George Peterson

For me, the adventure and challenge of sculpting lies in focusing on the natural tension and drama I find in the wood, and in contrasting and complimenting that drama with my expressive mark as an artist.  I channel a lot of destructive energy into my art.  The pieces are formed from whole logs using chainsaws, hammers, chisels, fire, axes, anything. I aim to create layers of machined and natural surfaces.   The raw sculptures are then placed in a kiln so the wood can stabilize.  Often during the drying process the tensions in the wood will cause a piece to warp and crack giving the forms an element of spontaneity that I could never contrive.  After the wood is dry, I then refine each piece through careful and deliberate study.  I paint, polish, trim, sew, join and repeat if necessary, until the work is resolved. About the skateboards: My aim with this series is to celebrate the iconic nature of the skateboard as well as the creative/destructive energy that goes into forming the raw material I start with.  As a person who obsesses about all the different wood species, I have come to see these broken and banged up pieces of plywood as a type of exotic material.  Not because it’s rare or expensive, but that it’s been processed in very unique and specific ways.  Creatively speaking, this series owes a lot to the culture and industry of skateboarding.  Like making art, skateboarding is a very creative and personal outlet.  It is also inherently destructive; boards get worn down, cracked and broken.  It is a subtle and unintended type of wood sculpting.  This series is about layers:  it speaks of the utility and beauty of wood, the culture and byproducts of our modern world and the visual/textural language I’ve developed through my work as an artist.