Victorian Village of Ferndale, California


10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

580 Main Street

Open Daily

I am a self-taught woodturner and longtime member of Ferndale Arts. I have been working with wood for nearly 30 years. A member of the American Association of Woodturners and the Redwood Art Association, my work has received several awards in juried shows over the years.

My professional career as a pediatric nurse practitioner took me to Northern California where I first tried working with wood by taking an adult education class at the local high school. Woodworking became my passion and I took as as many classes in it as I could at the community college.

I made furniture for many years and did some woodturning on the side. Gradually turning became my dominant interest. I could see more immediate results and complete a piece in a relatively short time.

Working with wood engages all my senses - the visual beauty and color of the wood, its smell, the silky touch of a finished piece, or the texture added either by nature or myself. Even the sound of the tool as it cuts away ribbons of wood is a pleasure when the tool is sharp and the angle is right.

The process of transforming a rough chunk of wood into a bowl is very exciting. There are discoveries to be made as the wood is cut away. I usually allow the wood to dictate the form, influenced by grain patterns and "defects " in the wood. A customer described my esthetic as "wabi sabi". I looked up the term and it rang true. I am drawn to the imperfect. Nature is often "messy" but if you look deeply, there are wonders and beauty to be discovered.

For a number of years I have been experimenting with surface embellishments which might add interest to a piece. Dyeing, carving, painting and burning wood are opening new and enjoyable possibilities. It is fun experimenting, but nothing beats the work of Mother Nature.

Melanie Kasek, Wood Works

Artist's Statement

in the Ferndale Art & Cultural Center

(707) 786-9634

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