Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays!



We would like to wish everyone and their families a Happy Holiday Season and Peaceful new Year.

Monday, December 14, 2009

2010 Niche Awards

Fine Wood Artists' Andrew Pitts is a finalist for the 2010 Niche Awards with his "Shadows of Night" cabinet. The winners will be announced in February.

This is his third consecutive NICHE Finalist award for Andrew. The same piece won "Best in Show" in the Rappahannock Art League 48th Annual Exhibit in Virginia.

Congratulations Andrew on your success!

You can see the other woodworking Niche finalists here;
http://www.americancraft.com/NICHE_Awards/2010Wood.html

See more of Andrew's work in his gallery here;
http://www.finewoodartists.com/gallery/pitts/andrew_pitts.htm

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Winner!

Based on a number generated by random.org, the winner for our Thanksgiving giveaway contest is

Wild CloudBerry!

Congratulations on your win, we hope you enjoy your original art!

To be kept updated on Fine Wood Artist events, artists and future giveaways, please sign up to be on our emailing list at this link

http://www.finewoodartists.com/contact_fwa.htm

Thank you everyone who participated!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Giveaway!

In honor of Fine Wood Artist's successful launch, we are having a giveaway!


Enter to win this beautiful 10" diameter Pacific Madrone Burl Bowl by wood turner Dale Larson, AND this fabulous Bloodwood Egg by Artist Jerry Johnson.

THANK YOU ALL WHO ENTERED! This Giveaway is closed.


Giveaway ends Wednesday, November 25th.
The winner will be selected by a number generated by random.org. They will be announced on this blog on Thanksgiving day, Thursday the 26th, 2009

The Fine Print
Open to anyone, except where prohibited by local laws, and the Fine Wood Artist members and their immediate family.



More About the Artists-
Dale Larson has been turning wood for over 30 years. He is an active member of the AAW and lives in Oregon. View more about Dale and his work at this link-
http://www.finewoodartists.com/gallery/larson/dale_larson.htm

Jerry Johnsnon has been working with wood for over 12 years. He enjoys working with wood burl and lives in Washington. You can read more about Jerry and view his work at this link-
http://www.finewoodartists.com/gallery/johnson/jerry_johnson.htm

Monday, November 9, 2009

Wood Gift Giving for the Holidays

Madrone Salad Bowl by Dale Larson.

Thoughtful and one-of-a-kind gifts are often a challenge to find. Why not go with a functional, durable and creative gift made from sustainable materials?

Nothing beats serving a fancy salad out of a large hand turned wooden bowl, any gourmet would appreciate it! Artists Dale Larson, Roger Dunn and Dan Thoreson specialize in functional and beautiful serving and salad bowls.

Looking for something more feminine? How about mosaic jewelry made from many different colorful woods by Martha Collins.




Turned wood pens by Todd Zurik would make a great gift for dads, executives and those hard to buy for.




Hand crafted jewelry boxes by John Thomas or Paul Tokarowski would make a great useful gift for him or her.
Valet Box by John Thomas.

For the art collector, or someone looking for a true one-of-a-kind gift, why not go for a hand craved sculptures or ornamental turnings by one of the following artists-
Brenda Behrens
Jim Christiansen
Ron Gerton
Michael Hampel
Jerry Johnson
Jerry Kermode
Art Liestman
John McAbery
Milo Mirabelli
Randy Rhine
John Shrader

Sculpture by John McAbery

Contact the individual artist if you are interested in purchasing their work, they would love to hear from you!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Upcoming Member Shows and Events

New Fine Wood Artists member Martha Collins will be at

Best of the Northwest Show, Seattle Center, Nov 13-15
http://www.nwartalliance.com/events.php
and
Bainbridge Island Studio Tour, Dec 4-6
http://www.bistudiotour.com/

Several Members including Tom Deady, Randy Rhine and John Shrader
will be part of Northwest Fine Woodworking's Annual Box and Container Show in Seattle
November 5th- December 31st
http://www.nwfinewoodworking.com/furniture_events.htm

Dale Larson will be showing at the Larch Mountain Country Artist show Nov 20-22 in Troutdale, OR.
http://www.lmca-artisans.com/index.htm

Roger Dunn has new works for the Holidays at Northwest Fine Woodworking and The Gift Shop of the Seattle Art Museum.

Monday, October 5, 2009

How to get your work in Stores and Galleries

Many artists and crafts people love the idea of selling their work in upscale galleries, stores and boutiques but don't have the first idea how to go about it, or what it really involves. Here is a basic overview.

