Chris is a junior with many interests; he is a member of the Post (just ask him about his collection of Columbia apparel) and a varsity soccer player, but his artistic passion is woodshop. For years he has been working below Tennis Court 2 crafting wood pieces, and now he’ll share his artwork with the Upper School.
Fiona: How long have you been taking woodshop?
Chris: This will be my second year of Upper School woodshop, although I also took it all three years in Middle School.
Fiona: Why do you like woodshop and woodworking?
Chris: I like woodshop for many reasons. For one, I can make three-dimensional objects that I can add texture to. When making the texture I can also create shadow with the light itself. That was one of the more difficult aspects of draw/paint for me last year, so I don’t have to worry about that as much anymore. Also, there are so many different aspects of wood that have to be accounted for, like grain length and texture, whether it’s a hard or soft wood, and color. These aspects all come into play in the finished product. I also really enjoy planning out a project, especially a box or a table where everything has to be laid out beforehand, and in the end it could end up being something completely different because you improvise in the making of it if something gets messed up.
Fiona: Who or what are your inspirations?
Chris: Living in Portland I am surrounded by Native American art, and I think that has had an influence on the pieces I choose to make. Working with Tom has been amazing because he has a background in NW art, and a huge amount of information on it, whether it’s directly from him or from books he has. At first I don’t think I realized it, but the wood itself can sometimes be an inspiration because there is a distinct beauty in some pieces of wood that you don’t want to diminish, whether it’s the bark, the grain, or natural blemishes.
Fiona: What project are you currently working on?
Chris: Right now I’m finishing a flat carving of a bear’s head and just painting the finished product. I am also starting a Native American-style box that is shaped like a canoe. I have a couple other things I can work on, like a lathed bowl, when I have nothing else to do.
Fiona: What projects have been your favorites, and why?
Chris: I really enjoyed this last carving I did because it was really my first introduction into woodcarving. Hopefully the next is a three-dimensional piece, which will take more planning. I have also loved working on the lathe over the years with different plates and bowls.