My wife, Erika, doesn’t like to waste anything. Her mother came from the Old Country and frugality was a way of life in her house. After all, many immigrants arrived at the New World with very little. My family wasn’t as interested in saving and Erika saw me as wasteful when we merged our lives together. Over 25 years ago, when I started working in the shop of The Loft Bed Store, I would occasionally bring home a couple buckets of scrap wood; small, 0r randomly sized chunks of kiln dried cherry, oak, walnut, and mahogany known as mill ends. We’d use this in our small condo fireplace since we couldn’t afford to purchase seasoned firewood for our occasional fires. She couldn’t believe this stuff was just thrown out. (After all, her mother would have found a way to build a house with it or sell it on Ebay.) But in creating furniture, the fact is that every single inch of wood just isn’t usable. Though the shop guys are very cognizant of using each piece of lumber to its fullest potential, there are sap stains, splits and other irregularities that need to be cut around. Then each piece needs to be edged, squaring it up, and other trim scraps are added to the pile. Admittedly, it is tough seeing all this beautiful hardwood tossed. Well, not exactly tossed. We do send it to the local landfill, to be ground up with other things like yard waste and used Christmas trees. That mixture is turned into mulch.
Although Lawrence Oliver is not local to the DC area, we could not pass up on showing his amazing sculptures in our showrooms. These are works of art that you need see in person to fully appreciate. Using one block of wood to make each piece, he sculpts away until he ends up with the shapes we see now. He left us completely baffled, shocked that this form of art is even possible. We cannot get over how he makes these sculptures out of one piece of wood. Take a look at the picture below and see for yourself.
Amy Jackson is a brand new potter to the world of artists, and we are so glad that she approached us in our Fairfax showroom and presented her work. Her pottery is not just outstanding, but it is different take on the art. Her architectural background has a lot to do with the angular shapes she plays with. Her first interaction with pottery occurred while working at an art camp in the summer of 1987. She only picked it up again recently when she decided to take a ceramics class in 2009, but look at what she can make:
Broadway Gallery is a family owned business based in Alexandria VA. Sue Broadway started the company 30 years ago and passed it along to her son Barry Broadway. Broadway Gallery is not only an art gallery that shows exquisite pieces of artwork, from paintings to pottery to sculptures, but they also have their own framing workshop in the back of their shop. They specialize in a “complete art service” program, which helps their clients decide all of their art needs in one place, from the artwork consultation to the custom framing and installation to art appraisal and restoration.
Barry came by our showrooms, and found the perfect fit for us and our bare walls, local photographer Fred Eberhart. His stunning photography and his vibrant colors fit in so well with our showroom and our furniture, we couldn’t be happier with this new found friendship with Broadway Gallery.
As for Fred Eberhart, his passion for photography has lasted more than 40 years, and has developed through many stages (pardon the pun!). His more recent work has progressed to shooting local landscapes in a digital format. Fred is inspired by mid 19th century Illuminist painters, probably the reason why most of his photographs are mistaken for paintings. He finds the patience to find the right uncommon light for his photographs. Fred does not hesitate to use technology to express his art, and he found that he can best show his creativity and love of landscapes by shooting and stitching these high-resolution images. These mosaic like photos take days to finish, and leave you wanting more. Fred enjoys photographing the Virginia wildlife near his home in Centreville.
Fred’s artwork is currently on display until December. Hurry in to our showrooms and take a look for yourself.
If her name sounds familiar, it’s no coincidence; she is co-owner Mark Gatterdam’s very talented mother. I had the pleasure of going to her home during last year’s Great Falls Studio Art Tour, and watched her finish up some of the pottery she had just taken out of the kiln.
Barbara’s work is absolutely beautiful and functional, just like our furniture. It’s no wonder Mark grew up to appreciate art in all its form. Their home in Great Falls is filled with Hardwood Artisans furniture and Barbara Gatterdam’s pottery. Barbara is also a collector of other potters’ works, and you can see the collection on every shelf in her home.
Barbara studied at several different schools to learn about the arts, including the Corcoran School of Art and has taken workshops with well known national and international potters. She has been a potter for 35 years. Her pots are made from stoneware clay and fired in her kiln to 2300 degrees, taking about 12 to 14 hours to complete.
Her favorite pottery forms to make are pitchers and vases. “There is a great feeling of accomplishment to create a tall graceful form” she says. Barbara participates in many local pottery shows, and seasonally in Lost River, West Virginia. You can see Barbara’s work in our Fairfax and Rockville showrooms.
As you know, Hardwood Artisans loves our local artists and showing them off. We have a collection of new local artwork in our showrooms and we’d love for all the fans of handmade art to visit our showrooms and check them out:
- Barbara Gatterdam – makes beautiful pottery out of her home in Great Falls, VA
- Fred Eberhart – for a limited time only, a local photographer we acquired through Broadway Gallery in Alexandria, VA
- Amy Jackson – a brand new local potter with her own sense of style in Fair Oaks, VA
- Lawrence Oliver – makes handmade wooden sculptures that leave you in awe in Missouri
Throughout this week we will be posting blogs highlighting about different local artists that we are displaying in our showroom.
Tuesday: Barbara Gatterdam & Fred Eberhart
Wednesday: Amy Jackson & Lawrence Oliver
We’re excited to hear your opinions on their work!
At the end of the year 2011 Hardwood Artisans will move its whole woodshop and its employees to our recently purchased new shop space in Culpeper, Virginia. We have spent most of our Hardwood Artisans life in Woodbridge, Virginia building furniture for you, your family members and your friends. We have been expanding over the past ten years at about a rate of about 3%. We are hoping this will continue for years and years to come.
Ahoy to Hardwood Artisans’ newest featured artist, Betty Ganley! Betty Ganley is a local watercolor painter with wonderful scenes depicting gardens, boating and flowers. In the world of watercolor, her name brings instant recognition. Betty’s many awards showcase her love of the marine scenes of the Chesapeake, the coast of Maine, and Cornwall, England. Her nautical paintings, as well as those of her florals and still life’s have been published in art books featuring todays top water colorists. You can almost hear the waves lapping at the shore and hear the gulls squawking at each other when you gaze at her marina paintings and smell the beautiful flowers when you look at her floral paintings.