Pricing: Can you afford to sell? It may seem odd to think about it, but a lot of woodworkers sell their work at cost to their customers. This means only their time and cost of goods are covered, if that. Stores will often mark up 30 to 60% of the cost to cover their overhead and make a profit. When you wholesale or consign your work to a store, they take care of customer service, marketing and selling of the item. When a woodworker sells their own work directly to the customer, they often don't take into account this work and time. Most stores will not sell your work if they know you are undercutting their prices, meaning their customers can go directly to you for a better deal. So before you begin to approach stores about selling your work, ask yourself if you can afford to sell your work at true retail prices, or be willing to sell only through the store and not your workshop.

Do your Research First. Before approaching a gallery or store about selling your work, get to know that store. Ideally you can visit and see the kind of work they are selling, evaluate the staff and level of professionalism and see how work is presented. If you can't visit in person, look through the website. You want to be sure your work will fit in and that it will be presented in a positive way.

Make Contact. Whether in person or online, try to find who you should contact about your work. Ask if there is a purchase manager or artist liaison or representative, and ask if they are accepting new work. It's important to be professional, always try to make an appointment or ask if there is a good time to come in and present your work for review. Some retailers may only want to see brochures and price lists, others may want to see the work in person or have a different set procedure for accepting work.

Presenting your work. Again, professionalism is important. Be serious about your work and take care to put your best foot forward. This means having a price list, or at very least an inventory list of your available work. If sending a brochure, make sure that the photographs are the best you can afford, and the descriptions are accurate. Be sure to include your contact information on any correspondence. Always be positive about your work! Enthusiasm is contagious.

Accept rejection. It's always a risk when putting your work out there that it will be rejected. If this happens, there is no reason to go back to the woodshop, close the doors and never show your work again. There are many reasons for work not being accepted, and you have to trust that the person who runs the store knows their business just like you know yours. It may be a timing issue, a cost issue or a saleability issue. It's better to learn from the experience. Whatever you do, don't get angry or pushy with the contact person. They might not be in a position to carry your work now, but they may be able to in the future, and they may also have important information about where you can market your work or what you can improve upon. Don't give up! Sometimes it takes time and effort to find the perfect store to sell your work.

Look ahead. Selling your work in a store or gallery may open many doors but it also has challenges. In this very competitive economy you need to periodically evaluate what you are doing and how you can improve. Look at what is selling and see if you can expand on that market. Customers and stores get excited about new work and designs, so try to avoid getting into a rut or relying on past designs that did well. There is some risk in trying something new, but it can sometimes pay off in a big way.

Monday, September 28, 2009

About The AAW

The American Association of Woodturners (AAW) was founded in 1986. It is an educational organization dedicated to the promotion of woodturning. From our bylaws: "The Association's purpose is to foster a wider understanding and appreciation of lathe-turning as a traditional and contemporary craft and a form of art among the general public, amateur turners, part-time turners and professional turners."

The AAW provides a basis for woodturners from around the United States and the world to get together, support each other and to learn from each other in all areas related to woodturning. Currently the AAW has over 13,000 members in over 315 chapters all over the world. Each chapter is an independent, locally run organization. Local members typically meet once a month to watch demonstrations of woodturning and related subjects.

A growing part of AAW is the regional symposiums where several chapters will put on a multiple day seminar covering all areas of woodturning. The AAW puts on an annual symposium each year rotating around the United States. They try to plan the symposiums so that every five years a member can drive to the symposium.

These symposiums bring in demonstrators from all over the world. Typically, there are 15 classrooms with different demonstrations going on for three days. There are related art shows of turned art. There is a huge Instant Gallery where each member can put three turned items for show or sale. The symposium has the largest woodturning vendor show in the world where all kinds of lathes, wood and related equipment is for demonstration and sale.

The AAW is a big supporter of education and we have a youth turning room where classes go on during the symposium. At the end, all the kids that took a turning class have their names are put into a hat and 25 lathes, chucks, tools and face shields are given to the winning kids.

The members of AAW are not a physical community but they are a community related by a common love of turning. While the name is the American Association of Woodturners, anything that can be stuck on a lathe gets turned. It is generally wood, but fiber, plastic, stone, bone, and pinecones are turned, and I have seen fruits and vegetables turned. There are also special interest groups within AAW that cover such topics as ornamental turning, segmented turning and collecting.

The AAW has a great journal that has articles covering a wide range of topics from beginning turning to advanced art work. Each year at the annual symposium we have an auction of turned art. The proceeds from the auction go the Educational Opportunity Grant program. In 2009 AAW handed out about $60,000 to individuals, schools and chapters for programs related to woodturning.

