Growing up on a small farm near Palo Alto, I began my artistic career making wooden toys for my younger brothers. Other than lapidary instruction at a summer camp and high school art with Robert Arneson, I’m mostly self-taught in both jewelry and weaving. I like making beautiful things of wood because of its plasticity in color and pattern. Most of the wood I use is excess wood from furniture and cabinet makers, and flooring and interior finish contractors
Following a successful career in finance in Chicago and San Francisco, Peter Howkinson has been devoted to woodworking for the past 20 years. What had been a long term interest developed into a passion for searching for the “right” piece of wood, whose characteristics are exactly suited to its particular use. He has studied at the College of the Redwoods in Fort Bragg, one of the country’s leading woodworking school sand participated in many Bay Area craft fairs, and open studios for Pro Arts and the City of Berkeley.
James Scott's passion for wood began in Europe. He worked in Germany making flutes, while studying old recorders and baroque flutes in the museums until 1982. He later moved to Berkeley, raised a family, and started a career in computer engineering. He has recently come full circle to his creative past. "What I make has flexibility, I can be experimental with colors and shapes. Wood is beautiful nothing compares to taking a few scraps of it and watching something emerge. I am enchanted by the smell of it, I can recognize 20 different kinds of wood by their scent alone."
When my working career began to gradually wind down, I asked myself many times, "What's next?" After a few random ideas and trials, it became clear that my long time hobby of working with wood was the most natural thing for me to do. After taking several classes and acquiring a few skills at the Alameda Woodworkers Academy, making boxes, hardwood earrings and puzzles became more than just a pastime for me. I love finding wood with unusual grain and coming up with ways to utilize various designs to make pieces that are both useful and aesthetically pleasing.
Bill Walzer has been turning art pieces for decades and has finally decided to make it his day job. I started by turning the handrail posts when renovating my Victorian home in Berkeley but quickly moved to bowls which provide me with more creative dimensions. I only use downed wood from the urban forest - city trees that have fallen or need to be removed for some reason. The finishes are non-toxic. If you ever lose a favorite tree give me a call so I can make a lovely memory piece out of the trunk.