Thomas Hughes

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Meet the Artist

  • About This Artist

    ""Making"" has always been part of my identity, and I'd be lost without it. My hope is that I can combine my love of folk art with engineering, woodworking, and metalworking skills to create objects people will be proud to grace their homes with. Carefully crafted, one at a time, these pieces are my joy and passion. Western softwoods and Milk Paint are the primary materials of my work and are combined with machined metal parts that assist in helping the kinetics run smoothly.

  • Q&A With This Artist

    A: The things I make start with wood. Wood is shaped, sawn, and carved into most of the components. Sometimes leaving the grain natural looks best, other times I add coloration with the matte finish of traditional Milk Paint. Machined brass bushings, pulls, and other highlights are used where wood isn't quite up to the task. Nearly every part of my work is made in my studio.

    A: Wood is/was a living thing that commands respect and care. Each piece of wood has its own personality that one gets acquainted with during Making, and your interactions are a conversation with the wood. You work, time passes, and you realize this particular piece of material has told you a lot about itself.

    A: One thing I really enjoy including in my work are hidden surprises behind doors and curtains, or in boxes and drawers. Sometimes they are figurative carvings, and quite often they turn out to be small spaces to store keepsakes. Part of the dialog can be a mechanism that must be activated to reach to those surprises.

    A:  Aside from some of the incredible exhibits I've been fortunate enough to stumble into (Akio Takamori, Allison Sarr, and John Frame are a few that profoundly struck me), a place that I could go to again and again is the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, NM. Every visit to that collection yields new treasures and ideas and sends me spiraling off on my way.

    A: After spending years in an industrial building with a community of studios, I moved into my backyard a year or so before all of our lives were turned upside down. I missed fellowship, then I REALLY missed it. Substituting with Instagram and phone calls has helped bridge an actual craft community, but I look forward to welcoming visits to other studios and artworks back into my life again.

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