Wayne Walma, Woodworker: Wood is constantly in motion. Over the course of its existence it seems to invite various ways of blending with human wants and needs. I approach all my woodwork from a traditional cabinetmaker point of view. Joints are tight and strong and at times, the method of construction becomes a design element. I prefer finishing with nontoxic material such as milk paint and polymerized linseed oil. In my commission work I attend to what the commissioner wishes the piece to say, function or just for pretty, perhaps both. My shop is a contemporary woodworking shop with modern power tools and a good selection of hand tools.
My work has seen a progression to more independent work as woodworker/artist. This progression is related to collaborative work with my partner, Pam Beal, and her movement from traditional quilting to an increasingly recognized art quilter. I have become intrigued with piecing and applique of wood fiber looking at it as a quilter would look at cloth fiber. Taking into account the movement of the wood fiber in design is the struggle.
A notion suggested to me by an artist friend/mentor moves me to consider Wabi-Sabi: the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete; the beauty of things modest and humble; the beauty of things unconventional.
I reflect on materials I use:
Hand planed white pine floor boards from Pennala log home
Yellow birch log from neighbor Robert’s wood that “doesn’t look like a normal Birch.” It was Flame Yellow Birch.
Hollow logs diverted from use as culverts
Recovered 100 year submerged hemlock log from Flintsteel River
Apple wood from trees that have succumbed from too many years being climbed and broken by bear and raccoon
Roofing tin; ubiquitous in the U. P.