequited, 2021. Pau Ferro, European Pear, Marquetry, Glass, Mirror and Silver, 13 x 13 x 49 inches.

Purchase Unrequited: $9,000

   


Artist Statement:

Watching people interact with this cabinet has demonstrated in real time what the title means to me. They admire it, walk around it, read the title with some expression of confusion, and move on. A box is displayed openly within the cabinet. There is an unspoken invitation to pull the drawer out, leading to the uncovering of a mirror reflecting a marquetry flower in the surface above, but few have discovered it on their own. In regards to the prompt “self-portrait,” this piece is a representation of feelings I have had of freely giving but oftentimes being overlooked or unobserved by those to whom I have given.


Hayden Castagno is a woodworker and toolmaker from Rexburg, ID. He is the founder of Castagno Custom Tools and is currently completing a certificate in Fine Woodworking at the Krenov School of Fine Furniture at Mendicino College in Fort Bragg, CA. Hayden uses craftsmanship to communicate profound feelings. First with words, in the piece, title and description, and then with messages that words cannot conveniently express by providing an experience. What he creates tends to take a form similar to that of sacred architecture, because it is important to him that people feel drawn in and then uplifted, like temples of worship.

castagnocustomtools.com | Instagram: @hayden.castagno

Paul Castellana, Just as you are, 2021-2022. Cherry, Ash, Maple, Ebony, Purple Heart, Sapele, Padauk and Plywood,  18 x 13 x 1.5 inches.

Purchase Just as you are: $2,500

    


Artist Statement:

I think of the self as a process composed of layers of patterns, habits, thoughts, and interactions. Some repeat, some stick out more than others, some fade into the background. All are in constant flux. And a fundamental challenge of the self – or at least for myself – is finding balance between accepting things as they are and working towards improvement.

After I made the base pattern layer of the piece, I started adding in patches of other woods, at first to cover up defects, but eventually to fully develop the composition. Because it’s primarily made of end grain, even despite being mounted to a plywood backer, it’s already begun to move and crack, and it may continue to, which I’ve come to accept and appreciate.


Paul Castellana is an artist and designer based in Philadelphia, PA. Experimenting across multiple mediums and scales, he seeks to integrate the curiosity of art and the rigor of design with traditional and contemporary craft techniques. He brings design sensibilities to his art, and artistic sensibilities to his design, blurring the line between where one begins and the other ends.

His interests include themes of geometry, pattern, ritual, time, and the tools of everyday living. Foundational to these concepts is a committed engagement with the mystery of reality – an exploration of perception, with the understanding that it is not a puzzle to be solved, but rather an experience to be had.

paulcastellana.com | Instagram: @paulcastellana

Cecilia Emy, Tri Color Chair, 2021. Plywood, poplar and paint,  38 x 18 x 25 inches.

This piece is priced at $4,500 but not available at this time. Interested parties can reach out to the artist for a custom piece: ceciliaemy.cargo.site/

    


Artist Statement:

I feel that the characteristic bright colors, big shapes, and sense of humor present in my work represents who I am. I was diagnosed with depression the summer before high school, and spent many years crawling out of that all consuming illness, and making art from that perspective. I realized in my second year of college that fine woodworking in the traditional sense did not really give me the joy that I craved, and I started making Memphis Milano-inspired work that made me happy, as cliche as it sounds. Tri-Color Chair was designed two years before it was created, and was meant to be part of my degree project (which I was unable to complete due to Covid). Being able to make this piece so close to my heart meant a lot to me, and making it felt like closing a door to the student and young adult part of myself as I go on to begin my own practice as an artist.


Cecilia Emy is a furniture designer and sculptor who was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She attended the Rhode Island School of Design and graduated in May 2020 with a degree in Furniture Design. She primarily works in wood, but dabbles in metals, ceramics, and other mediums. Her work often references research done on her favorite artists that include Isamu Noguchi, Constantin Brancusi, and Ettore Sottsass, but she also takes inspiration from the forms and colors present in the public furniture of the urban world, like bike racks and subway interiors. Her work is often punctuated by big shapes, bright colors, and a sense of humor.

ceciliaemy.cargo.site/  | Instagram: @cece.emy

David Fisher, Every Atom, 2022. Crabapple, black walnut and steel, 13.25 x 6 x 7.75 inches

Purchase Every Atom: $1,250

    


Artist Statement:

The inspiration for this piece began when the bark pulled away from a crabapple log on our firewood stack and revealed the form of a human torso to my eye. Having entered my fifties, I can begin to see myself in the ravaged, scarred, and stained surface of this tree that once lived in my yard. Yet, there is also a growing feeling of what I think Walt Whitman celebrated in his “Song of Myself”: a wonderful sense of transience, transference, and oneness that connects everything, including human beings and crabapple trees.


