Kerry Vesper has spent most of his working life in a professional wood shop, but he isn’t comfortable calling himself a woodworker. He seldom builds furniture, and isn’t especially fond of traditional woodworking tasks like cutting and fitting joinery.
In Kerry’s case, it’s more accurate to say that he is an artist – a sculptor – whose medium just happens to be wood. His work bears a resemblance to the stack laminating techniques explored by Wendell Castle and others in the late 60s and early 70s. He stacks and glues material into a shape that approximates the final form, which he reveals and refines with a variety of grinders and power sanders.
I had the good fortune to visit with Kerry earlier this week while I was on assignment in Phoenix. We met at his shop, behind an overhead door in a light-industrial park near downtown Scottsdale. The space is dusty and tight, packed with prototypes, power tools, and works in progress.
Kerry’s calendar is full of commission work – a nice problem to have. On a bench near the front of the building sat one of his next deliveries – a glued-up sculpture of birch ply and bubinga in the midst of rough carving.
Kerry is part of a small group of local pro woodworkers who get together regularly to share ideas and war stories. He urged me to come back soon for one of their show-and -tell gatherings, a trip I am already looking forward to.
To see more of Kerry’s work, check out his website or see what he has for sale at artful home. In the meantime, let me know what you think of this post and join the conversation. What cool work are you seeing? What local groups are helping you in your woodworking?