Today my work will be featured on a segment of a television show called “Artful”, produced by Monument tv. It will air at 8 am MST and then again at 1 pm on the BYU tv channel, and then it will be available for streaming after that on the BYU TV website. While I haven’t yet seen it myself, the other episodes are beautifully and sensitively done, and my experience with the production team was truly delightful and meaningful. I hope that you will have a chance to take a look.
Go On, Brother Lawrence is a small wood engraving, carved and printed by hand from a boxwood block. Brother Lawrence (born Nicolas Herman) was a 17th century Discalced (barefoot) Carmelite monk. I will fall short to try to describe him in a brief statement, rather, I encourage you to read the small collection of his letters and conversations, Practicing the Presence of God. He has been a significant influence in my faith and work since I first encountered him in art school, over two decades ago. Brother Lawrence sought out the presence of God at all times and in all things, notably, in his daily labor as a cook and dishwasher and later as a repairer of sandals- the subject of this print- and in so many ways he became the present Christ to very many who came into contact with him.
If you would like to purchase one of these prints they are available in my store, Baumwerkshop.
Christogram in black walnut as the central panel in a pulpit that my friend Taylor Johnson is building.
Hummingbird Spoon in Cherry
This spoon was carved on commission to be given as a gift to a Kansas poet and photographer, Michelle Terry.
Amos’ Spoon in Osage Orange
I carved this humble eating spoon for my friend Seth Wieck, a poet in Amarillo, Texas, in reference to his epic poem, Ulysses Arrives in Amarillo.
The Lawrence Arts Center, in Lawrence, Kansas, recently had an exhibition featuring work from across the rich artistic career of my Aunt, Chris Wolf Edmonds. There are many creative people in my Aunt’s immediate family: her father (my grandfather), her children, Jason Edmonds and Brynn Edmonds Burns, all of them making beautiful art. The happy idea surfaced that it might be interesting to include some work from my Aunts creative family. They even reached back to her great grandfather (my great great grandfather) Johann Severin Kiemig, who filled his farmhouse in Zenda, Kansas with murals and paintings. They graciously invited me to participate. I am very grateful for this, for I respect my Aunt and my cousins very much, and my grandfather was a profoundly important figure in my life. Often, I contemplate the creative legacy that flows through my family, the generations who celebrated making things with hands, and placed a high priority on light, color and beauty. That benefaction shaped me and continues to do so. It is incredibly meaningful to be a part of an exhibition that celebrates that legacy and especially honors the one who has worked so hard and gracefully in her carrying it forward.
Deeply principled, generous and compassionate, my Aunt Chris always seems to know exactly who she is. Nurturing a deep love and kinship to the land, specifically Kansas, she has taken a path in life that I seek to emulate: a multi-disciplinary agrarian artist/craftsperson, manifesting excellence in craft, remembering tradition while pushing her own creative boundaries, and constantly evolving and growing as an artist and human within a flowering context of family and community. I know that she is a treasure. I am grateful to be part of her legacy.
As you look through the images from the show, you will see the quilted and fiber based art of my Aunt, carved wooden birds from my grandfather, wooden sculptures of my cousin Jason, photographs from my cousin Brynn, and paintings and prints from me. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it up to see the exhibition, and I don’t have titles to provide for all of the works at this point, so I apologize for not providing more detailed captions.
All of these photographs were provided by, and used by permission of the Lawrence Arts Center.
Five bowls turned from part of a salvaged Ash tree from Peabody, Kansas. The tree was well over one hundred years old and was nearly five feet in diameter. Most of it we milled into lumber but some was set aside for making wooden bowls. It is a humbling and awe-filled experience getting to work with material from such a being as was this tree.
Vox Universi (the sound of the Universe), is a little wood engraving carved from a block of Resingrave. It is a simple reflection on “non-profession music”, prayer, a celebration of the concertina, being slow, planting oak trees: things like that. If you want to buy one they are available here.
I built this round walnut table for a young family over the summer and into the fall. The base is mortise and tenon. I hoped for it to carry some of the feeling of the vaulted interior of a timber framed barn. The wood for the base came from gun stock maker in Wichita who gave me some timber from his stock before he passed away. The wood for the top was harvested from my friend’s land near Fall River, Kansas.
Go On, Shepherd is a new wood engraving available for sale in my online store Baumwerkshop. As a shepherd, often I find myself in this position, kneeling on the ground tending an animal. It is a humble position, yet, to be nearer to the earth by half or more is significant. Don’t forget that you are dust. Great comfort that is. When I learn of the soil I am learning about God, creator and king of the Universe. It is good to be humble, kneeling on His earth.
What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish. Matthew 18:12-14 NKJV
“I am a steward because I am not here for very long”, I heard a farmer say once. The land remains and was here before. The sheep flocks – the good ones, are like an organism or a nation, and they persist, reflecting the decisions of the shepherds over them. My flock carries the intention of many shepherds before me and it will reflect mine after I am gone. The sheep too will remain. Any ownership I have is really only stewardship for One who is greater, and it is good to take care of life for Him and with Him. This too is comforting.
These are some of the thoughts I have, kneeling on the earth with lambs.
The cup has been waiting for a plate for years. This summer the opportunity came to carve one, and to send them both together to their new home with my friend Robbie Pruitt.