You can learn more about the American Association of Woodturners and its programs by going to www.woodturner.org. Here you will find out how to join and other information about AAW.
-Dale Larson

Dale is on the Board of Directors for the AAW. More about Dale can be found in his gallery-
finewoodartists.com/gallery/larson/dale_larson.htm

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fine Wood Artists Slide Show


A short overview of some of the great work featured on FineWoodArtists.com

Brenda Behrens Showing this October

Fine Wood Artists member Brenda Behrens will be showing every weekend in October at the Windmill Farms Pumpkin Festival in Chino Valley, AZ.

The show runs Saturday and Sundays 9 am. to 5 pm.

See More at the Windmill Farms Pumpkin Festival website

http://www.jcranchaz.com/windmillhouse_events.html

More of Brenda's work can be seen on her gallery
http://www.finewoodartists.com/gallery/behrens/brenda_behrens.htm

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

RIP James Krenov

Fine Wood Artists joins the many who mourn the passing of the Fine Woodworking master James Krenov, who passed away last week at the age of 88. James influenced many aspiring woodworkers through his years teaching at the Fine Woodworking Program at the College of the Redwoods in Fort Bragg, California.

Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.

His family requests that donations be made in his memory to the James Krenov Scholarship Fund, care of the College of the Redwoods. Contact (707)962-2663.

The College of the Redwoods website:
http://www.redwoods.edu/

James Krenov's offial website:
http://jameskrenov.com/

"Live the life that you want to live. Don’t be unhappy in your work."- James Krenov

Monday, September 14, 2009

Best In Show


Fine Wood Artist Andrew Pitts had his incredible cabinet "Shadows of Night" win Best In Show over the Labor Day weekend at the 48th Annual Art Exhibit of the Rappahannock Art League. Congratulations Andy!

See more of Andrew's Fine Wood furniture in his gallery
http://www.finewoodartists.com/gallery/pitts/andrew_pitts.htm

and his website
http://www.andrewpittsfurnituremaker.com/

Monday, September 7, 2009

Interview with Brenda Behrens


Arizona artist Brenda Behrens combines wood turning and wood carving in many of her works including "the Ballet of the Leaves" in Carob wood shown above. Her favorite wood to work with is Myrtle wood.

"I have always enjoyed Myrtle Wood from the earliest that I can remember and that is back more years than I can remember." She says. "The process that I use to develop each carved piece begins with a wet chunk of Myrtle, turn it and then the carving begins with the traditional hand carving tools. Wet wood carves easier than dry and the Myrtle works well using this technique as it is a very stable wood, holds detail well and dries to a beautiful color."

Brenda is not afraid to take chances with her work, which often are labor intensive because of the amount of carving involved. She considers "Love of Nature" in Myrtle wood to be her most challenging piece, and the one she is most proud of.


"This piece is entirely hand sculpted using traditional hand carving tools and this made the work time extensive and consuming, however it was very satisfying." She says.

Not a woman of many words, she prefers to speak with her carving tools.

More of Brenda's work can be seen in her gallery at this link.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Woodworking Process

Fine Wood Artists member Andrew Pitts has a new write up on his website about several pieces of woodworking he completed using salvaged walnut trees. Andrew's website has a wealth of information for woodworkers and admires of fine woodworking.

Read the informative (and entertaining!) write up about the process of creating a new piece of fine furniture here.



More about this beautiful sideboard cabinet with quilted maple panels, can be seen at this link.

Monday, August 24, 2009

John McAbery- Solo Exhibit

Fine Wood Artists member John McAbery will be having a solo exhibit, September 4-7th at the Mattole Valley Community Center.

Mattole Valley Community Center
29230 Mattole Rd
Petrolia, CA 95558

This show is to benefit local community groups and environmental organizations. Call John for more information (707) 629-3549

Monday, August 10, 2009

First there was a Tree

Dale Larson is best known for his wood turning.

"I'm a bowl turner." he says. "I like to turn the local hardwoods because it directly connects me to the environment around me. As I drive around I am always looking at trees and identifying them and mentally looking at where the prettiest bowls are in the tree."

Here is a huge walnut tree that was being cut down to be replaced by a gas station.



Dale had his arborist friend Craig Smith take it down.





Dale ended up turning over 140 bowls out of the wood, and shared the wood with other turners and artists. This beautiful wood would have otherwise been burned for firewood.

"I find it hard to turn wood that I don't know where it came from or what it is." Dale says. "Most of my wood comes from trees that otherwise would be burned or chipped for pulp."

Dale's favorite wood is Pacific Madrone Burl, which is both beautiful and has great working properties. Like many turners, he can recall what tree his bowls came from and where that tree once grew.