David Fisher is a woodworker based in Greenville, PA. He carves green logs and branches into bowls, spoons, containers, and other sculptural forms, often enhanced with carved lettering.

davidffisher.com 

Martin Goebel, Capitan Steamer Trunk, 2021. Wenge, hard maple, custom brass and leather, 28 x 68 x 26 inches.

Purchase Capitan Steamer Trunk: $22,000

 


Artist Statement:

The piece is a cross between steamer trunk and dowry chest, referencing my love of travel and marriage of so many friends as the pandemic slows.


Martin Goebel is a designer based in St. Louis, Missouri. He received his MFA in Furniture Design from Rhode Island School of Design, his BFA in Studio Arts from University of Missouri, and a Certificate of Fine Furniture from College of the Redwoods. He is founder, president, and director of Goebel & Co. Furniture.

goebelfurniture.com | Instagram: @goebel_co_furniture

David Gootnick, Kumiko Cabinet with Vases, 2022. Wood and mulberry paper, 19 x 27 x 6 inches.

    


Artist Statement:

I made the vases in the center of the piece at age 17– among the first things I ever made from wood. I completed the cabinet in January 2022, almost exactly 50 years later. From that vantage point the vases represent my youth, the kumiko doors my potential, the vertical drawers the chapters of my life, and the stand the foundation on which a life is built.


David first picked up woodworking as a high schooler taking courses at the School for American Craftsmen in Rochester, NY. In the 1970’s he was an apprentice to Donald Warnock, a master luthier. David subsequently worked for Bernie Lehman in Rochester and Curtis Bryant in Watertown, Massachusetts, also accomplished luthiers. He began to study Kumiko much later and finds it a satisfying way to blend traditional Japanese techniques with contemporary design.

david-gootnick.com | Instagram: @davidbgootnick

Pato Hebert, Detail Disoriented (Brain Fog), 2021. Eucalyptus, 9 ½ x 2 1/16 x 7/8 inches.

Purchase Detail Disoriented (Brain Fog): $350


Artist Statement:

I am a COVID long hauler. I have been sick for almost two years now. One of my most persistent challenges is brain fog. I have difficulties with speech, processing and retaining information, organizing and managing details.


Pato Hebert is an artist, teacher, and organizer who splits his time between Los Angeles and New York City. He received an MFA in Studio Art from the University of California Irvine, and BA in Studio Art from Stanford University, and he currently teaches in Art & Public Policy at New York University. His work explores the aesthetics, ethics and poetics of interconnectedness. He works across a range of media including photography, installation, sculpture, language, light, temporality and graphic design.

patohebert.com | Instagram: @volandito

Jamie Herman, Tilt, 2017. Bubinga, ash and wenge, 62 x 14 x 18 inches.

  


Artist Statement:

Tilt encapsulates a specific moment in my life. While I was working on this piece, I was dealing with crippling anxiety and depression that made it really difficult for me just to function normally. While I was going through these mental health issues, this piece was my anchor. It gave me a sense of control that I didn’t feel I had anywhere else in my life at the time. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, I can see that the design itself was a reflection of how I was feeling – constantly off-kilter, like I could just fall over at any second, but trying my hardest to look like I was okay.


Jamie Herman is a furniture maker, sculptor, and teacher working in Layton, New Jersey. Brought up in Kentucky and Ohio, Jamie tried his hand at classical music, archaeology, and organic farming before finding his passion in craft. He trained in fine woodworking and furniture design at the Vermont Woodworking School and has participated in fellowships at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship and the Peters Valley School of Craft. Jamie was recently awarded the 2021 John D. Mineck Furniture Fellowship.

His work features complicated geometries, precarious balancing acts, and clean design. Jamie is interested in exploring how material culture can influence our identities, how our individualities spill over into what we make, and how participating in craft can change how we think.

jhstudiofurniture.com | Instagram: @jhstudiofurniture

Joseph Holmes, Redwood Cabinet, 2020. Reclaimed Redwood, Alaskan and Spanish Cedar, Maple and Chromogenic Color Print, 44 x 14 x 10 3/4 inches.

