Hosted by: Peters Valley School of Craft
August 10-14, 2018
19 Kuhn Road, Layton NJ 07851


Figuring It Out

Erik Wolken

August 10-14

What inspires you? What interests you? Where do your influences come from? How do you avoid copying other people’s work and stay true to your own style? Let’s figure it out with a two pronged approach to generating and exploring ideas in furniture and object design by building a small cabinet. As a jumping off point, we will use the human figure as a source of inspiration for our designs and also explore how to incorporate your own narrative into your work. Presentations showing how sculptors and painters have represented the human form over time as well as how Erik and other artists have approached narrative as design elements will help inspire you. Woodworking skills will be taught along with techniques such as; vacuum veneering and bent laminations, wood carving and gel medium image transfer, various painting and finishing solutions. The use of modeling and drawing techniques will help participants visualize the design process with critiques and suggestions to help focus and improve on design skills. You should have some experience working with handheld power tools and common stationery power tools like table saws, jointers and planers. Intermediate

Born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Erik Wolken first became interested in working with wood during his college days in Morgantown, West Virginia. He had stumbled into the woodworking collection in the university library and checked two out, Building a Houseful of Furniture by Simon Watts and The Wendell Castle book of Wood Lamination, both to become an important source of ideas for years to come. From there with limited tools on his back porch in West Virginia he built his earliest pieces. His path as an artist from that point has traveled from becoming a traditional trained furniture maker and opening up his own studio in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in 1994 to incorporating a more sculptural aesthetic in his furniture work to finally exploring pure sculpture and to fluidly moving between all three. In the midst of this his guiding light is to find a rhythm and poetry in his pieces that is a confluence of lines, color, texture and graphic imagery that tells a narrative, for at its most basic his work is about story telling. Wolken’s work has been featured in numerous publications and books including American Craft magazine and the Furniture Studio book series put out by the Furniture Society. His work is the permanent collection of the Gregg Museum of Art and Design in Raleigh, North Carolina, The Center for Wood Turning and Furniture Design at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and in the collection of prominent collectors Jane and Arthur Mason. www.erikwolken.com

Tuition: $605

Studio/Materials Fee: $100

Event Host: Peters Valley School of Craft

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