Early in my career,  I had a bit  of experience doing  ornamental ironwork, so I set up  to do tables with  iron bases
and beautifully figured slabs of wood as tops. I  busily  went  about breaking rules! My studio was a one  car garage
and I soon found that fire and sparks  in a wood  shop  was  not a well thought  out idea so I shelved the iron work. I
also loved glass work but again,  not the best idea around wood chips.  I wanted to create  beautifully  figured  wood
and metal objects with a perfect glass look but following the basic rules limited me. Now I  had to start  making  new
rules to accomplish  it.  My  work's  a  culmination  of  years  of  experimenting  with  different mediums, developing
finishes, creating new techniques and understanding the properties of many species of wood and how to best dry and
utilize i t for maximum  beauty.  My  work  is  deliberate. I  follow  rules,  and  when  they  limit  me  I  find  a  way to
implement new ones.
Here is the  connection  I try  to  make  with  through  my  artwork. My work is the spirit of who I am. I grew up in
Alaska  (before  it  was  a  state). It  was  wild  and  wonderful  and  I  had the freedom to roam as I pleased. I saw the
synergy  within  the  forest  and animals.  I've  spent  8  plus  years  alone in the arctic, living, learning and gaining  an  
understanding of  how everything  works  together to make  the whole system work. I spent another 15 years working
in  bush  camps,  mining,  prospecting, logging and  observing and learning the simple rules of nature. Now, what has all
this got to do with my work? The short answer is everything!  I want my art to “connect” that experience, emotion and
wonderment to the rest of my world.
Every  bit  of  figure in  a  tree  comes from some kind of hardship. It  might have been a lightning strike, an insect
attack, a drought or just a struggle to find its spot of earth  and claim the sunlight that  falls  there. From the outside we
may call these struggles, blemishes or flaws compared to the young, straight and healthy trees, but the truth is, it’s what
makes up their character, beauty and desirability. Man, like the tree, will  struggle with hardship, disease, and adversity
but the scars and flaws will only add to the beauty of his character, inside, where it counts.
I  guess  you  could  say  that  my  work is an effort to have others see and feel the perfection and beauty that is all
around  us  in  all  things, even  in  the  old,  scarred and seemingly  unvalued. My   use of  trees  that  have  been left to
decay in
the forest,  or  the  antler  discarded  on the  ground  by the moose, to the reclaimed metals I use for inlay are about paying
respect to the
beautiful world around me.  I take the flawed, blemished and discarded and try to make it into the most beautiful, perfect
object that’s in my ability to produce.
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Welcome to Robert Cutler's
Excellence in Fine Woodworking