Jan Greenwald

About the Artist

I have always loved wood. I remember going through stacks of hardwood as a kid just looking at the patterns in the grain. Today, I purchase no wood, most of my turnings come from trees I cut in my hometown of Fallbrook. Our yearly brush fires have left Oak, Sycamore, Willow, Olive and Avocado trees that must come down. As groves are thinned, I have access to many varieties of fruit trees. I look for trees with character, thick-barked, misshapen trunks and survivors of flood, drought, wind and fire. It is by nature's trials that color, hardness and grain patterns are enhanced. I'm drown to limb junctions and crotch wood with their knots and growth compression. Trunk and root burls are favorites because of their many "flaws" which I call beauty marks. If it's in the wood it stays.

I learned wood finishing at Knott's Berry Farm in the 50's, crossing a bridge with rails polished by thousands of hands sliding over them. I loved their soft burnished feel. I use only a light wax or natural oil after sanding and sometimes finish with a true "hand sanding" using only the pressure of hand on wood.

I never work from plans. I begin with an interesting "log" and let the wood dictate size, shape and style. I am just a part of the process, interested to see what turns up. I do no production work and rarely accept commissions.
Thank you for sharing my work. I enjoy it.

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