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I have often pondered what is art and what makes one an artist. Is a 7 year old assembling a plastic model car an artist? Is a model railroad with realistic scenery art? Is a fully decorated and furnished dollhouse art? How about a pen made from Corian, or a cutting board made from an old desk? My answer is yes to all. Art is anything that results from effort to express an idea, thought or feeling. This is MY personal definition of art; it guides me. Some may disagree, which is perfectly fine. All of the above are examples of my art. 

My name is Don Carlson. I am an artist and art is my therapy. Although I have been making “Art” in various forms since I was 7, I still consider myself an amature. My focus in art is exposing the beauty often hidden in natural resources.  I don’t like to use paint, stain or high gloss finishes, as they do not appear natural.  Currently my primary media is wood. Nothing ever comes out exactly the same with wood; the shapes, colors and patterns are infinite.

I collect reused, reclaimed and renewable wood whenever possible. Firewood piles, estate sales, flooring installers, cabinet makers and countertop fabricators are just a few great places to find wood that can be salvaged rather than live out its life in a garbage hill. The whole process is not the same with store bought wood, but there are times when I need to purchase wood. I do my due diligence when purchasing wood to make sure the source is certified as sustainable. The utilization of sustainable resources is something that’s important to me and it makes me feel better inside; it’s not just for marketing purposes. An integral part of my art creation satisfaction is finding the materials. 

What is art? Making a beautiful platter out of a century old, warped, table leaf. Turning a decomposing piece of firewood into a unique vase. Taking hardwood flooring scrap and making a fine writing instrument. Using a tree branch downed in a storm to make wood flowers. Restoring a brand new, cracked wood cutting board so it can be used. These activities trigger a sense of accomplishment that heals my mind, heart and soul.

I hope you enjoy my art as much as I do. Have a great day.


Browse my current available works on the SHOP page.

See some of my past works on the GALLERY page.

Take a look at how I make various items on the PROCESS page.