Wood You, if You Could? I Wood!

By: Andrew McGivern, curator of exhibitions on December 7th, 2011

I’ve always enjoyed working with wood, whether helping my father finish our basement while in grade school, turning a wooden bowl in junior high shop class, or years later building display cases and crates for the Museum. I guess I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands.

Ray Jones
Omega V, 2008 Mahogany, pommele bosse, ebony


In addition to working with wood, I appreciate seeing the creative things that artists make, as well as the fine craftsmanship and variety of domestic and exotic wood types. I especially enjoy artwork that combines unique and creative ideas with the skill of a master woodworker.

Jim Christiansen
Bob, 2008 Curley maple, ebony, wenge, brass
Someone who shares my appreciation for masterful and creative woodworking is Dr. Oscar Fitzgerald, curator of Boxes and Their Makers, on view through January 22, and author of the richly illustrated exhibition catalogue New Masters of the Wooden Box. Dr. Fitzgerald has assembled a fabulous collection of thirty four wooden boxes that combine personal expression and a sensitivity to materials.

Steven Kennard
Hat in a Box, 2005 Snakewood, African blackwood

Dr. Fitzgerald will join us in Wausau this weekend to talk about the book and exhibition on Saturday, December 10, 1:00 – 2:00 pm, followed by a book signing. I’m certain that Dr. Fitzgerald’s presentation will be filled with insights into the world of contemporary woodworking, and it will be just the thing I need to help me grow in my appreciation of this captivating medium.

Wisconsin Valley Woodturners at Woodson Art Museum

If that’s not enough to get you excited about woodworking, members of the Wisconsin Valley Woodturners club will share techniques on lathes following the lecture program and allow visitors to try using the equipment to turn wood.

Ah, a day at the Woodson appreciating and working with wood.

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