AAW’s Professional Outreach Program (POP) has selected Kevin Jesequel of Oregon and Heather Marusiak of Kansas as the 2024 POP Showcase Artists. Each year AAW showcases two wood artists at the AAW International Woodturning Symposium as part of this program. They are either experienced artists who have made significant contributions to the woodturning field but have not received appropriate recognition, or emerging artists who have the potential to make significant contributions to the field. At the 2024 Symposium, each artist will share their talents through demonstrations, a panel discussion, and a special exhibition of their work. Here is a little bit about each artist in their own words:
“There is something intoxicating about standing in front of a spinning piece of wood and poking it with sharpened steel instruments. The sounds, the smells, the moment in time; being the first to reveal what has been hiding within the log. Each cut, every curve directly translated from my hip through the tool to the wood as I shift my weight from one leg to the other. Cutting away all that does not belong to the form in my head, until what is left is a vessel of my creation, embellished by mother nature. I am as much in love with the process as I am with the object.”
My work is focused primarily upon hollow form vessels. It is my goal in every piece to create a sense of “fullness”, though within the thin walls of wood only air remains. I enjoy the challenge of hollowing through the smallest hole I can, that fits the chosen form. I have and continue to experiment with surface treatments such as carving, brushing, or branding. Yet, I always find comfort in returning to the elegant simplicity of pure form and the natural beauty of wood. In the world of cooking, it is often said that top quality ingredients treated with respect and prepared simply are hard to beat. I think about that every time I cut into a log from the bounty of the Pacific Northwest.” ~ Kevin Jesequel
Follow Kevin on Instagram, @kevinjesequel
“I am drawn to the primal beauty of nature, the strangeness and sensuousness of it all. In the Flint Hills of Kansas where I reside, 250-million-year-old marine fossils dot the limestone of the rocky prairie, and handling such artifacts sets my imagination ablaze. I feel connected to the ancient history of the ground underfoot, am made to appreciate all that lives and grows around me, and am reminded of my own small place in this world. Accordingly, I create sculptures that combine the familiar forms, textures, and colors I observe in nature, with my goal to evoke the same enigmatic feelings I have when pondering the primordial landscape: curiosity, awe, reverence, and perhaps a little fear of the unknown.
We sometimes forget that the landscape lives and breathes in its own way, and every object and being within has its own story. Wood, with its lived history, is an intriguing sculptural medium because it imbues my work with its characteristic warmth and unique combination of strength and fragility, regardless of how the surface is carved, textured, or colored. I feel successful when something I make seems animate, when it shortens the distance between the worldly and other-worldly.“ ~Heather Marusiak
Follow Heather on Instagram, @heathermarusiak
Registration for the 2024 AAW International Woodturning Symposium opens on November 13, 2023. Join Kevin, Heather and a thousand other woodturning enthusiasts May 23-26 in Portland, Oregon for the biggest woodturning event of the year.