in the Ferndale Art & Cultural Center

(707) 786-9634


Victorian Village of Ferndale, California


Copyright 2017 Ferndale Arts. All Rights Reserved.

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.

Artist's Statement

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