Wood art featured at senior center

Barbara Faries feels more comfortable with wood-burning art than with woodcarving because she doesn’t like knives. - Kirk Boxleitner
Barbara Faries feels more comfortable with wood-burning art than with woodcarving because she doesn’t like knives.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — The Ken Baxter Senior Community Center hosted an “Artistry in Nature” art show recently, but for the artists who showed off their work, it’s an ongoing effort.

Barbara Faries has been doing wood-burning art for two years. She wanted to join her husband in woodworking, but she was scared of knives.

“It keeps my hands busy,” Faries said. “I like creating something.”

Chuck Cruz took up driftwood art a year ago because he got interested in playing with his lathe, and because he’s always noticed beachwood pieces as yard art and in gardens.

“I started with this one piece that looks prehistoric, like a dinosaur,” Cruz said. “Another reminded me of a bird of paradise. It’s not carving. It’s finishing. You’re emphasizing the flow.”

Quil Ceda Carvers President Marvin Nehring touted the variety of wood art on display at the senior community center’s “Artistry in Nature” shows, from hiking sticks with nature themes to carving in the round, in which carvers start with blocks of wood and ideas and their ideas, and then remote all the wood that doesn’t fit the patterns they have in mind.

“Some carvings tell a story,” Nehring said. “One piece I saw showed a dog who had chased and treed a cat, so it paints a picture for you. Others feature wild birds and ducks, or Northwest and Native themes. You get to take a thought and develop it through wood. Even if you got the idea from a picture, you can go beyond that and put your own personality into it.”

Those who are interested in creating wood art can show up at the Ken Baxter Senior Community Center, Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon, where they’ll receive basic instruction and mentorship. They can also log onto the Quil Ceda Carvers’ Web site, at, or attend one of the group’s once-a-month meetings at Jennings Park.

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