EDWARDS — You can feel the difference in handmade furniture with just one touch of your hand. Art on the Rockies will host eight different fine furniture craftsmen at this year’s festival, taking place today through Sunday at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards. The furniture and home accessories exhibits are the highlight of this year’s outdoor event with a wide variety ranging from elegant traditional to sculptural modern.
Steve Henneford invites you to experience the exceptional quality, timeless designs and comfort in his beautifully designed custom furniture. A self-taught wood worker, Henneford comes this week to the Art on the Rockies festival from northwest Montana.
“I like to create simple elegant furniture made with beautiful wood, paying particular attention to the joinery and the finish,” he said. “Rocking chairs, dining chairs and tables are my specialty,” said this fine craftsman. Each piece is a one of a kind, handmade by the artist, inspired by famed Sam Maloof.
California fine woodworker Donald Harris enjoys the challenges associated with the design, construction and joinery of 18th century, early American furniture. Hand cut, snug-fitting dovetails are difficult to master and reflect the skill and mastery of the craftsman. Harris excels at this detailed attention to perfection.
Colorado native Randy Blunt specializes in affordable, clean lines with his woodworking. All of the tables hand-crafted by Blunt are made from pine beetle killed trees. Each table is unique and Blunt uses a book-matching technique which creates a mirror-like image of each side of the table.
M. Scott Burgess has his studio in Red Cliff. Burgess, of Burgess Fine Woodworking, creates boldly elegant furniture and creative cabinetry. His work reflects a traditional heritage, learned from three generations of woodworking craftsmen.
“I was trained as an aerospace engineer,” said Burgess, a Vail Valley local. “That training facilitates solutions to the toughest design challenges.”
Inspired by the history of the Old West and the cowboy way of life, artisan Mike Roths, of Bear Paw Designs, has been designing and building fine Western furniture since 1979. Hardwoods, leather and hand-forged iron define Roths’ award-winning style but do not limit his creative designs. Roths has also been known to work with antlers, fishing lures, paintings and lights to create masterpieces that grace many private and corporate collections.
DEPTH OF TEXTURE
Gary Burditt brings a very sculptural and modern sensibility to his tables using a unique bio-geometric process. What is exceptionally interesting about his work is not only the way he fits the branches together in a mass to form these geometric shapes, but that there is an illusionary feature about them. His work alters your perception of what you see. You need to step back and take a second look at his work to get it, to see beyond the exterior shape and perceive the depth of texture.
Lara Moore brings mixed-media artwork into the realm of fine furniture with her line, called Bella Bella Designs. This fine artist is featured in many national galleries with her paper collaged furniture that she finishes in heavy resin. The work is very colorful, fun and contemporary.
Scottish metal sculptor David Marshall creates internationally inspired metal and found object furniture with a gallery flare. Working from his studio in the mountain village of Benahavis, Spain, he is a prolific designer who takes his inspiration from the natural things that surround him, like the bark of trees, the undulations of a rock or the erosion of wind and rain on the earth. After staging several successful sculpture exhibitions, Marshall began designing objects for the home in brass and aluminum that will be on exhibit.
These eight furniture makers will display their works for sale at Art on the Rockies, along with 100 other fine artists and contemporary craftsmen. The festival has free admission with parking onsite at the CMC Edwards Campus, 150 Miller Ranch Road.
The festival starts today, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and runs throughout the weekend. Food and beverages are served throughout the day and evening. Children’s art activities are free and sponsored by Scully’s Art Supply of Edwards.
Today at 5 p.m., there is a special event called Friday Night Artwalk, sponsored by Korbel Champagne with DJ Unconventional Science. This event kicks off the opening to the annual Vail Valley Art Guild’s silent art auction fundraiser at the Art on the Rockies festival. Korbel has provided free champagne to welcome the artists and public with a toast to life and art.