For Greg Klassen, making furniture “begins and ends with the beauty of a slab of wood” – and it shows. His River Collection is rooted in that deep appreciation for nature: inspired by the twisting Nooksack River near his studio in Washington state and made from trees sustainably harvested from its banks.
Minneapolis jeweler George Sawyer uses the Japanese metalworking method of mokume gane – which involves fusing layers of colored metal – to make his stylish rings. Their extra-crisp lines are thanks to Sawyer’s signature end-grain technique, which orients the edges of the metal ribbons toward the ring’s surface, so the pattern runs through the thickness of the ring.
As Mattia and Marco Salvadore demonstrate, one need not work in wood to channel its inner qualities. The brothers, sons of Murano glass artist Davide Salvadore, use traditional Venetian techniques to recreate grain in seductive glass.
Daisy Kelly, of UK-based Day Design Co., imprints her Forest of Ceramics pieces with wood grain from local trees. The vases, tumblers, bowls, and pots come in an assortment of shapes and sizes – encouraging people to cultivate a little forest inside their home.
Why wood? Berlin artist Tilo Uischner explains it thusly: “It brings its own story into the picture; it reveals its character while you work with it and keeps its final secret till the moment when you apply the first layer of lacquer.” Wood’s warmth helps convey the subtle see-me-as-I-am quality that Uischner seeks to illustrate in his portraits, which combine marquetry and acrylics.