Julia Harrison

Julia Harrison

About The Artist

Julia Harrison • Bakersville, NC

While I enjoy using a range of materials and techniques, carving is consistently at the heart of my practice. Carving is not just how I make my work.; carving has trained me to see more clearly and to act more decisively, to the point that even when I put down my tools, I never really stop carving. No other factor in my life so reliably cultivates patience, acceptance, humility, courage, and trust.


Artist website

Q&A with the Artist

Tell us how your work is made.

I use a wide variety of tools and techniques from both jewelry and wood working traditions, with lots of crossover. Some pieces start from a drawing, but more often I develop a form through 3-dimensional sketches in wire, clay, or soft wood. Much of my work is carved in materials including wax, stone, bone, metal, and many types of wood. I do most of my work with hand-powered tools, which allows me to work slowly, quietly, and thoughtfully.

What makes you passionate about the medium you work with?

Many of my ideas come from the world around me--either in my everyday life or travels--and are rooted in direct observation and experimentation. The constant search for new starting points keeps me awake, excited, and engaged, even if I’m just walking to work. I enjoy the puzzle of working with new materials and I’m always striving to make pieces in which the image, the idea, and the material are in harmony.

What is something unique about you or your practice?

I am a gleaner, always looking for ideas and materials that are cast off or undervalued. Many of my favorite pieces are made from things I've salvaged from my surroundings or my own studio. My ideal would be to use every scrap of a material until nothing was left.