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 Comments Add yours

  1. julieallyn says:

    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. Reblogged this on 2me4art and commented:

    I thought you would all like to see how a big piece of Vermont Maple turns into a bowl.


  3. jeremybronswijk says:

    Beautifull photo’s, and I really love the bowls! They look so awesome 🙂


    1. Amy Saab says:

      Thank you so much, Jeremy! ~amy


      1. Jeremy Bronswijk says:

        You’re welcome!


  4. You write so well. I thoroughly enjoyed this. All of it – the people, the woodwork, the photography, the humanity…
    More, please!


  5. Hey Amy .. What a fabulous post! Thank you for sharing .. I’m sure Jedd will enjoy reading this as much as I have 🙂


  6. Jeff Branch says:

    Wish I was a turner. Great photos. 🙂


  7. jpeggytaylor says:

    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 🙂


  8. Joanne says:

    Fantastic captures! 🙂


  9. So interesting….all of it. I felt at home reading and viewing your post.


  10. Love this, may be my favorite!


  11. GordonCure says:

    its nice skill, by the way , its beautiful photo, love it. 🙂


    1. Amy Saab says:

      Oh, Gordan, it was FANTASTIC to watch him work. It was like seeing magic unfold. He is truly gifted. ~amy


  12. Love, love the shots, love, love the story…the entire post is just outstanding! Thanks for sharing all of it!


  13. Vera Komnig says:

    Each letter, each photo breathes the love that you feel for these people. Thanks for that 🙂


    1. Amy Saab says:

      You thanking me?! Your compliment is a gift to me & i am very grateful for it. Thank you, Vera! ~amy

      Liked by 1 person

  14. andykidd says:

    Beautiful words and photos, expressed with love. Thank you for this.


  15. great photos!! The sense of movement in the woodwork ones is wonderful!!


    1. Amy Saab says:

      Thank you so much. Jedd Kettler of Kettler Woodworks is an incredible artist. And a wonderful friend. I was so in awe watching him bring a block of wood to life. ~amy


  16. Gotta appreciate both the woodworking and culinary artists. Great post. Love the photos.


  17. asphaltblues says:

    It’s such a joy when a friend creates something by hand for you… But even BETTER when you get to witness it’s creation… Loved the post! 🙂 Jedd is quite the artist..


    1. Amy Saab says:

      Jedd is an extraordinary gifted artist, that we agree on. Watching him create my piece right in front of my eyes was a gift in & of itself. I’m glad you like his work. ~amy


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