wood in an artist’s hands

DSC_0110_2 DSC_0112 DSC_0114_2 DSC_0115 DSC_0116 DSC_0119_2 DSC_0120_2 DSC_0126_2 DSC_0127 DSC_0129_2 DSC_0130

is like watching magic.

This is MY bowl that is being created. Jedd Kettler, of Kettler Woodwork, is an artist. I am lucky to have a friend such as he, am i not?

While i was visiting, Jedd seemed a bit overwhelmed with orders. Not because he couldn’t make the bowls, spoons & wine racks that had been ordered. He had control of their creation. Each piece he creates must dry, naturally. Drying time depends on the wood used. Jedd has the breathtaking talent to create art, but for each piece to be completed, he has to have the strength to walk away & allow time to aid in its completion.

Perhaps that is where the saying, “one must suffer for ones art” came from.

I was a photographer while he was turning this bowl. I shooting with very low light, my camera’s shutter closing as though slathered in glue. I thought the images would be soft. It wasn’t until i upload the images, almost a week later, that i was able to really see what he had done.

There was steel holding the wood. There was power turning the bowl. There was strength in his hands as he held the steel tool. All this power & strength was combined with gentleness. The wheel spun at an incredible speed, the machine spun wood that was as rough as sandpaper and i witnessed him turning wood to silk. Every piece he has created has been done so by a man with immense patience & a gentle strength.

Power combined with patience. Strength combined with gentleness. Sandpaper into silk…contradictions all. It appeared effortless because he made it feel like harmony.

I am trying to describe what i see. But i know that the words above could be used to describe the man. Strength & gentleness combined.

The night i had taken these images, i remembered a quote

A man who works with his hands is a laborer

A man who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman

A man who works with his hands, his head and his heart is an artist

~Francis of Assisi

I wrote those words down on paper & hung the paper near his mirror. I suppose i did so, to remind him how i see him. Every piece of art he creates is part of who he is.

The pieces he creates range in price, all due to the condition, size & age of the wood. Prices start at $35 & can go up to $325. The photo below are logs waiting to become bowls.


Time is finishing his art. My bowl could take up to 2 months to dry. Worth the wait
Time is finishing his art. My bowl could take up to 2 months to dry. Worth the wait


This beam was salvaged from a farmhouse built in 1791. These beams, when found, are made into stunning wine racks. What a conversation piece, yes?

As in, “My wine rack was created by a Vermont artist, the wood was salvaged from a Vermont Farmhouse built in 1791. Which makes the wood older then the state it was found in”

Someday i will own a piece like this. Creating a wine rack takes acute concentration & extreme gentleness. Because time has already done a number on the pieces.

To see a finished version of his wine racks made from salvaged material or to see all that he does…


Oh, he also built this Schooner with his fatherDSC_0296 DSC_0286

and three sail boats. This Schooner is in South Hero, Vermont…floating on Lake Champlain.

now i am going to talk about me. i have a disclaimer on my blog in the ‘about’ section. i say that i can destroy a sentence without any effort at all. I am no writer, i make mistakes…

I am nervous because Jedd is going to read this. Jedd is an AWARD winning Journalist.

Jedd’s wife, LaunieKettler, is a food writer & photographer. Launie has a cookbook she co-authored called, “The Everything Mediterranean Slow Cooker Cookbook” Launie can cook. I stayed with Jedd & Launie for a week. I can say that Launie would go into the kitchen & return with food i consumed without breathing. She is another blog post.

I hope they do not read this with mental red ink, but with the understanding that i wrote it absolute admiration & a great love.

as seen below.DSC_0398_2 DSC_0390

Launie’s kitchenDSC_0340_2 is a bit tiny


Launie fed me well.  I could say that Launie & Jedd had a bed & breakfast. I was spoiled rotten. They reside in the tiny town of St. Albans, Vermont.

Launie couldn’t believe i hadn’t had a soufflé or leeks or kale, but i have now. I can’t wait to feed these recipes to my kids.

Eat more Kale.



24 thoughts on “wood in an artist’s hands

  1. I very much enjoyed this. Fabulous photos and loved what you wrote here: Power combined with patience. Strength combined with gentleness. Sandpaper into silk…contradictions all. It appeared effortless because he made it feel like harmony.

    My dad owned and operated a sawmill for 50 years – thus, the name of my blog: A Sawyer’s Daughter. I think Daddy would have appreciated this. Thanks for posting!


  2. Woodturning is a fascinating act of wizardry to watch, isn’t it! My son is just learning this skill – he’ll be so interested to see Jedd’s work. It sounds like you were treated to artistry in wood and food on your trip, Amy 🙂


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