The Vision

Using fire, sharpened steel and India inks – artist Keoni Carlson creates touchable illusions, wood re-imagined as woven and beaded basketry, sculpture and vessels.  His vision is to evoke delight and surprise by listening to the wood.

How It’s Done

Step One

Trees and reclaimed wood provide the starting point.  Typically sugar maple, a hardwood from the Midwest and Northwest.

Step Two

From the hardwood slabs, square blocks are cut.  Thickness and size varies depending on the artwork concept and direction.

Step Three

Wood squares are mounted to a Lathe and rotated at high speeds.  The wood is shaped front and back using sharpened steel tools to create the artwork “canvas”.

Step Four

Hollowing to final form is next – then 1/8” concentric rings are carved.  Radial lines are then scribed. Together, the spoke and rings create the illusion foundation.

Step Five

Design elements are burned onto the wood.  By varying temperature and density, the illusion of basket-weaving and beading is created.

Step Six

The final steps are adding color (India inks), detail and finishing.  The inspirational story is documented and each piece is photographed and catalogued.

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