Meet Wood Artist John Robson!

Learn more about Sugarloaf favorite John Robson. Come out and meet him at the next Sugarloaf Crafts Festival in Gaithersburg, MD. His work is even more incredible in person!


1. What drives you to create those fantastically shaped mirrors of yours, and what message are you trying to convey?

I have always felt a strong creative urge. As it applies to my work and to the mirrors, each one starts out as a sawmill leftover or (like the one I am working on now) a pile of pieces of driftwood laying on the shop floor. Each piece is a design dilemma to be solved, each one has to achieve balance, show off the beauty of the wood, and downplay whatever weaknesses the wood has.

2. What’s your favorite type of furniture to create, and why?

I enjoy making twig furniture. Twig pieces are about as close to making something out of nothing as it gets. The process of creating a twig based piece begins when I prune the trees. I take those twigs that I gather when pruning, and proceed to take the bark off. Removing the bark from these twigs makes the wood look fresher and cleaner. From there I can use this wood that might otherwise be overlooked, and create my next piece.


3. Where do you find the wood that you use to carve your pieces?

(A caveat here, I don’t carve them in the classical hammer and chisel sense). The twig parts that I use are all pruning’s from trees in our yard, the driftwood is all from the North Fork of the Shenandoah River that runs right by our land. I buy leftovers from several local sawmills and my neighbors let me know when they are cutting trees on their land.

4. Who’s your favorite artist who ever lived, and why?

I a big fan of Abstract Expressionism. Mark Rothko is a favorite and also Piet Mondrian. A piece of driftwood doesn’t evoke an animal - it a form of abstract expression. Personally, the idea of the abstract is strong in myself. Traditional carvers have carved recognizable things. But that’s not my concept. If it actually looks like something, that’s not good. With regard to Driftwood pieces, what I like about that type of wood is that they tend to have little intricate parts and curves to them, which make them unique.