His favorite tree was one he calls the "goat tree". His father found this walnut tree standing in a farmer's pasture. The farmer's goats had eaten the bark around the tree, killing it. The farmer was glad to be rid of the tree, and when it fell it was discovered to be the most highly figured walnut Dale had ever worked with. This old tree found new life in a kitchen table, bed and many turned bowls.

This bed showcases some of the wonderful figure in the "goat tree". The spindles are all one piece and the longest Dale has ever turned.



"I like the idea of using wood for a higher use." he says. "Some trees are fire wood, some are best used in art work. Turning trees I know directly connects me to the world around me."

Dale's work can be viewed in his gallery;
http://www.finewoodartists.com/gallery/larson/dale_larson.htm

Monday, August 3, 2009

Oppertunity for Woodworkers

Northwest Fine Woodworking, America's most successful woodworking co-operative is having their annual box and container show. They are now accepting applications from woodworkers. It's a great chance to showcase your work during the busiest time of year, and the rules are simple; the item must be made of wood, open and close in some manner, be for sale, and be new to the competition.

This is an annual show that is free to enter. The deadline for submitting an application is September 18th.

You can access the application on their website here

http://www.nwfinewoodworking.com/boxshow.htm

Good luck!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Free Web Exposure for Woodworkers

There are many on line opportunities to find new customers for woodworkers who don't have their own website, and even for those who do. Social networking is the new advertising for many individuals, the trick is to have an understanding of the rules and find out what works best for you.

Even if you don't have time to learn or the money to hire a professional to build a website, you can still have a web presence for little or no up front cost.

Free photo hosting sites are one of best way to get your work out to the world, assuming you have good photos that represent your work. Bad photos do more harm than good, so be sure any images you put out to the world wide web represents your work at its best. Your images may be the first exposure someone has to your work, make it a good one.

One such free photo and networking site is Flickr.com. But be warned, Flickr is explicitly for non commercial uses, any outside links or sales verbiage in your photo's descriptions will have you removed from the site, often with no warning beforehand. You can however put your website or contact information in your profile so people can find you. Do read the terms of any site before becoming a member.

Flickr allows you to upload up to 100 MB worth of photos and videos for free (and unlimited if you pay their small yearly fee for Flickr Pro). If you consistently use relevant tags for your images, they will end up in search engines such as Google images. Paying for Flickr Pro also gives you access to statistics, so you can see how people find your images.

You can't just post an image and run with Flickr, or any other social networking site for that matter, if you want a lot of exposure. Flickr has groups and allows others to comment on photos. You can add your images to relevant groups and comment on others' photos, as well as following other people as "contacts".

Even if you are not interested in doing the leg work, Flickr and other photos hosting sites such as Picasa and Photobucket, allow you to have a site url or address to point your customers to if they ask to see your work on-line.

Another option is a free blog site such as blogger.com, where you can upload images with text, and whatever widgets you like. The learning curve may be a little steeper than Flickr but it's also free. Blogs also give you a url to point customers to, and if you like to talk about what you do, it gives you a platform in which to explain the nuances of one wood lathe over another, if you so desire. For best results, include keywords, labels or tags (all the same thing, depending on which blog site you use).

Another way to get out there on line is to join a forum. It doesn't have to be about woodworking, it can be pretty much about anything that strikes your fancy. When posting on line in a forum, be sure to put your web address (url) in your signature, if the forum allows it. This actually gives you a lot of free exposure and will help search engines recognize your website.

Finally, one option if you don't have a website is to simply buy a domain name and forward it to your free site on Flickr or Blogger or wherever site you wish. Now a domain is different from a website, think of it as the address in a phone book, rather than the location of your business. You can buy a web address that is simple to remember like 100woodworkers.com and point it to an existing website. A domain usually point to a website that you own, however it is standard practice now to point to other sites as well. You can even have multiple domains point to the same site. Before you rush out and buy domains, be sure to check with the company if they offer free domain forwarding like GoDaddy.com. Some hosting companies do not offer this, or charge a fee.

If you have time and inclination, more free sites to look into are Myspace, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and the selling sites Etsy.com, 1000markets and Artfire.

When in doubt, remember to find the best professional you can afford to help you with your site. You may be able to build a cheap site using a template driven company, but often times these sites look like they were built with a template, and don't inspire confidence in the content. Remember to always put your best foot forward on line.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Welcome!

I have just posted the preliminary layout of our new website gallery http://finewoodartists.com.

This has been a website project I have thought about for years and I am excited to finally have the means to bring it to fruition. We are in "phase two" of the site; finding artists to represent and building the artist directory and galleries.

Stay tuned for more news and showcase spots on the artists we are representing. With luck our official launch date will be mid August or September.

If you are interested in being a part of this new site, please contact us through the website.

-Nakisha