    


Artist Statement:

This is a 14 foot Redwood 2×12 Josh Miller and I pulled off the side of a house a decade ago when we were kids building decks. We cut it in half, laid it across sawhorses and it held our tools and saw, Gatorades and High Lifes for the summer.

I kept it with me through half a dozen different shops, set up beside my bench. On it I’d stack pieces of whatever I was working on, and in the summers, when I needed the money, I’d strap it to the roof of the Subaru and go build fences and decks.

My life is more stable now. I no longer have to drop everything and build a fence to pay rent, so I milled it down and built this cabinet.

I hold onto things too long, not of thriftiness or need, but because I worry that without them, I will forever lose access to the memories they stir in me.

The drawer sides are Spanish Cedar, offcuts from a set of garage doors my friend and mentor, Scott Beatie, made. The drawer bottoms are Alaskan Cedar, souvenirs of a trying 18-month stint building pipe organs. And the web frames are soft maple, from a simple but meaningful project with a friend who’s fallen out of my life.


Joseph Holmes was trained in the English Arts and Crafts tradition and has been designing and building furniture for over a decade. He currently works in the Art Department of the University of Nebraska Lincoln.

josephholmes.net  |  Instagram: @josephnholmes

Bob Ingram, Tool of the Frayed, 2020. Vintage objects, 16 x 4 x 2 inches.

Purchase Tool of the Frayed: $250


Artist Statement:

It’s what we do: measure, cut, and hammer


Bob Ingram is a woodworker and furniture maker based in Philadelphia, PA. He trained in Industrial Design at the Pratt Institute, completed a residency at the Tasmanian Institute of Technology, and co-founded the Philadelphia Furniture Show. He has shown his work extensively, won numerous awards, and published prolifically.  As an artist, Bob’s works use found objects as well as various tooled pieces of wood, metal, glass, plastics, and any other materials he finds. These pieces embody a whimsy and humor in their playfulness.

He says, “Being a maker is a way of life, a lifestyle that keeps me on my toes moving and shaking through my daily grind and nightly rest/wrestling matches, constantly turning over ideas, processes, tools, materials, client needs, worldly responsibilities, and/or whatever creeps and/or weeps into my subconscious. This is a kinetic method of living, putting things together – taking things apart – until marriage is made that simply works. I seek to make things that have energy, warmth, humor, and zest that help to make life worth living for me, the maker, and hopefully for those who experience the artwork. The outward style of the piece is less important, like with a person’s appearance. The strength lies in the core of the creation, the character, and the guts!

bob-ingram.com

Rebecca Juliette-Duex, I carry your heart, 2022. White oak, cherry, cotton and brass, 21 1/2 x 21 x 13 inches.

   


Artist Statement:

This basket is a true representation of myself at the present moment. Its construction encompasses two parallel timelines: that of my journey in craft and my journey to life. Two years of weaving study led me to two years of woodworking study and the experience I gained as a student brought me to the John C. Campbell Folk School where I work as a Studio Coordinator for Natural Fibers (which includes basketry and seat weaving). I would never have been able to construct this basket without the learning and practice that came before it. Nor would I be here in this world without all of the lives that came before mine. My parents and grandparents are woven into my being and I carry them forward with me on this path.


Rebecca Juliette-Duex was introduced to the value of craft at an early age. During visits to her mother’s childhood home in rural Western Pennsylvania, she observed how her grandparents found solace in their own handcraft; her grandfather in the woodshop and her grandmother with needle and thread or yarn. An immersion in weaving and woodworking at Haywood Community College has been an opportunity to build the skills necessary to honor the legacy of her grandparents. Rebecca’s work brings wood and fiber into conversation to tell the story of her own creative heritage and to inspire others to do the same.

rosevalleyworks.com

Suzanne Bonsall Kahn, The Heavy Weight of Pearls, 2019. Eastern Red Cedar, Plastic Coated Dog Run Wire and Found vintage ladder, 72 x 48 x 60 inches.

This piece is for sale. Please contact the artist for purchase and installation inquiries: dovetailwoodarts.com 

   


Artist Statement:

All dressed up but nowhere to go. I know how to walk the walk and talk the talk. I know how to behave and assimilate. I can fit in. But it is a chore; for me and for many women. I work with tools. I get dirty. I make amazing things with wood, paint, fabric, paper, all of it. I bake, I balance a checkbook, I make investments, I am a mother, I am so many things. But all too often acceptance, attention, and accolades come so much easier when I’m wearing the damn pearls; when I present what others want to see. It’s heavy.


