Steven Caldwell – Artist Statement
I have been working with wood in many forms for most of my life. I worked for my father in high school and college helping to build his houses. Later, I built furniture and cabinets to support my family. I have been turning wood on the lathe making bowls, vessels, and sculpture since 2014. I have tried to create forms which will evoke ideas about the natural world; ideas about climate, flora, fauna, conservation, and geography have found their way into my work. Currently, I am exploring a series of baskets and boats which begin with the turning process. My techniques include carving, burning, coloring, sandblasting, and various finishes to achieve an interesting piece.
I often use wood I collect on Vashon to make my pieces. Each wood has its own characteristics of color, grain, moisture, stability, and workability. I try to take advantage of each species’ strength, size, and shape when deciding what to make from any given chunk of wood. My greatest joy in the turning process comes from the creative moments and the unexpected discoveries that can be the spark for a new piece.