Featured in
Woodworker's
Journal eZine as its
"Today's Woodworker" 

November 2006

 


"I don't think there is any
thrill that can go through
the human heart like that
felt by the artist as he
or she sees some creation
of the soul unfolding to completion." ...MTK


I have been enchanted by wood sculpture ever since I was child and began carving at age 5 or 6. My grandmother created the first carving that I can remember seeing ... a Chinese figurine from a pine two-by-four using a paring knife from her kitchen. She then painted it using food coloring. I remember staring at it for hours at a time when I visited with her in rural Utah. It amazed me that a figure so beautiful could be hiding in a simple block of wood... and that my grandmother could carve such a figurine. 

Since those early years, I have been pursuing my own visions of what can lay beneath the surface of beautiful wood. I started taking art seriously in high school where I won a gold key award in the National Scholastic Art Competition. I have benefitted from the guidance of a Swiss master carver, a celebrated North Coast carver born and raised in the Queen Charlotte Islands as well as many other skilled artists. Each of their diverse and personal expertise has helped to provide focus and form to my own inner creative force. I have now carved for over 50 years and hold honors such as People’s Choice and Judge’s Choice awards and my work is now found in the collections of many art and wood enthusiasts.

I hold a reverence for wood ... its texture, fragrance, and natural color exemplify the beauty found in and of the earth. I use razor sharp tools which I couple with my own inner creativity to cut clean, deep, meaningful images from various North American woods. I favor aromatic wood such as the “cedars": Alaska Yellow Cedar, Desert Juniper, Port Orford Cedar, and old growth Western Red Cedar. My favorite tools are hand crafted by Northwest craftsmen such as Savage Forge, Northbay Forge, and Kestrel Tool. Others include the famous Swiss Pfeil brand and the Japanese master crafted tools of Shirogami Hagane.

I have carved literally thousands of objects ranging from the most simple to the complex, found in the grandness of nature and legend. At White Eagle Studios, I work to unveil the unique story within each piece of wood, creating a legacy for future generations to enjoy. It is an honor to select a piece of wood, to study the grain and form, and to consider how best to add or uncover images which symbolize the magic of our memories, our existence and our experience. My sculptures are intended to deliver a magical and spiritual message to you, the observer... a message that I hope will rekindle legends buried deep in our collective memory.

Please visit my web log for additional information. 

 - Michael Keller

©2012 Michael Keller Woodcarving. All rights reserved.