Suzanne Bonsall Kahn is a woodturner based in Philadelphia. She received an MFA from Moore College of Art and BA from George Washington University. She is founder and owner of Dovetail Wood Arts and teaches woodworking and woodturning in Philadelphia.

In her current work, Suzanne seeks to engage her audience in conversations about shared vulnerabilities and the methods we employ to create balance.  Themes of sexism, racism, poverty and homelessness stream concurrently with inclusion, resiliency and personal power.  Combining her studio art practice with community outreach and teaching plays a crucial role in her examination of culture barriers and biases implicated in societal dysfunction. 

dovetailwoodarts.com  | Instagram: @dovetailwoodarts

Silas Kopf, Cuckoo Clock, 1993. Mixed woods, 22 x 14 x 6 inches.

  


Artist Statement:

The face of the clock is a self-portrait. I’ve done an occasional piece of furniture with a self-portrait in marquetry since 1984. This cuckoo clock was made in 1993. The weight driven mechanism makes the cuckoo noise on the half-hour. Instead of the little bird coming out a trap door in this case the tongue comes out of the mouth.


Silas Kopf has been making studio furniture since 1973. He holds a degree in architecture from Princeton University and was an apprentice to Wendell Castle for two years. In 1988, he studied traditional marquetry methods at the École Boulle in Paris with Pierre Ramond under a Craftsman’s Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Kopf has also traveled and studied marquetry and inlay in Italy, England, and Sweden. In 2015, he was named a Master of the Medium by the James Renwick Alliance of the Smithsonian Institution. Kopf’s work is found in museums and private collections around the world. His shop is in Easthampton, Massachusetts.

Kopf incorporates a wide variety of techniques to decorate the furniture he designs and builds. The standards are exacting and every attempt is made to build work of the highest caliber, creating work that is sought after by collectors. Most of the marquetry is made with wood, but occasionally other materials are used; brass, copper, aluminum, mother-of-pearl, abalone, and reconstituted stone.

silaskopf.com  |  Instagram: @silas.kopf

Gary Kret, Waiting, 2019. Laminated and Turned Maple, Black Aniline Dye, and Wax Finish, 18 1/4 x 6 1/4 x 32 inches.

   


Artist Statement:

When my wife and I were traveling in Ireland I remember standing in line to get some beer at a country dance with these really big Irish farmers. I never felt so physically small in my life.


Gary Kret was born in Wyandotte, Michigan and is currently based in Chevy Chase, Maryland. He received a BFA in Painting and Sculpture from Aquinas College and an MFA in Sculpture from Yale University. He was the recipient of The Fannie B. Pardee Prize and Polish Heritage Grants. His work has been included in numerous regional gallery exhibitions and is held in several private collections. 

garykret.com  |  Instagram: @garykret.artist

Meegan McCaffrey, Octopus Armoire, 2017. Maple, 74 x 36 x 20 inches.

    


Artist Statement:

When I made this piece I was unhappy with my family life (unhappy marriage, feeling like a not very good parent.) I was frustrated that I could not think up a solution to my troubles. I felt angry and trapped.

The outside of this cabinet is beautiful, creative and unique. The inside shows a trapped angry monster who should not be in an armoire. This is how I felt when I made this piece.


Originally from Vermont, Meegan McCaffrey now lives and works in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She first became interested in woodworking after purchasing a house that needed a lot of work. First tasked with demolition and framing, she then explored built-in bookcases, shelving and cabinets. Once finished with the house, furniture making became her favorite hobby. To date, her furniture has always had a functional purpose and is conscious of the tight space that furniture occupies in city housing. In the future, she hopes to explore more fantastical designs but worries about where she would ever put more creations.

Bronwen O’Wril, Milking Stools, 2016. Maple, Lg: 16 x 10 x 10 x 6 inches, Sm: 10 x 7 x 7 x 10 inches.

    


Artist Statement:

Milking Stools (2016) is a pair of small-scale, three-legged stools. They lean towards one another and their bulbous legs almost intertwine. This work came about during a period of time when I was learning anew about my roles as daughter and mother. The pair is a kind of self portrait — I am each stool and both of them at once. It is also an expression of an archetypal parent-child relationship, such as the one between the Big and Little Dipper constellations.

According to Greek mythology, Callisto was turned into a bear by a jealous goddess. Her child remained human and grew up among people. One day while out hunting, the child came upon Callisto. Callisto, forgetting she was a bear, ran towards her child in joy. The child, not recognizing the mother, took aim to kill her. Taking pity on the pair, Zeus turned the child into a bear and swept them both into the sky before the arrow landed. Callisto became the constellation Ursa Major (the Great Bear), whose main stars form the Big Dipper. Her child is Ursa Minor (the Small Bear), also known as the Little Dipper.


