Gary says: I live in Brownsville Oregon, a beautiful small town of 1500 people. Brownsville is well known for being the location where the movie “Stand By Me” (a Rob Reiner production with River Phoenix) was filmed. One of the most remembered scenes in the movie is when the boys were walking across a Trestle Train Bridge. The Trestle Bridge was the inspiration for my Pub Table and Stools; and Roxanne (Roxy) was the person who commissioned the piece.
I am driven by the desire to create functional pieces of Art made from reclaimed/ recycled material that will last for generations.
I made a sign in my shop that says, “Just say no to particle board!” My drive to create from discarded material started when I was around 11. I would ride my bike down alleys collecting pieces of things people were throwing out, haul them back home and rebuild or re-make them into something useful. My earliest influence would have been my grandfather who was a pipe fitter by trade and literally could build anything. My most treasured tool is one of my grandfathers’ pipe wrenches.
Later on in life I was fortunate to have been influenced by a well known Sculptor, Dwight Bennett. He is most known for his delicate but intricate wood turnings and carvings. He currently has a Gallery in Scottsdale Arizona. I learned from him how wood is transformed into pieces of art, through a thoughtful, patient, creative approach to how you choose, cut, shape, sand and finish a piece of wood.
I love working with wood and combining it with a metal. The metal provides a strong solid framework in which the natural beauty of the wood can be displayed. It gives me a great sense of accomplishment to know I have taken material that would normally have been thrown away and turn it into something someone can use and enjoy. And hopefully it gets reused and re-purposed many times over!