What would you tell your younger self starting out on your artistic journey?
Probably that “pretty” isn’t it for me. Or maybe that my preconception of what I think other people see as beautiful or impactful is not the thing that I should focus my energy on, to be more exact.
For many years I struggled with the feeling that the drawings or paintings I made had to be realistic to be good, or that my singing had to be very exact and “beautiful” and so on. What I know now is that none of that matters when you find your own way of expressing what you truly have to express. It is speaking your own truth, with your own voice that holds the beauty or impact in what you make.
As a traditional woodcrafts guy I struggled so much with liking spooncarving in the beginning just because that’s probably the most hyped part of the green woodworking woodcrafts right now, but to be honest I really don’t like carving spoons and I have no true interest in liking it and that only means I will be better and happier working with something else. I do enjoy a good spoon by someone else though.
What is your favourite Arbortech tool and why?
I have a bunch of Arbortech tools by now and I use them all regularly and enjoy them all, but my Power Chisel is probably the one I enjoy using the most. I’m very comfortable with those movements and that relation to grain direction and all that but it’s faster and easier on my bad back than using hand tools. Usually I rough shape it with the power chisel and then use hand tools for the finish cuts.
If you were a type of wood what would you be and why?
Well I love working with birch and basswood but elm is probably my favourite just as a material in itself. Tried to explain why to someone a while back and felt mostly confused when I tried to pinpoint what it was. The elm I’ve created things out of has been very cross grained and hard to work with and smells bad when it’s wet or hot and the one I talked to made the connection that it sounds just like any old regular punk rocker. Haha!
So maybe that’s a part of it but elm is also incredibly strong and beautiful in a kind of understated way that I appreciate. I often work out ideas about social justice and I try to be both very clear in what I believe and want to say but at the same time thoughtful and inclusive in how I express it and I think that’s maybe being both elm and oak and birch at the same time. So maybe that’s it, or at least I strive to be: a hybrid between elm, oak and birch.