Bronwen O’Wril holds a BFA in Fine Woodworking from Maine College of Art , but she started making art while training as a nurse in the 1990’s. She found the medical view of the body suffocating and found relief in figure drawing. O’Wril discovered that her drawing practice enlivened her nursing practice, and she has been investigating the reciprocal relationship between art and life ever since.

bronwenowril.com

Joel Scilley, Barky Turntable, 2021. Wood, glass, aluminum and brass, 7 x 18 x 17 inches.

Purchase Barky Turntable: $1,850

 


Artist Statement:

Barky was one of my earliest audio designs, and it was an almost immediate success in both commercial and critical terms. It’s been featured in dozens of major publications and I’ve sold close to 200 iterations of this design over the years. In fact, it has become my trademark design in many ways and a central part of my practice as a designer/woodworker.

Just as importantly, I think this design is an ideal representation of myself and my practice: it takes what is in some ways the simplest wood form and elevates it technologically. The radiating wood rings echo the grooves on the records it plays, and it fits in rustic cabins as easily as in all-white minimalist lofts. Though I’ve probably made more beautiful things, this design is the best representation of who I am as an artist…so far.


Joel Scilley is a designer and woodworker based in New Orleans. He studied art, architecture, and design in New York and Europe before earning a PhD in Media and Cultural Studies, during which time he interned in carpentry, architecture, and urban planning. Joel defected from academia in 1997 to return to designing and making things as a renovation carpenter in the California Bay Area.  Over time, his carpentry shifted towards fine woodworking, and he made his first audio turntable, and founded his company Audiowood in 2008. Joel’s work has been featured in art, design and audio exhibitions across the US and his Audiowood designs have won numerous awards at art shows and craft fairs.

Joel was recently awarded a patent for an innovative approach to modular housing design, and he’s currently producing a “science fictional” series of organic, kinetic sculptures that tap into themes of sustainability and post-apocalyptic survival gadgetry.  Joel began work on the latter project in Spring/Summer 2021 as an Artist in Residence at the Joan Mitchell Center.

audiowood.com | Instagram: @audiowood

Drew Slickmeyer, Coffin Mirror, 2021. White oak and mirror, 70 x 28 x 7 inches.

Purchase Coffin Mirror: $8,000

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Artist Statement:

Coffin Mirror aims to serve as a daily visual reminder that death is as much of the human experience as the act of living. We (everyone) cannot consider ourselves to be alive without acknowledging and accepting the fact that we will eventually be dead, and hopefully we use that information to positively impact the way in which we approach our lives.

The mirror surface itself gives us an indisputable depiction of where and what we currently are, and the mirror frame reminds us of where and what we will eventually be. We are subsequently given two self portraits at once.

“If you do the job in a principled way, with diligence, energy and patience, if you keep yourself free of distractions, and keep the spirit inside you undamaged, as if you might have to give it back at any moment–
If you can embrace this without fear or expectation–can find fulfillment in what you’re doing now, as Nature intended, and in superhuman truthfulness (every word, every utterance)–then your life will be happy.
No one can prevent that.”

-Marcus Aurelius, Meditations


Drew Slickmeyer is an artist and furniture maker based in Manlius, New York.  He holds an MFA in Furniture Design from Rochester Institute of Technology and a BA from Stockton University. 

drewslickmeyer.com

Mark Tan, Labor of Liberty, 2022. 2×4’s, Punch Clock, Plastic and Paper, 30 x 30 x 18 inches.


Artist Statement:

The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American freedom; its tolls loudly announce the Declaration of Independence. Its song speaks to the rights and freedoms valued by those who dream of working for a better life and ultimately lures migrants away from other nations. To many, this bell represents the declaration of false freedom, liberty, and unity.

I refaced a manual punch clock into a shape that resembles the Liberty Bell by using 2×4’s, a material of domestic construction, to re-create the sense of industry and migrant labor workforce who are relocating for opportunity. The condition of the migrant and the nature of labor in society.

Form I-94 is the Department of Homeland Security’s Arrival/Departure Record issued to aliens admitted to the United States, those who are adjusting status while in the United States, or those extending their stay. It shows the terms of your admission, including your legal status, the length of time you may stay, and the expected departure date. For migrants, it represents being tracked and recorded in the United States.

