Uli Kirchler
About Me

Uli Kirchler

Dear Friend,
             My life has been a journey, as all lives are, and my particular journey--influenced always by my fascination with the world's mysteries-- has led me to the kind of art that I make.

            I was born and raised in the German-speaking part of Italy, called South Tyrol.  For ten years or so, I made my living playing music all around the world.  I was a "one-man-band," guitar in hand, drums on my back, harmonica propped around my neck.  Eventually my travels took me to San Francisco, where a friend and I bought a small sailboat.  We dreamed of sailing it around the world, selling it in India, then heading off to Europe on the back of a camel.  But love threw me off course!  I was lucky enough to meet Jenny, my Vietnamese-born wife.  We now live in Cornelius, Oregon, with our three wonderful children (Timo, Julian, and Uma), all of whom inspire my designs.

            By degrees, after music, travel, marriage, and children, I found my way to the wonderful world of woodworking, the focus of my creative energies over the past ten years.  I had no formal training, relying instead on my imagination and my fascination with wood as a means of honing my skills.

            Most of the wood I use comes from the West--in particular, Oregon and California.   It is important that I select each piece, for in each piece lies the art, waiting to be revealed.  Once the wood is chosen, I air dry it, sometimes for years.  Many woods have a fungus that causes discoloration of the wood's tone.  Like a painter, I use that color variation to turn plain looking wood into something far more exotic:  nature and art collaborating!  Other natural tendencies in wood, such as holes and cracks, give me the opportunity to inlay turquoise, branches and twigs, brass and egg shells… into the folds of the wood.

            I really do love wood, so in my shop I surround myself with chunks and cuttings of Buckeye and Maple Burl, and other species, all inspiring my imagination.  I have learned to read rough lumber; my experience has taught me to sense what wood will conceal.  It's always the first cut, though, that exposes the true personality of the wood, its pattern, color, figure, and age.  Then, it's show time!  As I work, I determine the shape and form of each piece, always allowing the wood itself to influence my form and design. I cut, shape, and grind my work.  Unlike turnings, none of my pieces is perfectly round or symmetrical.  Instead, I passionately carve and sculpt rough wood into a work of functional art, making certain that elements of the natural state and shape of the wood remain.  Each piece exudes grace and pristine craftsmanship.

 My work has been recognized and exhibited in galleries throughout the U.S. and sought after by private collectors. 

I really love what I'm doing!   

Until we meet again--

Buon Viaggio, 

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