Artistry in Wood

Artistry in Wood

About The Artist

Michael Childs • Long Beach, CA

I am an interdisciplinary artist, drawing the different forms of art I have either been trained in or exposed to. My father was a professional visual artist and my mother, an aspiring concert pianist who enveloped me with Chopin and Beethoven when I played underneath her piano. I took up guitar as a preteen. This led to folk music, then Classic guitar, Renaissance lute music, musical composition training and a career in guitar teaching, performance and composing. Drawing lessons came from my father, leading to an 8-year career as a professional artist. My mother's love of language opened up the world of poetry. My woodworking career began at the age of five with model airplanes and led to my woodworking career. In 2005, I began to focus on my own designs, two of which won 1st prize at the California State Fair and were chosen to be that of Jennifer Garner’s character in her new series, The Last Thing He Told Me.


Artist website

Q&A with the Artist

Tell us how your work is made.

I leave boards propped up whose properties appeal to me where I can see them. When inspiration hits me, I picture the piece in my mind. I'll either sketch them out, make a measured drawing or start building. Sometimes, I use a CNC router to cut out the pieces. Then I hand work the pieces until I fashion what I pictured in my mind. Commissioned work requires good two-way communication, so I make scale drawings for the customer's approval. I've been successful in making my customers happy.

What makes you passionate about the medium you work with?

I love wood: the endless grain patterns and textures. I love working with it. Each piece of wood is unique and a learning experience. The realm of woodworking is endless.

What is something unique about you or your practice?

I did not attend any school or become an apprentice to a master craftsman, so my designs are unique. They don't belong to any one school. They are a synthesis of my love of, and training in, music and art. They reflect a mystical relationship between the ineffable and the material. The optics of the wood are essential to my work. I learned joinery from books, repairing antique to modern furniture and working on boats where form follows function. My work is built to last and to be beautiful.