Sarah Grace Cheek

Sarah Grace Cheek

About The Artist

Sarah Grace Cheek • Earlysville, VA

"Sarah Grace Cheek is an artist and woodworker based in Virginia. She holds a BFA from Virginia Common­wealth Univer­sity in Craft & Mate­r­ial Studies where she focused in furni­ture and textile design. After leading a produc­tion style wood shop for the last 4+ years, Sarah Grace made the leap in summer of 2022 to pursue being an artist full time. Her work centers around nour­ish­ment, useful­ness and joy. Sarah Grace uses traditional hand carving and power carving tech­niques to create her work. Her inspi­ra­tion includes bones, rocks, bark, scavenged and salvaged mate­ri­als and antique textiles includ­ing late 19th to early 20th century quilts, just to name a few things. She works solely with wood sourced and local to the central east coast. Fellow woodworkers donate their scraps and cut offs for her to utilize and create one of a kind pieces."


Artist website

Q&A with the Artist

Tell us how your work is made.

For my most recent interest in wooden bottles, it all begins with a walk in the woods and collecting discarded antique and vintage glass bottles. These have been my main source of inspiration as of late. I work with scrap pieces and off cuts from fellow woodworkers and the sizes and shapes of those pieces ultimately dictate how my work will take shape. I bore out the center of a piece wood on the drill press and then move to the bandsaw to cut away excess around the bottle neck area. From there, I head to the lathe to turn the bottle necks round and to round any other part I desire, say the bottom or sides. I then will carve, sand and shape the bottle to resemble some sort of amalgamation of the glass bottles I've found. Each bottle bottom is carved to be concave to resemble their glass counterparts. Pieces are finished in some combination of linseed oil, beeswax and crystalline wax and sometimes with dye or a paint wash.

What makes you passionate about the medium you work with?

I've been able to find an unparalleled curiosity that comes with working with wood. For me, creating is an exercise where mind and body work in unison as a dance of muscle memory and spontaneity. My practice of crafting reimagined adaptations of items reveals observations of myself and my perceived reality and helps me process existing in the world we live in. It is easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of being human and creating work from wood has taught me how to slow down and bask in the awe of nature and all the small, daily miracles that are so easily over looked. I strive to create work that centers around nourishment, usefulness and joy.

What is something unique about you or your practice?

I love experimenting and the unexpected results that come from it. I have just started to dip my toes into dyeing wood and I've personally found the finish to be quite exciting. I look forward to dyeing different types of wood and trying a variety of colors. I also only work with solid pieces of wood and do not glue any thing up. Even though this can limit the size of the pieces, it feels as if I am truly honoring that single piece of wood and all the history it has experienced thus far in its lifetime.