Artistic Creations by Rich Conti

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Artist's Statement

I've always been fascinated with wood that is "rich in the rhythms" of texture, pattern, and color variation.  But only recently, have I been creating artwork with wood.  My father was an avid woodcarver, but I really never learned technique from him, I just admired the work he did.

My craft takes me in a different direction.  I like to raid the scrap piles of the local lumber stores for materials.I find   end cuts or cuts with knots or cracks or live ends which are not useful for the furniture makers.  I refine these cuts and combine them with standard dimensional lumber or exotic hardwoods.  I also frequent the reclamation stores for my products.  I look for character and interesting variations in the wood that are overlooked.  My goal is not just to create a functional shelf to have something sit on.  I strive to make the shelf a piece of artwork to be admired as much as the items it supports.

I began making shelving when I took a beginning class at the Chicago Industrial Arts and Design Center and it spiraled from there, I learned woodturning at Chicago School of Woodworking.  

I have recently began incorporating mosaics into my wood.  I call this series "WOODSAICS" and these pieces are more abstract in nature.  I blend the mosaics into the intrinsic flow of the wood.