Wooden waves and ribbon ripples by American artist Kerry Vesper

American artist Kerry Vesper manages to make the wood ripple like a ribbon. It's not veneer or narrow strips of wood, but thick layers of solid wood or plywood that he glues together and processes, giving them a watery sheen. The artist cuts the wooden elements into roughly pre-determined shapes, glues them together and then processes them by hand, creating real waves of wood.

wooden waves

An artist inspired by nature

Kerry Vesper has worked in a professional carpentry shop all his life, but doesn't consider himself a classic carpenter. He doesn't like making ordinary furniture or machining and joining wood in the traditional way. He was and is an artist. He has always seen wood as the material with which he can bring his ideas, his projects to life.

Inspiration for the designs she creates comes from her home in the Arizona desert, where nature builds its own works of art with the help of wind and water. Just as wind lays layers upon layers of earth forming various shapes, so Kerry lays layers upon layers of plywood and solid wood. He prefers plywood because it closely resembles layers of earth built up in nature.

wooden waves
Chatam Heart

How wooden waves are built

The wood used is always contrasting. For light colours he uses European birch from the Baltic Sea area, and for dark colours, exotic wood. Initially a rough shape of what he wants to achieve is drawn, sometimes with the help of a computer. Then the same shape is drawn on plywood and several such shapes are cut out and glued together. The last layer is made of exotic, dark wood. The gluing is done in such a way as to create the space to be able to make wood waves and ribbon-like ripples.

Once this sandwich is ready, start sanding and smoothing it to the desired shape. It's a painstaking process that is done entirely by hand. At the end the object is finished with tung oil, without staining, to bring out the structure and natural colours of the wood.

Kerry Vester builds abstract shapes, as well as tables, chairs and bowls. Her works are primarily artistic, not pretending to be functional. The abstract shapes are so made that they can be placed on the wall horizontally or vertically, they can be mounted on the wall without fear of changing their meaning or spoiling their beauty.

Each of his works is unique. Even if his customers order an existing model, the new work will never be identical to the previous one, but will have its own personality.

wooden waves
Building the sandwich

wooden waves

wooden waves

wooden waves
Ruba Kubwa

About the author

Mihaela Radu

Mihaela Radu is a chemical engineer but has a great passion for wood. She has been working in the field for more than 20 years, wood finishing being what defined her during this period. She gained experience working in a research institute, in her own company, as well as in a multinational. She wants to continuously share her experience with those who have the same passion - and more.

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