Arts Editor’s note: This year, The Beachcomber has partnered with Vashon Island Visual Artists (ViVA) to highlight the vibrant visual arts scene on Vashon. This week, woodworker Ric Peterson tells us, in his own words, about his work. To learn more about ViVA and find out how to contact Peterson and other local artists, or arrange a private studio visit that adheres to COVID-19 protocols, visit vivartists.com.
I began wood carving and woodturning in 2018 as an extension of my interests growing up. I grew up spending as much time as I could in the woods. There were times when sitting on a city bench or curb and simply holding a leaf would transform my state of mind when I could not get outdoors.
Woodturning connects me with the forest, the environment, nature, my own personal well-being and the Tao.
I enjoy being able to preserve and use what was once standing timber and transform it into a functional art form. All my bowls and utensils are sourced from Vashon wood.
A bowl blank often yields a few bowls as I core interior wood for smaller bowls from inside larger pieces. This maximizes the use of the timber. The offcuts are used for heating and other islanders use the shavings for gardens, paths, animal beds and paddocks. Everything is used.
Through woodworking, I have moved into 3D objects with my craft and art after spending so many years as a photographer in the 2D world.
My woodworking and woodturning is sold through The Wood Merchant in La Conner, WA; Etsy, ricwoodworking.com, VIVA Artists and VIGA (Vashon Farmers Market) on Vashon.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a big effect on my output, growing from 20-30 bowls per month to 125-175 bowls per month. I have learned a lot, fast, and continue to turn almost every day.
Since the Farmers market on Vashon did not open this year, I has a pop-up typically at my shop on the north end of the island, and plans on running the pop-up on weekends up to Christmas.
— Ric Peterson, ricwoodworking.com