Old Growth Woodworks
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matt metzger biography
artist statement

artist statement

Trees humble and inspire me. The cutting into a log to see its unpredictable figuring, or discovering a perfect board from a dilapidated barn, a silver-grey and furrowed from centuries of weather – these experiences are great privileges. To produce a piece of furniture from this life form, from this gift of history and nature, is a responsibility. The tree, nature, and history must all be honored.

To fulfill this responsibility I preserve the uniqueness of the materials I use. Rather than rob them of their identity, cutting away sapwood and live edges, plaining through weathered furrows on a 200 year-old board, I keep them. My furniture is more than a function; it is an ode to the material from which it came; it is a story. To this end, the inspiration must come from the material itself. Rather than design preceding selection of material, it follows. Unorthodox, yes, but to create this furniture, I must break with the traditional rules.

The process of manually working with the wood also influences each piece. The way a plane runs through a leg, following the curve of the grain, may determine a curve in the leg. A subtle curve and perhaps even unnoticeable, but important on a subconscious level in relation to the whole of a piece. In the end, in a convergence of material and construction dictating design (rather than design dictating material and construction, as is always the case in mass produced furniture), I believe that use of these precious materials, shaped with disciplined skill, creates a piece with subtly and simplicity.

 Old Growth Woodworks  |  contact@oldgrowthwoodworks.com  |  513-349-1483
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