I used my personal data from form I-94 and translated the information into time cards of my arrival and departure dates since 2011. I’ve asked all visitors to fill out a time card and punch in while visiting the space and to punch out when the visitor is ready to leave and add it to the racks.


Mark Tan is a first-generation Canadian who was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario by Asian immigrants. He migrated to the United States and has lived here for 7 years. Through his work, Tan expresses the emotional value of preconceived notions, disconnectedness, and longing in search of finding place and acceptance within a community. Drawing from memory, personal narrative, emotion, and perception, Tan manipulates data into lines, forms, and materials through a subjective human experience from the lens of a non-citizen. By projecting the migration movement of his family lineage from China and the Philippines to Canada, as well as his path to the United States, Tan deconstructs and reconstructs the meaning and purpose of fragmented identity. Using statistical data that represents migration patterns, his own identification number, and metaphors around borders and access, Tan explores representations of phenomena, displacement, belonging, and defeat as a response to social and cultural order. Through his formal training as a woodworker, Tan’s work aims to communicate sympathy through hardship, accessibility, and the desire of a migrant finding place. He produces aesthetically engaging sculptural forms made from reclaimed solid wood, found materials, and domestic construction building materials at an architectural scale.

marktanstudio.com

Terrence Tougas, A Maker’s Box, 2022. Wood and paper, 13 x 12 x 3 inches.

This piece is not for sale but, the artist is taking commissions: www.minehill-photo.com/minehill-woodworks

    


Artist Statement:

This keepsake box reflects my personal history directly through the images on the slipcase and the objects it contains. This includes a handmade book of my photos, small objects I have made, tools inherited from my father and grandfather and a component from a medicinal product where I played a significant role in the product development. On another level, the design of this piece reflects my current artistic interest of combining wood with other materials and techniques. Throughout my career, I have always found inspiration from ideas and concepts that come from exploring outside my immediate expertise.


Terrence Tougas holds Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts and had a 30+ year career in the sciences before “retiring” in 2015 to start a second career as photographer and woodworker. Tougas was a constant inhabitant of his father’s woodshop as a teenager. He learned much of his woodworking technique from him and is proud to follow in his footsteps. He produces a variety of handmade wooden items including toys, jewelry, household items and furniture.

Through his photography, Tougas tries to capture the more intimate aspects of a place, relishing in the ordinary aspects of day-to-day life wherever he is. His work centers on locality and the imprint of humanity of that space. 

Tougas’s work has been exhibited in many shows and is held in several galleries He is a faculty member at the Brookfield Craft Center, where he offers classes in photography and woodworking using traditional techniques and hand tools.

www.minehill-photo.com  |  Instagram: @terrencetougas1355

Henry Webb, Tractor Seat Stool, 2022. Black Walnut, 21 x 18 x 12 inches.

Purchase Tractor Seat Stool: $700

    


Artist Statement:

I have made several versions of this stool and enjoyed playing with the orientation of the tenon wedges as “eyes” and the grain as facial features. The prompt for this contest really inspired me to express my personal emotions through this particular piece. The viewer will see what they will but when I look at the face represented it really reflects me and how I feel.


Henry Webb is a woodworker based in Juneau, Alaska. After working seasonally in a modern cabinet and furniture shop for three years, Webb founded Heirloom Joinery in order to pursue his own design and building method and principles. His methods are centered on solid hardwoods and traditional hand joinery and his aesthetic is both primitive and modern. Webb wants his furniture to be explicit and honest, and he shows his joinery as much as possible to tell the story of how it was put together and to add decorative interest. Webb is not a hand tool purist, but is a joinery purist who believes that well cut joints make strong furniture that lasts and is beautiful. He draws on green woodworking, pre-industrial woodcraft and slojd techniques. He is inspired by Shaker, Japanese and Scandinavian design and the work of Wharton Esherick, and the “Form follows Function” adage is a cliche he appreciates.

henrywalterwebb.com | Instagram: @henry_walter_webb

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Home as Self Catalog

This 70 page, full-color catalog is a comprehensive look at Home as Self, WEM’s 28th Annual Juried Woodworking Exhibition. This publication captures the innovative works of art, craft, and design that represent a self-portrait represented in this year’s show through imagery for each of the 25 artworks alongside artist statements and biographical information. The catalog also includes a welcome from WEM Executive Director Julie Siglin and an introduction from Emily Zilber, WEM Director of Curatorial Affairs and Strategic Partnerships. You can purchase a 8″ x 8″ hard, bound catalog or download a free digital copy!

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